Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bob McDonough is 46 and on the Spare Board

This morning-4:06AM

Ring! Ring! Ring!

Me: Um...Uh...Hello!

RR Crew Dispatcher: Mornin' Bob! Today you'll be working job C-312, report time is 6:18

Me: Um...Oh...Okay...Job C-318- report at 6:12

Crew Dispatcher: No. No, that was C-312 at 6:18

Me: Right, right... Okay, job C-318-6:12 report. Got it! Thanks!


Wife (lying next to me): What exactly are you doing over there?

Me: I'm trying to put the phone back in the charger.


Wife (now laughing hysterically): What seems to be the problem?

Me: Oh, here we go. CLICK! The charger was upside down.

Wife: UGH!!!

Me: Hey! Be nice to me... It's my birthday.

It's true. Today I turn 46, and because I'm middle aged, I had to immediately get out of bed and pee. I got out of bed into the pitch darkness and stepped right on my work boots. This twisted my ankle and sent me hurtling over a pile of pillows. This in turn, sent me crashing into the ironing board. I somehow felt my way around the ironing board only to smack right into the master bathroom door. After finishing my business in the bathroom, I retraced my steps, and again, walked into the ironing board, tripped over the pillows and stepped on my work boots.

When I got back into bed, I felt the mattress bouncing up and down. My wife was absolutely shaking with laughter.

Wife: What was that?
Me: What was what?

Wife: You know...that little ballet you did to the bathroom and back.

Me: It's dark.

Wife: And the thing before that...with the phone?

Me: What can I say. I'm not a morning person.

Wife: I'm sorry, but you had to see yourself. You looked like you were trying to put a square peg in a round hole..and, no matter what, you were bound and determined that it was going to fit!

Me: Oh, just go back to sleep.

I had almost fallen back to sleep, when I realized I had forgotten to set my alarm clock. When I reached over, I found that my wife had left a flash light on my night stand (sure, NOW I find it). I set the clock for 5:10 a.m. and flipped the switch to what I thought was the "alarm" setting:

(now BLASTING throughout the room)

I fumbled for the clock, and searched for the "snooze" button. My wife was now laughing so hard that she almost fell out of bed. I reached for a pen to write my job number down, but I couldn't remember...was it job C312 at 6:18 or C318 at 6:12 ? (I didn't dare mention this to my wife.)
At 5:10 a.m. my alarm clock rang. I woke up and started my day....
Older, but obviously not wiser.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Internet is like a box of chocolates...

...You never know what you might get.

I was surfing the net yesterday, when I stumbled upon a blog written by the Editors of Connecticut Magazine. I was delighted to find this post.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Just when I thought I'd heard it all...

While collecting tickets on my train on Saturday, I came upon a dad and his two young children. The kids, a brother and sister, seemed very excited to see me. This is pretty common especially since the popularity of The Polar Express movie. I think they half expected me to serve them hot chocolate, dance around and maybe a do a few back flips. I didn't want to totally disappoint them, so when I took their tickets I punched several holes in them just like the conductor in the movie. The dad smiled, pulled out his wallet and showed me his monthly commutation ticket. Being the trained professional I am, I noticed he had strategically placed his finger over the gender icon on the face of his ticket. Monthly passes are non-transferable, meaning that a ticket holder can't let anyone else (including their spouse) use their pass. A lot of passengers think that conductors are stupid and instead of paying for a ticket, they'll hide the M (male) or F (female) icon on their tickets and try to get a free ride.

"Sir," I said. "Can you please remove your finger so that I can see the whole ticket?"

The dad squirmed in his seat and reluctantly removed his finger. Sure enough, there was a big fat "F" printed at the top.

"Is that your ticket?" I asked.

"Yes it is." He said.

"Okay. There must have been an error when they printed your ticket. It's marked with an "F" for female. If you hand me your ticket, I'll cross out the "F" and write an "M" in its place."

"No," he said. "You can't do that."

He stood up and gave me a beckoning wave toward the vestibule. He then climbed over his daughter and stepped out into the aisle.  I followed him into the vestibule area, which was just out of his kid's earshot range. I expected him to give me one of the same old tired excuses.... something like, I picked up my wife's pass by accident or I took the wrong wallet or I just got out of jail and..etc....etc. But this guy surprised me.

"Conductor," he whispered. "The reason my pass is marked female is... I only dress as a male when I'm with my children. I usually dress as a woman."

I think my jaw hit the floor.

"Okayyyy!" I said, not knowing exactly what to say... "Have a seat."

When I relayed this story to my fellow conductors, they all burst out laughing. I, on the other hand, had to hand it to the guy. When you think about it, it took a lot of courage to admit that he was a cross dresser. I think if I were him, I would have just paid. Maybe I should petiton the railroad to add a new icon..."T" for transgender.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Elm City Blogging

Today, The New Haven Register did an expose' on the hot, happenin' blog scene, in and around the Elm City. Read it here.