I recently got a new job that I love (clapping).  One concern I had, though, was that I am currently living in the burbs and would have to take the train into the city until I could sell my condo.  My first thought was, S&%T, this is going to blow.  My second thought was, at least I’ll probably get some good blog fodder out of it.

I was wrong on the first score.  Taking the train doesn’t suck.  In fact, it’s pretty awesome because it is forced decompression, which is something I need.  I was totally correct, however, on the second score.  I could write a daily blog just chronicling the morons on the train. 

On the first day, I was one of those morons.  I can’t describe how cool I felt taking the train into the city for work.  I felt so bad ass and I felt even bad assier once I got my monthly pass because I would no longer look like a tourist with my ten ride ticket.

By day two, I had perfected my “I’m so bored because I take this train every day” look.  Inside, though, I was pumped and the imaginary iPod in my head would play BTO.  You get up every morning from the alarm clock’s warning, take the eight-fifteen into the city…  I actually take a seven forty-three into the city, but hey it’s my imaginary iPod — you just listen to it.

You really get to know your fellow commuters without ever saying a word to one another.  I don’t mean to stare or eavesdrop, but I do — it’s unavoidable.  I have gotten to the point where I have a certain car I always ride in for the inbound trip and a certain car I prefer for the outbound ride.  Most of the other regular passengers have a preference for a specific car, too, and in this way you come to observe them and their habits.

There is one annoyingly engrossing trio that I often find myself sitting next to on the second car of the inbound train.  It’s a middle-aged woman, a middle-aged man and an old man that appears to be well past retirement age.  I suspect they all work together but I will require further eavesdropping to confirm.

The woman thinks she is hot stuff and constantly brings up her plastic surgeon in conversations.  “My plastic surgeon said it’s supposed to rain this weekend…”, “My plastic surgeon recommended this little restaurant…”, “I asked my plastic surgeon where he…”, etc.  She is only moderately annoying. 

The middle-aged man I am pretty neutral on.  In fact, he probably wouldn’t annoy me at all if he weren’t associated with the other two.

The old man either really annoys me or greatly amuses me, depending on my mood.  He talks really loud (which isn’t a huge deal), but 99% of everything that comes out of his month is wrong.  Not wrong in the pedophile-derogatory-chauvinistic-insensitive way, but in the dude-that’s-totally-not-true way.  He is constantly delivering false information to the other two in tenacious outbursts.  Some things this man has claimed:

  • China does not have a country flag because the design and colors they wanted were already being used by Belgium.  I have no idea whether or not China and Belgium both wanted the same flag design — my knowledge is not that specialized — however, I am fairly confident that China has a flag.
           The Chinese flag that doesn’t exist.
    The Belgium flag, with its clever design, is highly coveted by the Chinese.

  • Noodles and Company is not a chain; there is only one and it is located a couple blocks from Union Station.  (The middle-aged man thought he saw one somewhere else once but the old man assured him that no, Noodles and Company is one of a kind.)
  • The above conversation eventually sparked a conversation about franchises and the old man said, “I bet you didn’t know franchises were illegal in the United States until about 10 years ago.”  Um yeah, they probably did not know about that since it isn’t true.
  • If you don’t panic under water, you won’t drown because there is enough oxygen in water for a calm human to survive.  I wanted to shout, “Prove it!”  This was probably the most annoying statement I have ever heard him, or anyone, make.

I can’t figure out if this guy is lying, stupid or just BS-ing.  I don’t see any reason to lie about any of this stuff unless he has pathological tendencies.  Lying is about cost efficiency and I don’t see the payoff in these cases.  I have seen him work a vending machine with complete competence, so I’m ruling out the level of stupidity that would be required to actually believe his own nuggets of wisdom.  That leaves the BS theory — but wouldn’t you pick something grander and more personal to exaggerate about?  Like you caught a 17-foot walleye or turned down sexual advances from Brooke Burke or Brooke Burke saw you catch a 17-foot walleye and subsequently made sexual advances toward you?

After investing many man hours, I was able to find a photo of Brooke Burke wearing clothing.

To summarize, I am annoyed.  But not annoyed enough to drive to work, which would be really annoying.