In an SF office email list, there was the warning that with a BART strike possible, people may want to make sure they can work from home.

Someone suggested working in a bar, I replied that a meeting there might help an ongoing problem. Another person piped up “I like this train of thought.”

Was the pun intended? (BART… train, see?) I don’t know but it reminded me of another train joke, once told me to over three days (an hour a day).

There was a guy who always wanted to drive trains, to be the railroad engineer. But he came of age in the 1960s, the job was dying out. Over the course of the next twenty years, he got laid off by Amtrak and then by Union Pacific. He moved his family to San Francisco and drove the trolleys, yelling “All aboard!” for the tourists. But, inevitably it seems, he was laid off of that job too.

His family was kicked out of their apartment and had nowhere to go. Our train enthusiast had no more options so he turned to a life of crime. He robbed a bank. The first one went ok. The second ended in disaster as an accomplice shot a police officer and then cut a plea deal with the district attorney.

Our engineer got the death sentence: the electric chair. He went through the standard appeals but felt so guilty he didn’t put much heart into it. It was terrible. On the night of his execution, he asked for his wife’s macaroni and cheese.

But when they pulled the lever, nothing happened. Back to his cell he went.

They tried again a week later. This time, as a final meal, he had his wife’s mac and cheese, with lobster bits.

The electrician had been to increase the juice to the chair. When they pulled the lever, a city block worth of lights went out, but nothing happened. Back to his cell he went.

A week later, he enjoyed his wife’s mac and cheese, with lobster bits and an excellent glass of red wine.

The electrician had been, and again increased the juice to the chair. When they pulled the lever, the whole city’s lights went out, but nothing happened. This time, the governor granted a stay of execution, releasing the man saved due to divine intervention.

When released, the press asked what had happened, how was this possible? He gave a simple press statement: I was never a very good conductor.