Chuck (charlesofcamden) wrote,

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The World According to Amtrak

I spent a few days in Michigan this week for the funeral of my Aunt Irma. I don’t have much to say specifically about that in this journal. It’s not that I’m being secretive or quirkily private; it’s just that I’ve said what I needed to say to family members (unless something else comes up), and I find that there’s very little left in my inner well of things I need to express about that. Suffice it to say that she was of advanced years and in poor health and it was clearly her time to go. On that point, I think the family is in general agreement. So on to the well of things I DO feel a need to express —

I booked a round trip between Chicago, IL and Royal Oak, MI on Amtrak for the modest sum of $69. One of the amenities offered by Amtrak is the Café Car. Its offerings may be non-nutritious and flavorless, but on the other hand, they’re overpriced too.

On the way back to Chicago, I purchased a Mrs. Goodcookie Oatmeal Raisin cookie. It wasn’t too terrible, I suppose, as I did get the whole thing down. At some point, I idly flipped over the wrapper to read the nutritional information. I was pleasantly surprised to find the modest numbers you can see to the right. While it wasn’t a huge cookie, it was a decent size, and I had expected far worse numbers.

Ah, but then my eyes went to the top of the chart – “Servings Per Container 4.” Who are they kidding??!! Sure, we can all envision a scenario where Mom buys a cookie and splits it between four hungry children, but come on now! Do they think their customers are idiots? *sigh* Funny how some questions sort of answer themselves.

Yes, I’m aware that this is a crappy photo. It was taken from a moving train as it bounced through Chelsea, Michigan and was shot through a dirty window on a gray afternoon. Chelsea is a sleepy farming town west of Ann Arbor. Its biggest claim to fame is that it was the boyhood home of actor Jeff Daniels, who founded the Purple Rose Theatre there after he became a movie star. I took this photo merely to document Chelsea as the home of Jiffy Mixes, a fact of which I had only just become aware. In truth, I took this photo and put it here purely for the benefit of a certain friend of mine who is a life-long devotee of Jiffy Mixes.

But to be fair, there is plenty of lovely scenery on the long ride across lower Michigan and upper Indiana. As evidence, I offer this lovely shot taken near Michigan City, Indiana. The sun had suddenly come out in the late afternoon, illuminating everything with a lovely golden glow. Or at least, I think that’s where that glow was coming from…

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