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Friday, Aug. 26, 2016

My train of thought about town's trains

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

At a recent City Council meeting a group of residents complained because of the proposed increase in train traffic in Sikeston. Apparently there is a faction of Sikeston residents who don't like trains.

I find that hard to believe. What is there not to like about trains? I grew up in Dexter, the home of trains. In Dexter, it is rumored that you can't cross the railroad tracks without being stopped by a train. While I never tested that theory I can attest to the fact that whenever you were running late a train was sure to come from nowhere.

If I had a dollar for every time I was stopped by a train in Dexter, well, let's just say it wouldn't be Donald Trump telling people "You're fired."

In all of those times of being stopped by trains, I learned how much fun trains could be.

How many times have you been running late for work or school and been stopped by a train moving so slow you would think it was being pulled by a Pinto?

When this happens, instead of gripping the steering wheel so tight that it nearly crumbles in your hand, turn to other alternatives. For one, look in you rearview mirror and laugh at the driver yelling to nobody in particular while pounding at their dashboard. While you are only late for work or school, they are late for their anger management meeting.

Of course this gets old after several minutes so you have to turn to other alternatives. One is the radio. Who can resist the selection of music in Southeast Missouri? I know as soon as I hear that DJ say "here is a new release from (insert band here)" I know it is a song that I have only heard about 100 times. (One thing I have learned from my waiting on trains is that new release in radio speak means the song has been out for less than a year).

When the radio gets old, you can always turn your attention back to the train itself.

There is nothing like reading the graffiti on the side of trains. "Billy loves Janice" (how cute), "Jerry was here" (good for you), "Crips rule" (you better believe it) and then, of course, all the new kinds of words you can use the next time you are stopped by a train.

But it's not just getting stopped by a train that can be fun. There is also the excitement of trying to get across the next crossing before the train gets there.

You see the train and hit the accelerator. A car in front of you puts on his turn indicator to get out of your way and you have clear sailing so you go even faster. You look at the train and your adrenaline starts to rush right up until the crossing bars come down and you're stuck 10 blocks out of your way. (At this point you can use some of the words you see on the passing train).

Another big benefit of having more trains is the convenience of having an excuse anytime you are running late. However, for you teenage boys out there, DO NOT use this as an excuse for bringing your date home late because fathers can hear train whistles miles and miles away. An attempt to use a train as an excuse will only meet in your demise. You may be asked questions like: "How many cars were there and what kind of train was it?" I can promise you is doesn't end well.

Of course, the biggest benefit of all is being able to write a pointless column over stupid trains while waiting at the railroad crossings. People of Sikeston, I am with you.

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