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K/W

February 25, 2008

I’m back in good ol’ Kitchener/Waterloo now, I’ll be throwing stories of the adventures up soon, as well as some – god forbid – more intellectually bent stuff I threw together on trains. However, I have a brief anecdote that I just can’t go to class without sharing – an experience of my train ride home.

It was on the Montreal – Toronto leg of the journey, a roughly 5.5-hour trip, and the car was pretty much packed. I was next to a very nice francophone lady who is spectacularly smarter than I will ever be (I peeked at her laptop screen; there were chemical formulas longer than fit on one line in Word all over the thing, as well as all sorts of ornate graphs and the like, combined with copious amounts of legalese. She was manipulating them as one familiar with what they meant, not someone who was just given output.) I was immersed in some bland escapist novel, the people next to me were listening to music. The train was doing train-things, mostly unconnected. We all became aware of the somewhat ominous groaning-buzzing-snorting noise at the same time. iPods were silenced, people emerged from their books and their magazines, their movies and their work, all poking heads up above seats trying to identify the noise. It came again. All of us, heads poking out of seats into common space, looked around. Grins were exchanged. The noise came again. Someone giggled. … A snicker or two. The noise came again, but louder still. The train lost it; people were out-and-out laughing, painful silent gales of mirth, rolling giggles, a few full-on howls of glee, and every time; every time we heard it, we just laughed harder. And every time, regardless of how hard we were laughing, the noise was louder than we were. I’ve never heard anything like it.

Poor man… Fall asleep on a train, and the entire car ends up laughing at you. I suppose it’s fair, though, when you snore like two race cars attempting forcible intercourse with a water buffalo.

Eventually, we controlled ourselves, and other than the occational giggle when a particular gasping roar from the man in the corner was louder than the usual, shockingly loud, snores, we kept ourselves in check. The man must’ve wondered why everyone was looking at him with a mixture of reverence, laughter, and pity as we filed past him to get off the train, though. We were just wondering how he managed to sleep through it.

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