Some Craziness. Some Wisdom. Some Foolishness.

I guess that the editors of The Onion, the satyrical publication, would consider it a touchdown scored whenever one of their “stories” is mistaken for legitimate news and causes a stir, however short-lived.
 
I confess they got me a week or so ago when I came across a “news item” reporting that the Greyhound people were going to start offering premium seating on their buses for an extra fee. For a few minutes, it actually had me thinking that might be true. And that’s certainly an indication of just how crazy things have gotten in the travel business.

 
I enjoy poking around in a book of quotations. I don’t know which individual scores the most quotes-worth-preserving. Shakespeare, probably. No doubt it varies according to the preferences of whoever compiles them, but Mark Twain is always well represented. Here’s what he said about travel:
 
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.”
 
How true. And it reminds me once again that only about 40% of Americans own passports. That number has increased significantly in the past decade, but largely because since 9/11 we need passports for travel to Mexico and Canada.
 
Maybe we’re still arguing about high-speed rail in this country because so few Americans have ever actually experienced it.
 
Grade crossing accidents continue to be a problem everywhere in the country, and the city of Orangeburg, South Carolina, thinks it has an idea that could help. City officials have asked Norfolk Southern to slow their freights when passing through their town. Freights now pass through Orangeburg at close to 50 mph. But the railroad says research shows that slowing the trains actually increases the chances of grade crossing accidents.
 
Good heavens! Don’t we all know by now that the real problem is that people are killed or injured because they misjudge the speed and distance, and drive around barriers, past the flashing red lights and into the path of trains?