The kids are alright
Yesterday I rode up to Baltimore Highlands, in accordance with my policy of not standing on the platform at Linthicum for 22-24 minutes in fourteen or more degrees of frost, thank you very much MTA scheduling mavens.
So, at North Linthicum a bunch of twenty-somethings got on. There was only one car, something the MTA does in really cold weather since it allows them to send out new ones when the lines seize up, as they do in single-digits. especially in the city with all the stop-and-go entailed by driving trains in traffic. So the kids were standing in a big group at one end of the car, chattering away. Just after we crossed the Patapsco River (invariably pronounced with a prothetic vowel: Patapsaco), one of them broke off what she was saying and announced, excitedly: "Deers! There's deers! Look!"
"Bears?" said a guy standing in the stepwell with his back to the doors. "There are bears here?"
"Deers," she said. "Not bears, deers. Five or six of them."
"I knew you meant deer," he said, "I was joking."
"Jerk," she said in a friendly tone. "I never saw any for real before."
"Yeah, I know what you mean. I used to live in the city and when I moved down here I was blown away by all the animals. There are so many animals here. Squirrels, rabbits, deers, raccoons ... and so many birds you never see in the city. Like woodpeckers -"
"I love woodpeckers," she agreed. "I really want to see one."
"There are a lot here."
"I love them. The way they sound. Tatatatatatata. Tatatatatatata."
"That's exactly the way they sound!" he said delightedly. "They even stop like that. I don't know, maybe they have to reset their brain or something."
"I don't know how they do it."
A third guy chimed in, "Woodpeckers are basically Pachycephalosaurus."
"Those dome-headed ones! Yes!" the second guy said as I got off the train.