You Couldn’t Make This Stuff Up!

Sunday night one week ago, I was in Amtrak’s Metropolitan Lounge in Chicago’s Union Station waiting to board the Lake Shore Limited, when the following announcement came over the room’s public address system:

              “Your attention, please. Amtrak announces 
              the boarding of train number 393, the Alumni …”

Huh?? Train 393 is actually the Illini and the marvelous boo-boo had not been lost on my companion and  fellow NARP* board member, Dave Randall, who was staring at me open-mouthed. Then we both began laughing.

A slip of the tongue, surely, we said. Or perhaps we had just mis-heard the announcement, since no one else had taken notice and conversations throughout the room were going on without interruption.

If our ears had not deceived us, however, we agreed it would make a wonderful story with which to regale our NARP colleagues as soon as we reached Buffalo. And so we waited for the inevitable.

Sure enough, five minutes later, the PA system came to life again:

              “Your attention please. This is the final boarding 
              announcement for Amtrak train number 393, the Alumni …”

The trouble with things like this …. you don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

*National Association of Railroad Passengers