Forty Travel Alternatives
Date: Tue, 30 May 95 23:34:24 PDT
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: Forty Travel Alternatives
[Residents of Boston and Manhatten may find some interesting news here, but
Minneapolis/St. Paul residents will probably appreciate this best... -psl]
Forwarded-by: bostic@CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
From: Scott MacLean <email@example.com>
> Does anyone know of an economical way to travel from Maple Grove to the
> Amtrak Station on Transfer Road in St. Paul during early morning hours?
> A phone call to several Taxi Cab companies resulted in rates between
> $1.25/mile and $1.55/mile which IMHO could get quite expensive and I don't
> like the idea of leaving my car parked in St. Paul for a whole week.
> I guess I got too spoiled growing up in Boston and Manhatten with the
> excellant Public Transportion.
This being the Information Superhighway, I sure don't want this request
for information to go unanswered. After a little on-line research, I have
uncovered these options.
(1) Make a friend. Ask the friend to drive you to the station.
(2) Move into the city, where the buses run more frequently. Just ignore
the parks, theaters, restaurants, bookstores, diversity, locally-owned
non-franchise businesses, and friendly neighborhoods, and it'll seem
a lot like Maple Grove.
(3) Consider moving to Boston or Manhattan, where the public transportation
is reputed to be excellent.
(4) Post on Usenet about the lousy public transportation in Maple Grove. Some
executive MTCO official will read your complaint and be gripped with
shame, and will then volunteer to drive you personally to compensate
for his/her crushing sense of inadequacy and failure. Do not forgive
this person until he/she begs to pick you up and drive you home after
(5) Drive your wood-sided Maple Grove minivan with its I (HEART) MY (DOG
HEAD) bumper stickers down into the crime-ridden inner city and park
it by the station. The locals won't steal it; we'll just find it
(6) Make an enemy, and tell him/her that the worst thing that could ever
happen to you would be to be taken to the horrible, horrible Amtrak
station early in the morning.
(7) Take the taxi. When you arrive at the station, fake an attack of the
Ebola Zaire virus. Crash and bleed out. The driver won't want your
(8) Use your home iron to join a thousand lawn waste trash bags together
into a homemade blimp. Get books on blimp piloting from your local
library. Become a blimp pilot. Ride your blimp to St. Paul. Then just
let somebody steal the blimp.
(9) Realize that in the long run, we'll be dead, and that the trip isn't
very important after all.
(10) Go down into the crime-ridden inner city using one of the methods noted
above. Steal an MTCO bus. Drive it way out to Maple Grove. The day
of your trip, take the bus and pretend that you're back in Boston or
(11) Realize that if your trip is truly God's will, He will take care of
getting you to the station. Consider the lilies of the field; they
toil not, and neither do they commute.
(12) Reproduce. When your offspring are old enough to drive, make them bring
you to the station. Use guilt and fear to make them promise to pick
you up on your return.
(13) Construct a gorilla suit. Menace the neighborhood while wearing the
gorilla suit. Animal control officers will capture you and maybe
bring you to Como Park Zoo, which is not a terribly long ways from
the Amtrak station, especially for a strong gorilla.
(14) Write artful, insightful poems that cut to the heart of the human
condition. Become invited as a guest on A Prairie Home Companion.
When the limousine picks you up to take you to the Fitzgerald
Theater, ask it to stop at the Amtrak station for a second.
(15) Go to your Maple Grove neighbors. Ask politely if they might be able
to drive you to the station. Promise not to ask their name or any of
that other icky friend-making stuff.
(16) After the terrible tragic dogsledding death of your father, fall
into despair about your future until you get the idea of entering a
big dog sled race to St. Paul. Train with spirit and vigor under the
tutelage of a wise Indian farmhand. Ride with your dogs on the train
to Winnipeg. (While you're there, tell them their hockey team sucks
and that we don't want it.) Then display great courage and depth of
conviction as you win the dog sled race to St. Paul against
formidable odds and evil competitors. When people rush out from the
stands to congratulate you, ask them to bring you over to the nearby
(17) Build a canoe. Ride the Mississippi River to the crime-ridden inner
city. Take a bus there.
