The following events happened to me on my way back from Thanksgiving Break during my sophomore year. I don’t know why I’ve waited so long to put in on The Rock but I’m sure you’ll enjoy it (or you’ll think I’m insane, maybe both) I don’t generally like to play make believe with random strangers, but I couldn’t pass this opportunity up.
I hate Amtrak trains. That’s one of the main reasons why I brought my car up to school (the other being I like to go to Target more than the average person). Amtrak trains break down far too often and this was one of those times.
After hearing that it would be forty-five minutes until the train would be running again, I ventured into the Café Acela to get a libation. I don’t usually do this, but I was watching The Lost Boys on my laptop and that movie is generally better when you’re state of mind is slightly cloudy.
The line for beverages was fairly long and a loud large man wearing a Giants jersey that didn’t fit him disrupted my peaceful wait. I don’t know what human being could fit into that jersey. Two or three of the people were listening to his story, but I noticed one man was shaking his head at him while covering both ears. This guy most definitely thought he was the man.
I received my beer after I presented my piece of plastic that showed that I was a fine resident of the Golden State. The cashier handed it to me with a friendly “have a good one Mr. California,” and I was going to go back to my seat to finish my movie. That plan was cut short after the King of Café Acela greeted me.
“So, what brings you to our side of the country” asked Mr. Giants jersey to yours truly. I stopped there for a second and thought about the potential repercussions of what I was about to do. But I couldn’t help myself, I had to play a prank on the man who disrupted my train of thought no less than five times while I was waiting on line.
“I’m headed up to Boston to audition for a play,” I told my new friend. “It’s an adaptation of a movie called The Departed, it won the Academy Award a couple years ago,” I said to him all whilst doing my best to keep my composure.
“Really, that’s awesome I love that movie,” he said, “what part are you going out for.“ “Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, I haven’t got the script yet so I don’t know much about it, ” I responded. I had to throw in the bit about the script because I realized I didn’t know any of the character’s names off the top of my head, but since The Departed was filmed in Boston I figured it was believable, at least to this guy.
We talked about West Coast vs. East Coast and baseball for a while and then to my surprise, he offered to buy me another beer. Now remember, this is aboard an Amtrak where everything is incredibly overpriced. I wasn’t in the Café Acela for very long, but I didn’t see the King buy anyone else a beer.
We talked some more and then I went back to my seat rather pleased with myself (might have been the beer). When he wished me good luck on my audition I had to stop myself from saying “for what,” but I remained in character.
Now I suppose some people may think what I did was wrong. I did get a free beer by being dishonest. But how was I supposed to know that this loud man wearing a football jersey at a place other than a bar or a football game would buy me a beer? A few years ago, I was told by a man at the Royal Canadian Military Institute to never pass up a free drink. To pass up this beer would mean I was blatantly disregarding sage advice. I’m bold, but not that bold.
You may be wondering what there is to be learned from this story. Sure it might just serve as an amusing encounter that I may never replicate, but I learned to never judge a man by his loud boasting voice and oversized football jersey. Who knows, he might buy you a beer.