Saturday, December 31, 2005

The great train ramble-ry

At the opening of The Blues Brothers you hear a song playing "She caught the Katy, left me a mule to ride."

"Oh, my baby caught the Katy left me a mule to ride,
The train pulled out I ran on behind
Still crazy 'bout her, that hard-headed gal of mine."

I was in a cover band that did this song with proper gender adjustments. It's a great tune.

But never I knew what the Katy was. Some kind of train, but from where to where? And when I tried to look it up on Google back some years ago I got porn sites, with no explanation.

Until today. According to this cnn article (which is actually about dudes biking across the States) ganked from AR, the Katy was the Missouri, Kansas, Texas line: The M-KT.

It's further evidence for the march of time, y'know? Back in the day most folks had probably heard of the Katy. Some of them probably had family who rode it. Now, no one leaves their lover by train anymore. At least in the States.

Trains make for the best cinema, though. The flashback scene in "Casablanca," "Love in the Afternoon." Great for love stories, great for spy stories. Trains rock.

In the 70's there was this coca cola commercial in which a travelling american boy is trying to strike up a conversation with an asian girl in a train compartment. He tries to speak to her in any number of languages "Sprechen sie deutch?" ha ha ha and she shakes her head shyly at each attempt. He offers her a coke which offers a first glimmer of recognition; "Co-ca-co-rah?" she says. What an icebreaker! Suddenly things are friendly in the train cab between the boy, the girl, and everyone else in the cab. "Have a coke and a smile." Coca-cola spreading goodwill and friendship across the globe.

I wonder if it had to be a coke, though. What if he had offered her an orange? Who doesn't like oranges?

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