Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Strangers on a Train, Pt. 1

O.K. As promised, some details and stories from my vacation. I think that I am now prepared to actually put some of my experiences into print.

I think.

I'm not responsible, however, for what--if any--effect they may have on you, my readers.

For some of my vacation, I traveled over to Salt Lake City to visit some friends. While there, I took the opportunity to visit Utah's Bankruptcy Court with my friend Janci from J Saga. To get there, I had to take Salt Lake's version of mass transit, what they call "Trax."

And oh, the sights you see!

Salt Lake, I think, would prefer you didn't know that they have their own share of crazies roaming the streets. Nothing like I've seen in bigger cities like Denver, Los Angeles, or Boston. Also nothing like you would see in Reno. (But then, where could you ever really see the kinds of things you see in Reno? Not even in Las Vegas, methinks.)

The first encounter was a man who jumped aboard the train at the last moment and chose to sit directly in front of me. This was a man in his mid-50s, scraggly grey hair, and what may have been the biggest backpack I have ever seen, complete with sleeping bag and what may have been a tent--there was a cinch bag holding what looked like tent poles.

Upon boarding the train, he threw himself dow on the seat facing mine, opened his phone, and immediately began talking.

I mean immediately.

I'm not even sure he was actually on the phone because I didn't see him even push a button before he began talking. His end of the conversation went something like this:

"Heidi! What?! They did what?! [Expletives deleted] I haven't even been up to the capitol--I just came out of the hills!
[PAUSE]
OK
[PAUSE]
The GOVERNOR nominated me?!
[PAUSE]
OK. I'll call the Governor then and see what's goin' on.
[PAUSE}
Uh-huh. OK."
The man then looked at his phone and said--remember this is all at a volume loud enough for people on the other end of the train car to hear him (I know this because I sneaked a look and saw them shaking their heads)--he looked at his phone and said "Governor--Home or office."

No joke.

He then put his phone to his ear and immediately began talking again.

Let me just interject a thought here, for those of you who believe he really was talking on the phone: I was completely unaware that phone technology had advanced to the stage where the phone could decide which of two phone numbers to call for you. But I digress.
"Beverly! [Expletives deleted] I'm a [Expletives] State Representative!
[PAUSE]
Yep!
[PAUSE]
Your husband nominated me!
[PAUSE]
I'm gonna be a representative. What? No, I'm on a Trax train.
[PAUSE]
Yeah, your husband--the Governor--nominated me! Me! A long-haired, tree-hugging, pot-smoker.
[PAUSE]
Yeah, in fact I'm still smoking my pot."
Unfortunately, that's when I had to get off the train.

Dang it all!

I would have LOVED to hear the remainder of that conversation. At least, his side of it. Who knows what else was said? I wonder if the Governor eventually got on the line as well?

Now...a quick search on the internet provided me with the fact that Utah's Governor is in fact married to a "Mary Kaye" rather than a "Beverly." Further evidence that this man may not have actually been talking to a real person? I don't know.... I'll leave that up to you, gentle reader.

All I know is I watched and heard it happen. And Heaven help teh Utah Legislature if it's somehow true.

He really called himself a "long-haired, tree-hugging, pot-smoker." While I was able to (barely) control myself, I heard at least one snicker on the train.

That says it all, my friend.

That says it all.

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