When an Entire Train Collapsed in Giggles

April 29, 2013

There are some Big People in the Midwest. On this particular evening train, most of the twin seats are occupied fully by one person to every two seats.

I eventually find a spot and settle in for a good half-hour read on my commute home.


About halfway there, I am startled by a massive snort. I look up, look around. Did that come from the man in front of me? I meet eyes with the man across the aisle; he raises an eyebrow, and I smirk. I return to my book.

Suddenly, the snort returns, but this time it is prolonged, sustained, ravenous in its growling-ness. The rumbling is certainly coming from the man in front of me, but I am so confused. Isn’t he awake? His left head is tilting towards the aisle, and isn’t that his hand fumbling for something in his pocket?

Then, a full-out snore. Awake or not, this man is snoring. The train car is filled with the thundering base notes. Only there is no melody, but instead a sort of sustained undercurrent of roar.

I give up my book as a lost cause, and peer above his right shoulder at the passengers ahead. His head swings far rightward and then suddenly shudders leftward to hang over the aisle. All around me, people are smiling.

The handsome man in front of us near the door has a delightful, open smile. He removes his large headphones to fully appreciate the slumberer’s cacophony. He smiles at me, he smiles at the man across the aisle from him. The man across the aisle smiles back and makes a comment, and behind me I hear someone repeat the comment.

I turn around, and she’s looking at me, smiling. A man stands up to get off the train, smiling and smiling.

“SNORE, ruff, ruff, snooooore”, the man howls again, and it pushes me over the edge. I am so grateful for my scarf. I pull it up to my nose, I hide in it, and laughter consumes me.

I try to contain myself, but I am shaking, I am dying, my face is becoming red, my eyes suspiciously moist. How very embarrassing!

There is tittering in surround sound, and conversation gets louder. I peek upward out of my mini scarf cave and see others also shaking with laughter.

What does one do when she’s becoming slaphappy amongst a train full of strangers!? When everyone is becoming slaphappy amongst a train full of strangers?!

Little squeaking sounds burst from me as I try to quench this hilarity straining to be unleashed. I press my lips together and hold my chest in tightly. I am losing control.

I am also missing my stop.


I hurl myself out of my seat and run for the map over the door. Oh, never mind, one more stop.

I’m next to the handsome man now, and he gives me a wide grin. The man across the aisle from him looks up at me as if we’re old friends.

I look at the snoring man. His hands are on his glasses, adjusting them, but then suddenly his head rushes to his right, and then careens forward towards the pole in front of him.

“He must be drugged,” I say, smiling uncontrollably. How can he still be asleep!?

“It’s been going for 15 minutes now, and it’s highly entertaining,” the man across the aisle says, smiling widely. “He keeps pulling his shirt up and scratching his chest,” he adds, and he’s smiling and smiling.

“I’m glad I was sitting behind him,” I reply, giggling.

And then it’s my stop. The handsome man smiles hugely. I wink, and bound out into the cold air.


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