(18) Write to the Fixit column of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Explain
your plight. They know everything.
(19) Rip the side off a cardboard box. Use a large black marker to write
the words AMTRAK STATION on it. Go out to I-94 in Maple Grove and
stand beside the eastbound traffic lanes.
(20) Get mightily drunk. One of the many Minneapolis Police Department
officers who live out in Maple Grove may then offer to haul you
around in the trunk of his squad car. Ask to go to the Amtrak
(21) Read all of the incessant Amtrak postings on mn.general. Somewhere in
there there must be some mention of planning for local surface
(22) Borrow one of those immense American flags from the Perkins restaurant
in Maple Grove. Tie the four corners together and thereby construct
a balloon that will bring you to the Amtrak station and also send a
gentle message about how we all need to come back together as one
nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
(23) The next time you come back on Amtrak, just take up residence in the
station. Then your problem becomes one of getting back to Maple Grove
occasionally. Wander the station, muttering bitterly about the
coverage of public transport and how much better things are in Boston
(24) Figure out a way of getting to Eagan cheaply from Maple Grove. Use half
of this method.
(25) Join a health insurance plan that uses St. Paul Ramsey Hospital. Feign
a collapse. As the ambulance speeds away, ask the EMTs to stop at
the Amtrak station so you can get one last look at your beloved
(26) Stuff yourself into a case of returnable bottles of Pigs Eye Pilsner.
Bounce over to your local Maple Grove liquor store. When you get
returned to St. Paul, take a bus up to University Avenue.
(27) Join a homebrewing club. Make beer. Suggest that the club do a tour of
the Summit microbrewery. It's real close to the Amtrak station. Then
get drunk so somebody else has to do the driving.
(28) Realize that from the perspective of somebody in Boston or Manhattan,
Maple Grove is really pretty close to the Amtrak station in St. Paul
(29) Read THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE. Become highly
effective. Effect a trip to St. Paul.
(30) Ask a management consultant how to resource your trip to impact the
mission statements of the people you want to partner with to grow
your business and impact shareholder value. He will be overjoyed that
somebody else speaks like he does. Then ask him to drive you.
(31) Since Maple Grove is at higher altitude than St. Paul, you can build a
large Soapbox Derby vehicle. Use lots of WD-40 on the axles to
minimize friction. Crouch low to minimize air resistance. Roll to
(32) Figure out how to get to St. Cloud cheaply from Maple Grove. Execute
the plan in reverse.
(33) Calculate your weight in ounces. Affix that many $0.32 stamps to your
body. Write AMTRAK STATION, ST. PAUL MN on your forehead. Climb into
a mailbox. Do the same with your luggage.
(34) (I chose to delete this entry. It involved a match and the consumption
of beer, onions, and Old Dutch brand pinto bean dip. It seemed
inappropriate for a newsgroup that families read together.)
(35) Campaign for governor. Win. On your way to the mansion on Summit Avenue,
stop by to see how those stupid Feds are running their train system.
(36) Tell Logajan that the tyranny of the majority is impeding your right to
travel inexpensively to the station, and maybe he'll drive you.
(37) Steal one of those red bus-stop signs with a white T in a circle. Put it
up in front of your house. Call the MTCO and tell them that the damn
bus is late again.
(38) Post a copy of MAKE.MONEY.FAST to every news group. (Your Internet
provider will gladly supply the text and tell you how to post it.)
Become insanely wealthy. Then you can afford to drive to the station
and just abandon your car.
(39) Take a U of M commuter bus to campus. Pledge a frat. Then ask your
frat brothers to drive you.
(40) Buy a camera. Propose to the National Geographic society that they
fund a photo tour called THE BRIDGES OF HENNEPIN COUNTY.
© 1995 Peter Langston