Whimsy On Caltrain 159

Conductors sometimes like to have fun when calling out stops but one conductor on Thursday’s 159 decided to regale the passengers by using funny accents when calling out the stops. At first it was amusing but as the trip progressed it started grating on the nerves. In the car I was riding in, passengers began to wonder what was going on. Was the guy stoned, drunk, or just crazy? I opined that perhaps he was just bored going up and down the line calling out the stops and decided to have some fun.

When the train pulled into San Francisco, the conductor decided to switch to an Irish brogue and give us a limerick. By this time I think many had quite enough and were racing to the exits before he decided to switch back to the child voice he had used earlier (the one that reminds you of Willy Wonka played by Johnny Depp). The conductor, an assistant I think, is usually decked out in the full Amtrak uniform. As I walked towards the exit, I saw him and the senior conductor assisting a passenger being unloaded on the lift. He seemed perfectly normal scotching the idea he was either drunk or high on narcotics.

As for a career in impressions, I recommend the conductor do not give up his day job. Leave that to experts like Rich Little. And he should remember there is a degree of professionalism his job requires. When he pulls stunts like this, people will wonder whether to take him seriously when it really matters.