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Where the oomph comes from

November 27th, 2018 Leave a comment Go to comments

I realize the kids love them, either zooming by or as passengers, and I take some tidbit of pleasure from that, I suppose, but mostly I just hate working here. Even the adults, who should know better, perk up at the mention. You tell someone that you work in the train station and they kind of glaze over, but specify that it’s on the bullet trains only, and you’ll be the life of the party, no matter how much you explain that everything they think is wrong. Something about those two words together turns everybody into a stan.

What nobody realizes is that we actually shoot the trains out of giant rifle barrels. People laugh and laugh when you say that, assuming you’re joking, which I can barely even hear due to my tinnitis from all the years of banging sounds. No, what do you really do though, they’ll ask, and I again respond with the truth. I shovel the gunpowder into the giant casings, then tamp it down and seal it before installing the explosive behind the rearmost car of the train. I don’t even get to ignite it, though I’ve been asking for years. Still the partygoers laugh.

Of course, once the locomotive is surging forward, the engine can kick in and maintain the speed, but it would take a long time to get there without me and my coworkers. Everyone says they thought they were called that because the engines are streamlined and look like bullets, but I imagine that’s just something people think because they don’t want to understand the truth. It’s uncomfortable to think that you’re zipping to your destination because two tons of gunpowder kicked your vehicle in the ass, but just try working there. The acrid smell alone will drive you crazy.

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