Train Trash

Stop tapping on your laptop and get off the cell phone long enough to listen up: I know you don't like me riding your squeaky-clean Metrolink train because to you, I'm just Amtrak trash. No, I'm not wearing a suit and tie and polished shoes, or high heels and a swanky dress with full makeup and my hair done up for some '50s movie. Okay, so I don't sport a $65 haircut with a short back and sides so I can look like everybody else in the cubicles in LA. I carry a backpack instead of a briefcase. I sip coffee from my thermos and stare out the window and dream, instead of trading on the NY Stock Exchange at 7:30 a.m. I slug a beer from a bag on the afternoon commute and talk with another human being who is physically present about something besides mortgages, investments and lawsuits, instead of treating all the other passengers on the car to a one-way conversation about money shouted into a portable phone. I sometimes even offend you by reading poetry instead of the requisite Wall Street Journal. Or David Foster Wallace instead of Tom Clancy. But count your blessings—at least I'm unlikely to be Mexican, black or Native American, since it's less likely any of them graduated from law school or business school at USC. And you won't have to put up with gaggles of noisy school kids all revved up to get off at the Disneyland stop. And above all, unlike Amtrak, there is no bar or caf car on Metrolink, so no need to worry about impromptu happy hours or the proletarian odor of microwaved hot dogs. So get back to your conference call, tap happily away on your 3-pound laptop and shuffle those papers in your briefcase. Don't worry: I'm not headed all the way into Union Station from my mini-estate in north San Diego County; way before that stop, I'll be "detraining" in Orange County.

Send anonymous thanks, confessions or accusations—changing or deleting the names of the guilty and innocent—to "Hey, You!" c/oOC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-0247, or e-mail us at

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