SONNET OF GRIPES
Dear Rude Rock Island Lady,
Your behavior while riding the 4:57 p.m. train to Joliet is atrocious! How do I not love it? Let me count the ways...
1. You are not the boss of others. Consider asking them to do something instead of ordering them. “Please” is a good word for you to use – learn it.
2. Screaming profanities at someone when they leave the lavatory door open is just rude! How about respecting parents and others by NOT swearing at the top of your voice? It’s called self-control – humans can exercise it.
3. Your preferred seat does NOT belong to you. Your name is neither embroidered upon it nor is there a sign designating that any such seat is reserved for you! Your fare guarantees a ride – not a specific seat.
4. I have heard your remarks when folks with canes or crutches have asked to sit in the fold-down seats due to their medical condition. Please, people, remember: Many illnesses, conditions and injuries can’t be noticed. Talking with other fellow passengers leads to more info, more knowledge and hopefully, more human compassion for our fellow riders!
Lots to take in here but the final message is simple: be kind to each other. Good advice.
I love riding Metra, but there is something that bothers me and has even confused me sometimes. Why is it that the Union Pacific lines run on left-hand-side unlike the rest of the lines? This isn’t Britain!
The explanation for the left-hand running of the UP lines goes way back, more than a hundred years back, before Metra was created. The most plausible theory is that the lines originally had a single track, with the depots on the left side (as you head downtown). When a second track was added, it was easiest to put it to the right of the first track, because the depots were taking up space on the left side. But the first track remained the inbound track, because a) the depots were all on that side, and you want the sheltered waiting areas for inbound riders because most people waiting at the station are heading downtown, and b) the railroad didn’t want or couldn’t afford to move them or build overpasses or underpasses.