Sunday, March 06, 2005

Balling the Jack with a Bale of Straw

Via Boing Boing, here's a fantastic Dictionary of Old Hobo Slang by Stephen P. Alpert.

Hobo life still goes on, and a friend directed me to two books about life on the rails. In Rolling Nowhere, writer Ted Conover tells about his own days spent riding the rails, and much to the consternation of some, in Hopping Freight Trains, Duffy Littlejohn actually tells you how to do it.

One anonymous Amazon reviewer isn't impressed:
If the author himself admits that "Hopping freights is not only dangerous, it's illegal," then why does he promote it in a book? Trainhopping is also downright stupid! I think this book should be removed from because it sends the wrong kind of message. And no, I haven't read the book, but I don't need to in order to form an intelligent opinion on it.
Even better was this review by an apparent expert on the subject:
there aint no book anyone can write that can explain how-to train gives young punks a feeling that they will be safe if they follow the rules.bull.i been out here on the rails for 20 years and i couldnt have learned any of it from a book.theres aready too many stupid kids out there who think they know it all.hell, some a them ride to protest.train ridin is`s for people who dont like people.that are dirt poor.ride to to ride.lets keep it that way brother.if your gonna ride.get out there and do it.dont read no book.
Now, that was worth the visit to Amazon alone. It's like the guy just hopped off a train himself and wandered into a public library to type up a review before wandering back to the rails to nail the next rattler.

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