In 1996, the Quad City DJs released the dance anthem “C’Mon, ‘N Ride It (The Train).” The video received a MTV Awards nomination for Best Choreography, although a recent screening reveals it’s basically a Soul Train homage taking place inside a futuristic train/spaceship shaped like a ding dong. (Bjork’s “It’s Oh So Quiet” took home the prize that year.)
Twenty years later, I would be asked the same question — to ride the train — but my response was not “Wooo! Hooo!” it was “Why?” Also different: Riding said train would not be a euphemism for boning because I’m already 100 months pregnant. Manfriend legitimately wanted to drive to the southwest corner of Colorado and ride an old-timey steam train.
To sell this trip, he framed it as our “Babymoon,” a trip soon-to-be parents take before they’re not allowed to go anywhere on vacation where you can’t find grown men and women wearing cartoon character costumes. I guess. I have every intention of dragging my child to wine country — he can fill his wagon full of Malbec for momma.
Anyhow, the plan was to take a long weekend and go do something cool. But it’s not recommended I go far, or fly, or come into contact with various viruses, or wear a swimsuit. (I added the last one; I don’t think they make suits to fit Danny DeVito’s Penguin character from “Batman Returns.”)
Somehow my impossible dream of laying on a sunny beach reading trashy novels transformed into driving nine hours to the Four Corners, staying in Manfriend’s 40-foot-long RV and riding the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Basically, a solid trip for a family with young kids, not the last hurrah of a woman who once streaked down Mapleton Avenue on New Year’s Eve.
I’m a terrible passenger — after an hour in the car, even I want to punch myself in the face — and yet Manfriend thought two long drives and a five-hour train ride followed by two more long drives was the best possible way to spend a vacation with me. “It’ll be sunny and warm down there,” he said, trying to entice. (It rained, then hailed, then snowed because this is Colorado, and if you pack only shorts, you will need pants.)
As the train and the conductor/tour guide rambled along, I settled in for a long pouting session. I’m already at the point where I’m so unwieldy, inflexible and bloated, I have to give myself pep talks and cooling spritzes to get dressed in the morning. I was sitting on a tiny-ass bench squished against a window listening to the folks in front of me talk about their kids’ schools. “Shuddup about kid shit. This is my Babymoon, bitches!” I wanted to shout.
Instead, I stared out the window and dreamt of ways the train could fall off the tracks. I was cheering up fast and then the folks in front of me gasped. “A HORSE SKELETON!”
“Coooool. Whoo hooo!” I whisper-shouted back, as the strains of the Quad City DJs hit filled my head.
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