So I had been warned that trains never run on time; and apparently these people who warned me didn’t lie. Have a cookie. My train was supposed to leave at 8:10pm; two hours later, I was still in Denver’s Union Station. At first I found this highly annoying, but then I started interacting with the people around me. Most notable were three guys I started talking to (and with whom I am now sitting with in the lounge car on the train) – I believe their names are Flowers, T-bone, and Microwave. Or at least something very close. They go to Wyoming Tech, a school I was not aware existed, and seem to want nothing more than to pretend they’re cowboys while admitting that they’re not cowboys. They’re from Illinois and ride lawnmowers. I must admit is was very odd to hang out with an 18, 19, and 20 year old, considering I spend most of my time at school making fun of undergrads. They definitely lived up to my expectations in terms of their attempts at dirty jokes, texting everyone in their cell phones, and fantasizing about beer. Resultantly, the first thing I did when I got on the train was to buy a beer for myself and drink it very slowly and enjoyable in front of them. I then allowed Microwave to drink my backwash. But they were cute little puppies.
One would think that boarding a train would be a boring process; this is true, up to the point that security is called to handle a belligerent passenger. I am proud to say that this passenger was not I. There was one noteworthy guy in a camo hat who was making the rounds in the Denver train station. He was odiferously drunk and rumor had it he had been there for two days. Everyone knew him by the time our train arrived. After causing a minor skirmish on the platform, Camo Hat settled down, only to be replaced by a large belligerent asshole, whom it was hard to identify as drunk or not – it could have gone either way. He would be unsubtly obnoxious and mouthy and then reply to every security confrontation with “No Comment” and “Do you know what ‘No Comment’ means”. After talking to security for 10 minutes with his crying wife, they let him on the train. So much for security.
In true form, immediately upon finding my seat, I parked my bags and then headed for the bar car. I managed to pick up the puppies along the way, as they were seated in a different car. We got to the snack car and found the bar was closing, but I sweet-talked a disgruntled Amtrak employee into opening the cooler for me so I could pay $4.50 for a Bud Light. At least I didn’t have to tap the Rockies. While suffering teenage sad faces as I cracked open my beer, I took much delight in making fun of the puppies for not noticing that Mr. Disgruntled Amtrak Employee failed to card me. Silly undergrads! Conversation progressed from comparing ring tones, to me teaching them what “binomial nomenclature” means and the difference between pterosaurs and dinosaurs, to them showing me how they painted their cell phones different colors in “Automotive detailing and finishing” class. Apparently I picked the wrong major. By midnight, I was no longer being entertained, and decided to go harass the person in the seat next to me for a few hours. I stretched out with my dinosaur pillow and Harry Potter blanket and thought I would never get to sleep.