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I don’t know sh*t about the light rail project but holy f*ck do I want a big new choo choo train in town

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Let’s cut the crap: I don’t know a thing about trains and you probably don’t either, but I’ll be damned if the prospect of a luscious locomotive cruising through Durham’s downtown doesn’t get me hot under the collar. Here are five reasons why the proposed light rail system is an absolute no-brainer:

Number 1: A more connected Durham means a more inclusive, diverse and prosperous Durham.

What are you? A sociology major? Yeah, me neither, so let’s stop shovelling horse sh*t into the Chronicle under the guise of “train-based opinion pieces” and get down to brass tacks.

Exhibit B: Movies

Take a look at the best films of all time: "The Polar Express," "Rocky V: Man versus Train," Tristan Bouan’s critically-acclaimed, over-funded, under-edited, never-completed "Trainhopper." What do they all have in common? Trains. Now look at the the worst movies of all time: "Titanic," "Avatar," "Citizen Kane," "Jaws," "Forrest Gump." Notice anything? Heavy emphasis on boats and running. Let’s cut to the chase: trains equal good movies. Movies mean more money going around, and in his 2017 commencement address, President Price made it crystal clear that he was serious about getting Michael Bay to shoot the next "Transformers" movie in Durham. How’s he gonna do that without a train in town? You think the climax of the film is just going to be Bumblebee fighting the solar powered trash cans by West Union while Shia LaBeouf watches nervously from afar? (“But Mark, Shia LaBeouf was only cast in the first three installments of the "Transformers" canon and has long since moved on from the series—there’s no way he’d star in it—” yeah, well, a man can dream, so maybe you and your negative energy should f*ck off back to the sociology department). Isn’t it time you put your money where your mouth is, Vincenté?

Multi-colored Professional Powerpoint Presentation Pie-Chart Piece 3 (hire me, Bain): Sex appeal

Repeat after me: “titanium chassis,” “opaque carbon-fiber windows,” “tinted rims,” “rimmed tints,” “first-class backwards seating,” “ménage à trois,” “dining carriage.” What does any of that mean? Who knows—all we can say is that everybody loves a guy or girl that can talk train to us. We all know that one kid that’s always stuck in their room in Edens jacking off to back-to-back Thomas the Tank Engine episodes that air from 2-6 a.m. on Nickelodeon (don’t ask how I know that schedule) and it’s time to let those folks thrive. With a new light rail system in town, we could flip this college’s social hierarchy on its head. Next thing you know Johnny No-Friends over here is gonna be the hottest guy on campus, dishing out train stats at the frat party with romantic prospects hanging on his every word. More trains mean better pick-up lines and more train operators strolling across the quad (don’t even try to tell me you wouldn’t fall for a conductor in uniform). Get your social life back on track—you’re damn right I went there—get behind the light rail project.

US Constitution Amendment 4) ruling IV) subsection ii) on Vaping Technologies (a.k.a. Juul Industries vs the Supreme Court vs John Cena vs The Undertaker: WrestleMania Tag-Team Cage Match, 1999)

It’s no secret that Duke has been cracking down on smokers in times of late; even worse, the FDA can’t handle how goddamn sick Juuling is becoming. If you’re a nicotine fiend like me, you know all too well that we’re fighting a war on two fronts right now—make no mistake, they’re trying to take away our fat clouds. You know what else makes fat clouds? F*cking steam trains, my dude. Caught Juuling in the back of Econ 101? Try this one on for size: “Well excuse me, professor, can you empirically prove that lungful of gas wasn’t from me walking by the Durham light rail 20 minutes ago, inhaling, then holding my breath until halfway through this lecture? Do you work for the EPA or something? Yeah, didn’t think so, pal. How about we get back to understanding why the Gini coefficient is a subpar measure of inequality especially in countries that rely heavily on an informal economy which causes glaring data errors in the coefficient’s calculation? Who’s with me?” Checkmate, atheists.

New Testament: Book of Revelations: Chapter 5: Verse 5 (and five-time Psalm of the Century Winner): The Parable of Tallman Trask

It’s like the classic game Rock, Paper, Scissors—we all know how it goes: racist Porsche beats parking attendant. Light rail train beats Porsche. Parking attendant fines train for wrongful Blue Zone parking. Worried that you’ll be the next victim of Duke’s favorite executive vice president/star of "2 Fast 2 Furious: Old South Edition" on his way to a game? Try playing some 5-dimensional chess and taking the train instead. You can’t be mercilessly mowed down in the middle of the road if you were sitting in a first-class choo choo train the whole damn time. Your move, Tallman.

Mark Botterill, T' 18, is a former Monday Monday who thoroughly enjoys reading all the splendid columns about trains that the Chronicle keeps publishing. Keep it up!

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