Today, I needed to buy something train related for a work thing. I could explain why, but you’d stop caring well before I finished. The main thing is I kept putting it off until we’ve gotten to the point where I’m running out of time to purchase something train-ish. At first, I thought the idea of Hobo chalk would be funny but maybe that’s because I’m a fan of John Hodgman and I saw that one episode of Mad Men. The thing is, my item will go into a basket of similarly themed items that will be auctioned off, and I thought sidewalk chalk with a shoddily made label proclaiming it “Hobo chalk” might not be a reference everyone would find as amusing as I do. I’m not even sure it would make sense.
I thought I’d get a copy of Strangers on a Train, which would be sort of theme related, but it’s also good on its own. I checked a couple of places where I might be able to buy a classic movie. The key word, though, is “might.” It’s a long shot because the first place I’d try to get it would be online, but I don’t have that kind of time. So, I checked Hastings with no luck and was left with Target.
First of all, I feel like if you’re going to have signage claiming you have great movies at great prices, you should not have Center Stage displayed beneath it. I’ll let Troop Beverly Hills slide because I was once nine years old and thought that was fine comedy. But I have seen Center Stage. I saw it in the theatre as a matter of fact, and my friends and I enjoyed it immensely…just not in the way we were supposed to. If we’re talking about awesomely bad movies, it’s a fine choice. You have to put great in quotation marks, though.
That one quibble aside, I almost thought I would pull it off. They have a small classics section with a couple of Hitchcock films, but they didn’t have the one I needed. I scanned the section twice, walked through the entire movie section, and then went back to the classics. Strangers on a Train still wasn’t there, but maybe they’d have The Great Train Robbery. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles? Or…those are really the only train related movies I’ve heard of, and none of them were on the shelves.
There were movies about planes and cars and Speed was handy if only I needed something bus related. One movie had a trolley on the cover, which seemed to be taunting me with how much it’s almost a train. I discovered that there are quite a few transportation-based films out there, but none of them was related to the one I needed. A quick trip through the books and then the magazines convinced me that trains are woefully under represented in popular culture for adults. What happened to the glory of riding the rails? I mean, that’s mostly the self-pity talking because I couldn’t tell you where the nearest train station is. If I had to guess, though, I’d say Atlanta.
Now, I was in that mood where I was determined to buy something just to have done with it. Here’s where a liberal arts degree comes in handy because I remembered a quote from The Importance of Being Earnest : “I never travel without my diary. One must always have something sensational to read on the train.”
I picked up a gender neutral black journal to which I hope to find a relatively untacky way to attach said quote (Just long enough make the connection clear. It will also be easily removable.) I also grabbed a copy of Hot Fuzz for myself. Done and done!