Thursday, July 14, 2011

Train tag

When I was a kid we lived on the outskirts of a nascent industrial park/declining military base. Consequently, there was a freight train line that serviced the area. Since we were pretty much at the end of the line the train was moving at a snail's pace by the time it got to us.

That's right friends and neighbors, the railroad company was veritably begging the neighborhood rats to mount their bicycles and engage in a friendly game of train tag. And no, we didn't wear helmets.

Now this was in the days before high tech trains so there was still a brakeman riding in the caboose who's sole job was yelling at the game participants which was interpreted to be the railroad equivalent of "hey you kids, get off my lawn."

There really weren't a lot of rules to the game but I remember there were three very important rules. The first involved convincing the locomotive engineer to give us half a toot on his train horn. The second was throwing rocks at the brakeman. But the third rule was sacrosanct, inviolable and adhered to without exception to wit, when the train comes through get off the goddamn track!

Other than that, game on!


  1. LOL at the 'sacrosanct' rule..! It is a rule applicable in other areas in life and to fail to adhere to it brings the same disastrous results!

  2. Neighborhood rats who didn't adhere to the rules were, shall we say, removed from the roles fairly quickly.