What Happens in the Acela Quiet Car Stays in the Acela Quiet Car, Unless Twitter is Involved

Yesterday I traveled from New York City to Philadelphia on the train, specifically Amtrak’s Acela high-speed train. The comparent I ended up sitting in was the “Quiet Car,” i.e., the one in which you don’t use your cell phone to make calls and otherwise keep things down to a murmur. Naturally, I went on Twitter to joke about it:

But then something strange began to happen:

And then, my friends, it got nuts:

Seriously.

34 thoughts on “What Happens in the Acela Quiet Car Stays in the Acela Quiet Car, Unless Twitter is Involved

  1. I’m guessing that they put something in the Coke Zero on the quiet car. Or perhaps Scalzi deviated across to the mirror universe where he drinks Pepsi Max

  2. I knew there was a reason I never got involved with Twitter (besides a complete lack of free time ). Seeing those posts would NOT have been condusive to dealing with clients yesterday afternoon.

  3. I think this means your next novel must be written on the Acela Quiet Car, from which you, like poor Charlie on the MTA, may never return (until the manuscript is finished, at least.)

  4. You couldn’t even get through a short “quiet car” ride without acting like a 12-year-old, could you?

  5. Having actually been on the quiet car, what really happens is someone on the car burps and everyone else gives them the Stare of Death. I’d’ve been tempted to liven the place up a bit too.

  6. Hilarious!

    And @Peter Cashwell — thx. Now I have that damn song stuck in my head. “He may ride forever ‘neath the streets of Boston, he’s the man who never returned…” Argh. It takes me days to get it out once it’s in….damn you! ;)

  7. Speaking strictly as someone who rides Amtrak ONLY in the quiet car, and will shoot poison darts into anyone whose phone even vibrates, I must admit that if people spontaneously broke into song and pulled out instruments, I would probably enjoy it, and assist in barricading the door so the people in the noisy cars couldn’t come in and share it.

  8. I lost it at “vuvuzelas” and coffee came out my nose. Excellent work, Sir! Best laugh of my day!

  9. Personally, I think there are never enough performances of Merrily We Roll Along. (And a new cast album, based on the recent Encores! concert, is arriving in July. W00t!)

  10. I would pay good money to see a declaim-off between Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, with or without a train car being involved at any point.

  11. Kinda boring morning at work. Came home for lunch. Fired up the computer, as is my wont. Checked Whatever first, of course. ROFL. I’m laughing for lunch. Thank you!

  12. John,

    I had a different song running through my head reading this. If you haven’t heard “Acela” by Fountains of Wayne, I suggest giving it a listen.

  13. Indeed, Mr. Scalzi? [insert Raised Eyebrow of Dubiousness here] One rather suspects that you are playing a trifle fast and loose with the truth. Again. Have you ever considered a career as a writer of fantastic fiction?

  14. Taiko drumming FTW — I would probably pay good money to see many of those things, Quiet Car notwithstanding. I have been the recipient of the Stare of Death for an ill-timed snicker; the Quiet Car is a cross between a research library and a funeral parlor.

  15. Amy Thompson:
    Indeed, Mr. Scalzi? [insert Raised Eyebrow of Dubiousness here] One rather suspects that you are playing a trifle fast and loose with the truth.

    I totally agree. There’s not enough TIME to perform all of Merrily We Roll Along between NY and Philly. Much less the other stuff. Sheesh.

    Lucid Tatters: Try replacing it with Bobbie and Jackie and Jack.

  16. The event that caused me to switch to first class whenever possible was a trip from Doncaster to Peterborough where a group in the quiet car started up a game of bingo, handing out cards and everything. They seemed quite offended when I asked them to hold it down.

  17. “a group in the quiet car started up a game of bingo,”

    Hmm. What extras are needed for Silent Bingo…actually, it’s just a bunch of signs. Twenty of them, I think. This could work…

  18. Wow, I’ve never heard of New Jersey (or even Amtrak) having that effect on people before. That quiet car must be something special.

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