The Philadelphia High School for Girls has been, for the past 150 years, a public school that boasts a high-powered, college-bound 4-year program for all the best and brightest of the female high school age population. It is also known for graduating Life in the Boomer Lane back in January 1965. LBL has spent most of the 50 years since graduation proving that a sharp intellect and an outstanding education is still no guarantee that a human being can function adequately on the planet.
In an attempt to attend her 50-year high school reunion, LBL washed her hair, applied deodorant, and boarded a train from DC. The train ride from DC to Philly is normally fairly boring, but in this case, LBL was working on a mighty sizable real estate deal involving a property being marketed for several millions of dollars, and a 5PM deadline. She had another agent covering for her back at the office, but she was still involved via cell. At some point during the train ride, she called the agent helping her and was discussing all of the details that should be taken care of. While she was talking, the train came to a stop at a station. LBL casually asked the woman seated next to her which stop that was. It was Philly. LBL grabbed her laptop, her briefcase, her to-go coffee mug, and Kindle and ran to the door just as it closed. This was fortunate, since she had left her purse behind on the seat, and her inability to exit the train meant that her seatmate had the time to snatch up the purse and deliver it to her.
LBL pleaded with one of the conductors to reopen the door. His answer was “The train sat here for five minutes. What were you doing?” LBL didn’t think the conductor would be as enthusiastic as she was about the possibility of LBL earning a sizable commission, and so she said nothing. The train moved on toward Trenton. LBL stayed at the door, now afraid to sit down again. She carefully placed her laptop, her Kindle and to-go coffee mug into her briefcase.
She remained near the door, from Philly to Trenton. A woman coming into her car walked over to her and said “You are the woman who missed your stop, weren’t you?” LBL asked her how she knew that and the woman said, “The conductor is talking about you in the next car. Someone asked him if it happened because you were distracted, watching the scenery. He said no, that couldn’t be, because it was Philly. There was nothing to look at.”
LBL exited at scenic Trenton, and had to then wait for a train that would take her back to Philly. On the train, she seated herself across from a young man, who like her, looked, for all intents and purposes, to be in possession of a functioning brain. After LBL explained her mishap to the ticket taker (who said, “Oh, you are the one.”) the young man gave his ticket to the man and was told his was for a date other than Sunday. He exhibited a certain degree of surprise. It wasn’t clear whether he had bought a ticket for the wrong day or was travelling on the wrong day. Either way, the section in which he and LBL were seated was designated the transportation-challenged area of the train.
Finally arrived at 30th St Station in Philly, now only an hour off schedule, LBL opened her briefcase to retrieve her laptop. Her to-go coffee mug had flipped over and her laptop, file folder and all real estate transaction docs were now swimming in cold coffee. LBL hadn’t even reached her destination, and had already destroyed most of what she had been carrying.
LBL’s friend and fellow graduate picked her up at the train station, LBL now carrying a briefcase filled with soggy paper towels, compliments of the Auntie Annie’s pretzel kiosk in the train terminal. Next stop: The Reunion.