The Platform Shuffle

Got to the station a few minutes early today to beat the rain.

I was waiting for the 8:16 today–a train furthermore known as the “underachievers’ train,” thanks to Peter Applebome–when the loudspeaker at the station came on around 8:12.

Announcements are extremely rare, and it’s never good news; it seems you only hear them in case of delays caused by a blizzard or flood or something.

“Ladies and gentlemen, there is a track change. The 8:16 express to New York will arrive on Track 2.”

Track changes are generally handled with grace and aplomb by the fine folks of Hawthorne. We have two tracks and a lone platform between them; switching tracks means turning your body 180 degrees. So that’s what we did.

A moment later, a second announcement came on, saying the exact same thing.

8:16 came and went, and no train on Track 2 or Track 1.

8:19, another announcement.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please disregard the previous announcement. The 8:16 express to New York will arrive on Track 1.”

Everyone on the platform then turned away from the crappy old station house and cab shack, and back toward the environmental supply company (and the banner offering “Sweet Peat”), and the dance studio on the top floor of the shed (slogan: Where the Fun Never Sets.)

8:21, the underachievers’ train indeed rolled in on its familiar Track 1.  

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