Humor by Chason Gordon. See below.
I remember being in the country. The first issue at hand was stopping the train. You might think this required an obstruction, like a barrel filled with explosives, a woman tied to the track, or a cow wearing a sign, but any good train robber is preceded by his reputation.
So there I stood with a boot on the track and a gun in the air. My long coat swung in the wind and my top hat shielded me from the harsh sun, which broke off my pocket watch in sharp slivers of light. The conductor immediately knew by my appearance that I was a professional train robber, and that it was in his interest to bring the locomotive to a halt, so we could dispense with the business at hand.
When I stepped onto the train, as though it was meant to pick me up, I coolly said, “Gentlemen, this is a robbery. Kindly inform your passengers to have their valuables ready when I pass. No harm will be given that was not deserved.” They stared at me quietly.
I walked by the passengers as one does admiring a bed of flowers, delicately placing the jewels and wallets in my leather bag and even giving compliments to the ladies’ fine taste in jewelry. “It hurts me to take this piece from you madam,” I remarked, “as it a rare Edwardian production, but it would hurt me more to pass it by.” To another I said: “I see your husband spoils you. His kindness I’m sure will not be affected by this superficial loss.” I continued to the next car, and faintly heard one of them say, “Why is he talking like that?”
One scurrilous woman tossed her wine in my face, but she being of the gentler sex, I did not give in to harsh retribution. I merely dabbed my countenance with a silken handkerchief and quipped, “Yes, 1867 was a good year for wine.”
With any train robbery, there is always the occasional holdout who wants to look tough. Such vagrants must be handled with a dignified severity. On this particular outing, a burly mustached man stared me down and figuratively suggested that I “Go to hell.”
I was very humble in my response. “Sir, the lateral thoracic artery plays a significant role in the human body. It supplies oxygenated blood to the thorax, an essential function for the continued success of the heart. I have a knife I purchased not three days past from a gypsy in Bangladesh, which is curved at the precise angle to sever the artery and disrupt nearly every function of the human body, including your ability, foolish though it is, to stand up to a very dangerous man. I ask that you simply hand over your valuables, so that we may avoid this very nasty lesson in human anatomy.”
“Alright dude, fine. Jesus Christ. What the fuck’s wrong with you?” My bag grew heavier still!
After shepherding the valuables from their victims’ pockets to the safe depths of my leather bag, I looked for the bank vault car, but it mysteriously eluded me. So I grabbed a clerk and sternly said, “My good man, where’s the gold?”
“What gold?” he slyly responded. “Trains don’t carry gold anymore.”
I placed my knife at his throat. “Do not lie to me sir! I have it on good word that Mr. Bircham of the Tennessee Savings Bank is transferring various bars to his central location, as well as jewels and rubies from the shores of the Nile.”
“You mean the luggage car?”
A crowd began to gather around me, not threatening, but curious. Many questions came my way. “Dude why are you dressed like a 19th century tranny? Who robs a fucking train? Why are you talking like Daniel Day Lewis?”
I ignored their attempts to undermine my robbery and focused on the clerk. “Sir, to the gold. I’m sure you Pinkertons have employed the finest of metals in your safe, but my hands are swift and my ear can detect the slightest click. The thickest of polymers will not keep me out.”
The clerk stared at me. “Sir, this is an Amtrak train. We’re supposed to arrive in Pittsburgh in an hour. I’d be happy to help you out when we get to the station.”
“Ah! So Bircham has his gold at the station! Your clever tongue betrayed you.”
“What is your name?”
“Mr. Swoosh, are you drunk?”
“Ok. Let’s get you home.”