Saturday, June 11, 2011

Things For Volunteers To Do At The Railroad Museum

I have a friend who volunteers at a Railroad Museum in Southern California. She told me that the day was going slow, so I tried to thing of things for her to do to wile away the hours.

Things to do when things are quiet at the Railroad Museum:

Go to the Butcher shop and pick up a cow's femur. Stick the femur into the firebed of the steam locomotive. Watch for their reactions.

Take a dollar's worth of pennies and line them up on the track. After the train rolls them flat, tell someone that the flattened coins are their paycheck.

Tell people that "this locomotive" was more powerful than Superman, but no one wanted to embarrass the guy so no one said anything.

As for the "other locomotive", tell visitors that it was the one that "thought it could" go up that hillside, but was, in fact, a wuss locomotive and couldn't do it. It spent its remaining years being Thomas' sidekick in commercials.

Tell another volunteer that they need to check the air pressure in the wheels of the 4-4-2.

Argue with a visitor that "this" engine only takes unleaded coal. High octane, at that.

Tell some young punk that it's not a cow catcher, but part of the after market aerodynamic package for that model.

Caution a visitor that No. 1408 is powered by a nuclear reactor and that, even though the reactor's shielding is in need of serious overhaul, there should be no problems with overexposure. As long as they only stay around it for less than 15-20 seconds. And wear the suits. And go through vigorous decontamination scrub downs afterwards. Enjoy!

Put up a sign that says, "Please Do Not Feed The Locomotives".

Make up stories about the various hobos that lived in the boxcars.

Tell everyone that things are haunted. Everything is haunted. Doesn't matter. That locomotive is haunted. So is that coal car. And the men's bathroom. As well as that brochure. It's all haunted.

Choose one locomotive and make it "The One" that did it all. It's the one that took Lincoln to his burial in Illinois. It took Lenin into Russia. It carried the parts for the first atomic bombs. It holds the secret to the Coke Formula. Lee Harvey Oswald used it for target practice. It plowed the Ho Chi Minh trail. It accompanied Christopher Columbus to the New World.

Tell people not to touch a certain caboose as it's "in season" and can be temperamental. Put a bunch of caution cones around it for safety.

Tell people that you'll be glad to help them if they first go and lift that locomotive over their heads.

Answer the phone and act like it's some high grand mucky muck on the other end. When you hang up, tell the director of the museum that Leland Stanford wants his engine back for a coastal trip with Randolf Hearst. Right away.

Make up stories for each of the locomotives. How each of them are an endangered species and you're trying to breed them and release them back into the wild.

Get a dog leash. Attach it to one of the locomotives and then secure it to a peg in the ground. Tell people that this locomotive tries to run away often.

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