Monday, August 11, 2008

Getting Away From Point A

Getting Away From Point A

What the hell is wrong with transportation in America? We're the greatest nation on the planet. We built The Hoover Dam, the atom bomb, and invented Big Mac, and yet we can't build or maintain transportation infrastructure that is not ridiculously expensive, uncomfortable, or slow.

Let's say you have to go somewhere. No wait, that's not right. Let's say your father has to go somewhere. He has a business meeting in some other state and he works to keep his deadbeat son alive. He can't tell you to get out of the house because he isn't that kind of guy and he knows that if he did his only son would be sucking dick in an alley somewhere in exchange for credits in World of Warcraft. He goes to bed every night wondering what he did wrong raising you all those years.

So anyway, your dad is going on a business trip. What type of transportation is he going to take? That depends on how long, painful, and expensive he wants it to be.

By Car

The hot button issue these days is gasoline prices. Dad can't understand why he has to spend so much on gas while sand African Americans in those loser countries are getting rich because they happen to fart crude oil. Every night at family dinner time, an event that mom has to pry you away from your guild raid to attend, dad bitches about gas prices and how we should nuke those sand African Americans off the face of the planet and take all their oil.

At this point dad is already pretty pissed about his drive to meet with some jackass who runs a box factory so he can talk about merging synergy paradigms or some bullshit just to earn a paycheck and keep his loser son off the streets. Despite the high cost of gas, driving is still a pretty awful experience.

Some states have passed hands-free cell phone laws in order to make driving safer. You can still text and talk on the phone, as long as you don't put the phone up to your ear. Balancing it on your knee and trying to figure out how to enable speaker mode at 90 MPH is a much safer way to talk while driving. And the only reason he has to use the phone is to call that jackass at the box factory to let him know he's going to be late because he hit bumper-to-bumper traffic, which gives him time to think about what a disappointment his son is.

By now dad is getting pretty tired from all the stress driving, his career, his fat wife, and his pockmarked son give him. He's starting to nod off. He's unable to keep his eyes on the road. Just a couple seconds to rest his eyes won't hurt. He's slipping into slumber and BAM! Dad is dead. Slammed head on into the center divider. All because he didn't use a condom.

To avoid such a tragic fate, dad should weigh his options for his business trip, or invent a time machine, go back 28 years, and push his newlywed wife down a flight of stairs.

The reason why my grandfather stopped flying.

By Plane

In order to fly dad will have to arrive at the airport three hours early just to catch his flight and it will be delayed another three hours because of rogue fleas hijacking the plane. Before boarding he will be subjected to all manner of probing and prodding by airport security. He will exclaim, "Hey! I'm no towel head! Why are you searching me?! Spread open Ali Baba's buttcheeks over there instead!" nine times before he actually gets to his seat.

The stress of flying is causing dad's blood pressure to rise dramatically. There are screaming babies. A kid is kicking his seat. His business expense account only covers the cost of a coach seat. He could have afforded an upgrade to first class but his son runs five separate PCs to play five separate characters in five different MMOs, which makes for a very high electricity bill. This makes dad so mad that he wants to strangle his son and break his computers, but he remembers how his dad used to beat him and he swore he would never turn into that kind of father.

During the flight his leg will cramp up and a clot will form because of the cramped conditions, stopping the flow of blood to his heart and triggering a heart attack. The plane will be forced to make an emergency landing in Delaware, but not before he is pronounced dead in the air. All because he didn't use a condom.

By Train

Before the weight of the world, and the weight of his wife, crushed his dreams, dad used to take the train with his family when he was a kid, back when that sort of thing was still in vogue. The memories from that bygone era instilled in him a sense of nostalgia, so he decided to take the train to his big business meeting with that son of a bitch at the box factory.

The agency that runs national rail operations in the United States is Amtrak, which stands for complete and utter shit. Amtrak is mostly subsidized by the government and railfans. About half the people riding on Amtrak trains aren't really going anywhere for any particular reason. They are old farts with a pension and too much time on their hands, and white trash.

Well, they get an A for effort.

But it was comfortable. Dad's coach class seat was like a first class seat on a plane. He could get up, walk around, and shake out the clots in his legs. The gentle rocking motion of the train helped him fall asleep, and he dreamed of the time he tried to connect with his loser son. Dad bought him a video game that they could play together, but it was the wrong game, and his son yelled at him for buying it and chastised him for being so lame. It was The Incredible Hulk, and it wasn't even two-player, but dad didn't know that and the guy at the store never told him.

Dad awoke with a shudder and tried to figure out how much further it would be to his destination. They were supposed to be in Chicago an hour ago and they were only in Galesburg. Knowing that he would be late for the meeting and lose the big account and be fired, dad retreated to the lavatory and hanged himself with his own belt. As his brain was deprived of oxygen, his last thoughts were of his son and how he failed him. He was discovered at Chicago Union Station and pronounced dead at the scene. All because he didn't use a condom so many years ago.

Maybe I'm overstating the effects of America's transportation infrastructure on white-collar guys with fat wives and disappointing sons who would rather go on a dungeon raid than a panty raid. But the fact is, America's transportation options will kill you without remorse.

The Solution?

How do we fix it? First of all, don't have kids. For every Heisman Trophy winner sperm in your balls there are a million unemployed loser sperm. Every time you screw a fat girl with low self-esteem without a condom you're playing Russian roulette with your dick, only instead of bullets, it shoots out a lifetime of misery.

Otherwise, dad would do well for himself to vote for better transportation options in America. Tell dad to write his congressman and demand electrified trains, nuclear power, and legalized marijuana. These three things will fix most, if not all, of the problems in this country.

I once asked my grandfather what trains were like when he was a kid and he told me, "I'll tell ya, kid, they sucked then and they suck now. And fuck you for asking." Then I asked him why trains suck and he told me, "We drop the bomb on these Jap bastards and 20 years after the war is over they're building bullet trains through rice paddies and soy sauce. Give me the good ol' American highway system over some nip train, kid. Now get the hell out of my sight before I beat the queer out of you!"

I'm more attracted to this map than I am to most women.

As my grandpa demonstrated, trains have not been thought highly of in the United States. They are outdated and slow, unable to compete with the automobile, jet, Power Wheels, or personal canine transport. The only thing close to a high speed train, the Acela Express, has been heralded as the next generation of rail travel but in reality it runs on last generation's TGV technology. Amtrak bought that train at France's garage sale and runs it on depression-era tracks.

The Federal Railroad Administration has designated several corridors where high speed rail service might flourish. Of course, there's no money to build any of these lines, but hey, that map still gives me a boner.

The only high speed rail corridor that stands a chance of getting built within the next 50 years is in California. This November all eyes will be on Proposition 1, which would provide roughly 10 billion dollars to start construction on a high speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco. If Proposition 1 passes, and it won't, it may pave the way for high speed corridors in other states. One day we may even surpass countries such as Spain, China and Turkey when it comes to high speed trains!

In order to power all these crazy trains we'll need nuclear power plants. France is 70% nuclear and has not become a smoldering crater, so it pains me to see stupid hippies get up in arms about nuclear power because I'm pretty sure France still exists.

Nothing has been more damaging to nuclear power's image in America than The Simpsons, probably because people are stupid. We have plenty of space to store volatile nuclear waste and a few deformed babies are a small price to pay for 220 MPH trains speeding between our nation's crime-ridden whore-infested metropolises. As Tim Allen would say, we need more power!

And finally, legalize marijuana. Because let's face it, you may have ridden a bullet train in your life, but you have you ever been on a bullet train... on weed???

Now there's something dad and his hopeless son can finally enjoy together.

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