On long train rides through the countryside of Vleeptron, we like to pass the time by playing the game that begins "I Love My Love With an A Because She's Avaricious." Then the next person: "I Love My Love With a B Because He's Avaricious and Beatific." And so on, until some poor schlub can't remember every adjective that preceded the new letter.
A few years ago, on Olde Vleeptron, we had a rousing game of "I Love My Love" with several of our more talented visual artists drawing the next round, and we got up to about here. I've had to go into Olde Vleeptron lately and found several images I liked, like this one, which I've cleaned up a bit. The theme of that game was "Monster Love," and every image contained some sort of Monster with which the artist was in love. Here the Vleeptron Interurban Medium Velocity Express (VIMVE) is about to drive directly into the mouth of a Smilodon. That's the only problem with riding trains on Vleeptron, sometimes a Smilodon is waiting to eat the train.
3 Pieces Square White Pizza: Who is the famous Lady Passenger on the VIMVE?
It is strange how much I love trains and get happier and happier the longer the train ride is, and how much I have come to hate airplanes and get unhappier and sicker the longer I have to fly on them and get pushed around and barked at and given the hairy eyeball by people with guns and badges who never quite graduated from high school in large airports.
Ferries and ocean-going ships also make me very happy, the longer the better, even when the seas are rough and the passengers and crew are weeping and vomiting (Bay of Fundy, circa 1991).
I've ridden a couple of coal-burning steam trains. When one of them finished its lovely trip, I think I humiliated my companion when I went up to the engineer to ask a favor. My companion, and the engineer immediately knew what I was going to ask. The engineer was happy to let me blow the whistle.
Back in the passenger cars, passengers get hot ash and soot on their faces and in their eyes -- not enough to blind or blister anybody, but it's quite a startling and unexpected travelling experience from the past. If your steam train has stopped at a station and you want to shave, the engineer will be happy to turn a tap on the boiler of the engine and fill a metal container with boiling water for you, and then -- if there's a mirror, and there often are on platform vending machines -- you can shave before it's time to board again. I've never done it myself, but I saw a guy do it while he was riding steam trains through India.
If you like train travel, please lock the door securely while using the lavatory, so innocent passengers waiting to use the lavatory do not accidentally open the door and see a perfect stranger taking a whiz. We thank you for your cooperation.
As kids, we used to sing this to the tune of Dvorak's "Humoresque":
Passengers will please refrain
From flushing toilets while the train
Is standing in the station, I love youuuuuuuu
We encourage constipation
While the train is in the station
How I love your bonnie eyes of bluuuuuuuuuue
One odd thing about the railroads of Vleeptron is that they were not built by slaves or desperate immigrants or convicts. All the railways of Vleeptron were built entirely by Aristocrats and Enormously Wealthy People. It was brutal, dangerous, backbreaking work, and many Enormously Wealthy and Powerful Aristocrats lost their lives blasting railroad tunnels through the Firm and Perky Mountains, but they got the job done, and all the Rich Aristocrats received discount rail passes for the rest of their lives.
The engineer who let me ride in the cab, press several not unimportant buttons, and toot the horn for at-grade crossings for several hours through the Manitoba wilderness during the night was named Dennis, and the fireman was named Dennis. This was a diesel, we were beyond the electric rail grid, this was like in the Middle Of Nowhere. I hope both of them won the Manitoba Lottery the next week. Or have received Knighthoods.
If you do not like to ride on trains, or in the cabs of trains deep in the night, or toot the horns on trains, Please Do Not Leave A Comment.