The Mount Pleasant Chronicles

We just stopped in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Actually we’ve been very close to the printed timetable so far (other than starting about 15 minutes late). Some stops are just for 2-3 minutes. Mt Pleasant was a little longer, and now I know why.

The station was on my side of the train, and I was idly watching the people standing around in the snow waiting to board the train (while talking on my Sprint PCS phone in a conference call with my mom and my brother) when I noticed a couple of police officers moving forcefully through the people toward the train. Our train pulled away a few minutes later and the Conductor came on the speaker to explain what happened. One of the passengers had become intoxicated and “didn’t hold his liquor well,” and so at the next stop the Conductor had the local police remove the drunk guy from the train. Not only did he lose his ticket and his trip, but he will be banned from future Amtrak travel, according to the Conductor, who also used this opportunity to emphasize that “if you don’t hold your liquor well” you would be facing a similar treatment.

So in a sense it’s almost like being a part of Railroad Survivor, to see who makes it to the end of the journey without screwing up. I will say that all the people I’ve come into contact with so far (Faye, our Sleeping Car Attendant; my neighbors across the hall; the Conductor that punched my ticket in a genial way) have been friendly and easy to get along with. Then again, I’m not drunk.


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