Today, I walked home from school. As I crossed Memorial Drive on my way up Mass Ave., a state trooper stood on the corner, looking up the road (thereby missing my brazen jaywalking). I didn't give it much thought, until I saw four others cruise through the intersection on their motorcycles... which was about the same time I noticed a helicopter circling overhead.
There were many plausible explanations, of course-- a horrific car crash, a dead body washed up in the Charles, a Nobel laureate on the loose at MIT. But I, of course, keyed in on one and only one possibility: my long-awaited motorcade had finally come to Boston!
I continued up the street. Just past MIT, there are train tracks that cross Mass Ave., and a crowd was gathered near the crossing, more state police waiting on their motorcycles on one side and a group of gawkers on the other. People snapped pictures and smiled and held up their small children to catch a glimpse.
As I approached, I had a moment of doubt. After all, the police were still allowing traffic onto the street, which seemed odd. But, no, this has to be it. There's an election coming! Someone on some news station said something about the President coming to Massachusetts to campaign... or something... I think. In any case, you can understand that my rationale, though sketchy, was semi-legit. This was it. This was the Presidential motorcade. Or, even better yet, this was Joe's motorcade!
I followed the crowd's gaze. They were all looking down the train tracks to the west. Hmm. Not sure if I would go with a train trip in such a contentious election season, but whatever. If a White House train ride was rolling through Cambridge, I was all for it. I looked down the track...
...and into the face of an elephant.
No, not a Republican.
A fucking pachyderm.
A whole line of them, in fact. Getting off the circus train.
The. Circus. Train.
THE CIRCUS TRAIN?! SURELY YOU JEST.
I didn't know it was possible to be crestfallen at the exact moment that your mind becomes boggled. But I am here to tell you that it is, indeed, possible.
But the boggling continued. As I walked along, a guy asked me what was happening. I responded, in a dazed tone, that there was a line of elephants emerging from what appeared to be a circus train. He was completely unperturbed and proceeded to tell me--perfectly nonchalantly, by the way-- "Oh yeah, I forgot. Yeah, they have them walk across the Longfellow Bridge."
Of course this was the day I left my camera at home. Of course.