June 7th, 2004

bunnymeat

Apathy: Can it increase YOUR lifespan?

On the train tonight I sat across from this big African-American late-middle-aged dude in a conductor's uniform. When he started talking I realized he was the personable conductor who makes funny announcements about not forgetting your bags and always welcomes tourists by shouting stuff like, "FRANCE is in THA HOUSE!!" into the intercom. I've noticed that while punching tickets, he also enjoys making occasional political rants about the sad state of the poor in America, the greatness of Bill Clinton, and how Dubya and the Republican Party are wrecking the country because they don't care about labor or race relations, although Mister Conductor is smart enough to save these speeches for the more appreciative audiences such as Democratic state delegations and fellow African-Americans.

Anyway he saw me reading my Archibald Cox book and asked me if it was any good. I said it was alright, as I am sure Mister Conductor Man-of-the-Common-People would have the same problems relating to Cox's 1930's St. Grottlesex upbringing that I am having, or worse. I told Mister Conductor about meeting Cox and he said, "When Nixon fired him, I crashed my car! I was drivin' on the New Jersey turnpike listening, and when I heard that from Nixon I had an accident right there!" I thought that was getting a bit overexcited about politics, but apparently it runs in his family, as he then started railing against the "deification" of Reagan and said, "My ahnt, she DIED damning Reagan! She was on the phone and she got so mad at Reagan, she had a heart attack and dropped dead on the spot!"