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The Madera Tribune

A little train talk overheard

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webmaster | 11/20/13

I was listening to the radio the other day, and a woman was talking about her preferred mode of travel, which happened to be the train.

“I used to be a bus person,” she said, “until I discovered the train.” Then she went on about how the train was more comfortable than the bus, and safer, too. “You hardly ever hear about people being killed in a train wreck,” she said, “but people get killed in bus crashes all the time.”

Actually, that isn’t quite true. In all, just 345 died in bus crashes in the U.S. in 2012.

“Several dozen” were killed in train crashes, including those people who decided to step in front of moving trains. Some of those latter unfortunates were in Madera.

Outside the U.S., many more people die in rail accidents for the simple reason that many more people ride trains than they do in America. Many more also die in bus crashes outside the U.S. for the same reason. In the U.S., neither train nor bus seems safer.

One reason the woman on the radio preferred the train over the bus was that she could go get something to eat while the train was moving.

“The food is really bad,” she said, “but it is food.”

It turned out she was a “foodie,” a person who likes to tell other people how to eat.

“For example,” she told the radio host, “I almost never eat hot dogs, but the hot dogs on the train were the best thing they had, so that was what I ate. I don’t think having a hot dog once in a while is really all that bad, is it?”

She had just spent half an hour telling the radio host how awful hot dogs are. Then, there she was, confessing to having eaten one.

Why didn’t she just keep taking the bus and let temptation ride the train? Or was it that in taking the train, she could eat her hot dog and criticize it, too?


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