If you’re crazy and you know it, ride Amtrak

Then sit next to me going and coming back

If you’re crazy and you know it

You’re fucking weird habits will show it

If you’re crazy and you know it, ride Amtrak.

Which is my sing-song way of telling you, that both going to and coming back from DC this weekend, I had the unfortunate luck of having the craziest people in the train (and possibly the world) come and sit down next to me. Both ways. One time it’s funny. The second time you feel like bludgeoning someone to death, or at least into silence, is a distinct option.

First crazy lady: New York to DC. She’s a bit frowsy. Bit lumpy. But we dont’ hold that against her. She hurriedly throws her stuff down and whips out a few sheets of colorful paper, and begins to wrap presents. Ok, I think, that is normal. Maybe some Easter gifts for relatives. But she’s done wrapping within a matter of seconds, and begins hurriedly applying LOTS of makeup. We’re talking the works here. Ok, I think, she’s looking to impress someone. We’ve all been there, right ladies? Out come the bottles of prescription meds. I can’t read the bottles, but there are lots of them and multiple pills of various forms are selected and gobbled down like Skittles. Then begins her getting up to go to the bathroom and apply more makeup. Over the course of the trip she does this about half a dozen times. And I’m thinking, if you just applied it in the seat, what can you possibly be doing in the bathroom? She wasn’t in there long enough for the toilet or anything. In and out. In and out. A fresh coat of powder on an already crazy face. So I put on my huge fuck-off-and-leave-me-be headphones ($20, RadioShack, the best investment of the year thus far) and doze off. When I wake up, she’s fighting with the girl across the aisle from us for some reasone I can’t quite understand, and the poor bewildered girl is going “I have no idea what you’re talking about, lady!” Crazy woman #1 got off in Baltimore. Make of that what you will.

Second crazy lady: DC to New York. I picked up and resumed reading my book (the very good “And Then We Came to the End” by Joshua Ferris) a small child flew through the air and landed with a THUD in the seat next to me. Her mother, with wild hair, and far-too-tight sweatsuit said “Shut up and sit down a minute.” FUCK NO. I couldn’t move though. The train was full and I was seated next to the window, trapped. The mother, who had boarded the train at the last moment, began to complain loudly about the fact that she and her toddler couldn’t get a seat together. Well, I thought, maybe get on the train a few minutes before it leaves, idiot. The woman didn’t stop complaining….from DC to Delaware. Bitch bitch, moan moan. I want a seat together. I was stuck, because if I could have gotten away from her, trust me I would have. The seat on the opposite aisle was open, where she could have sat and still held her daughter’s hand across the aisle, but NO, that wasn’t good enough. She complained SO LOUDLY (“I will never ride Amtrak another day in my life” – FINE, GOOD RIDDANCE!) I wanted to throw her from the train, “Charade”-style. The very patient Amtrak worker finally got them a seat together around Baltimore and the mother threw her child into another seat.

Dear Crazy People, if you see me, and I’m the girl usually in the sweatshirt wearing the giant headphones….please sit elsewhere. Or I might bludgeon you into silence.

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