A few weeks ago, after a grueling meeting working on TCOYF fertility app updates with my partners in Bellingham, Washington, I was looking forward to the relaxing train ride back to my home in Seattle. But a minute before it was supposed to arrive in the station, they announced that boulders had crashed onto the tracks between the two cities, so they’d need to send ahead a bunch of equipment on a rig to clear it first. At this point, I’m starting to panic a bit, because I didn’t have dinner, and now I’m envisioning the train stuck for hours and hours with no food to eat. So I do the only respectable thing a health educator would do in my situation: I buy a stale Snickers bar from the vending machine in the station, drawing the line on the other assorted and sundry junk food.
Finally, 45 minutes later, the train pulls in, so all seems right with the world. But after riding for 10 minutes, it came to a screeching halt for an hour while they tried to deal with the boulders ahead of us. So I head back to the dining car, and am greeted with a delightful choice of either a microwaved hot dog, hamburger, or macaroni and cheese. Mmm, mmm, mmmmmmm. Decide on the macaroni and cheese, figuring how can they really destroy that, right? Wrong. It really shoulda’ been served in a mug, because the amount of grease and melted cheese it was swimming in nearly cascaded off the lovely flat foil plate it came on, with nary a piece of pasta to be found. So what did I do? I went back and bought a bag of Tim’s cascade potato chips to soak up the grease in my upset stomach, of course . . . because nothing says a healthy dinner quite like oily macaroni and cheese and potato chips.
While back there eating (nay, drinking) my dinner in the dining car, they announced that it might take several more hours to clear the boulders, so they reversed the train back to Bellingham again. It’s two hours later now, and they tell us that they’ve called a bus, but it won’t be there for at least another hour. And they have no idea when the train will get the all-clear to leave the station again.
Hmmm . . . what to do, what to do? So I befriend three utterly charming gay men and ask them if they’d like to share an Uber with me down to Seattle. Great idea, except 150 other passengers have the same bright idea. So after waiting around in the dark and cold for another hour, our own Uber finally arrives, and off we go. Only problem is that the driver was a clearly older and socially conservative man, and when these guys start going on about their respective husbands, I’m convinced that he is going to pull over and throw us out in the middle of the night to fend for ourselves. OK, maybe that was an exaggeration, and in fact he was actually fine with them being gay. As for myself, I had a wonderful conversation with them the whole way down.
The next day, my business partners in Bellingham emailed me to ask if I had enjoyed my evening. Um, yeah, kinda yes. Kinda not. 🙂