D.C. Dispatch 2 – Casey Jones Has Met His Match

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During the presidential Amtrak dash last weekend CNN reported that “50 everyday Americans” were traveling with Barack on the Obama Express. Fair enough, but I’m guessing that while his handlers plucked what they believed was an adequate population sample, there were probably no hookers, bookies, crackheads, pregnant teens, or BU chicks yapping loudly on their cell phones, so it wasn’t really a representative snapshot of America. Next time Obama commits to a long haul I suggest he takes the Chinatown bus; that’s where the freaks come out.

Not like I’m any better. I’m also guilty of soaking up amenities on the overpriced iron horse. My seat is comfortable, the beverage caboose is two-doors down, and, most importantly, I have a nearby bathroom to conduct business in. I deserve this; I’m riding Greyhound on the way back, and there’s a serious chance that I won’t be the only cat on that route who hasn’t showered in a few days.

The train is sold out; not like it’s wearing shiny suits and pimping videos on MTV, but all the seats are taken. I hate to one-up the president-elect, but considering the number of black and white people yelling things like “We’re on our way to history,” it seems we have a healthy cross-section (so far no prostitutes though). Due to volume, there’s no quiet car on this train; and it’s a good thing, because I’m looking to get Fung Wah rowdy. My six-pack of Bud Light tall boys is almost cashed by the time we hit Mystic.

For the most part, however, this train ride isn’t the party on rails that I expected. There are a few excited folks, and no doubt I’ll be getting raw with them before this dispatch concludes, but the majority of people are on that “Amtrak tickets are too expensive to act uncivilized” shit. That’s the catch-22 of transportation; the sweeter the amenities the less prone people are to get naked – no matter how many Mardi Gras beads I have on the table.

Even after New York, where I anticipated an incoming gaggle of wide-eyed political junkies, the scene remained lame. I met a wicked cool kid who plays tuba in the Marine Corps (he went to boot camp, so he’s musical and badass), and a kid from Kentucky and L.A. who’s looking for a Hollywood chick who fucks like a race horse, but there was no rager. No drunk chicks asking me to write “Obama” on their boobs, and no whatever else you can imagine that would be cooler than that.

The ride was swift though, with the exception of some Amtrak employees who clearly need to get laid more often. I’m not the type to smack hard working men and women for no reason, but these aren’t hard working men and women. According to one conductor who clearly hasn’t checked a newspaper in the past few days: “I was expecting this to be an easy day!” He’s lucky there’s not an inauguration every week; if that were the scenario Amtrak might finally get its finances in order, and these lazy shits might have to grind.

But I’m not here to bitch; at least not until I touch down. There are more pressing matters. While I’m confident that I can stay up for the next 30 hours – in addition to the however many that I’ve already legged out – there’s a chance that I might need some supplementary stimulants to pull this off. If you’re out there reading, and you have former Mayor Marion Barry’s digits, please be kind enough to send them over.

Still – regardless of how many or what kind of substances it takes for me to groove through this fantastic voyage, and no matter how much of a Hunter Thompson wannabe I might be, this is hardly fear and loathing; those motherfuckers had hotel rooms. I’m just an ordinary degenerate with an extraordinary aptitude to pull all-nighters, and who, at least on this momentous occasion, doesn’t need illicit synthetics or excuses to burn some midnight oil.

--Chris Faraone

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