Shh! New Rules for This Commuter Railroad’s
Expanded “Quiet Car” Program

Hush! Beginning Monday, July 2, this Railroad’s “Quiet Car” pilot program will be expanded to include all peak-hours single-level electric trains. Please be reminded that peak-hour trains are those that arrive at the city terminus between one hour before dawn and 10:00 a.m. or depart the city terminus between dusk and 9:00 p.m. Please remember that a train is considered “on time” if it arrives at a station or terminus no more than five minutes and fifty-nine seconds past the time shown on the current printed schedule in effect. Please note that new printed schedules will go into effect soon, no matter when you are reading this. There will always be new printed schedules going into effect soon.

During the morning peak hours, the first car of your train is a Quiet Car; during the afternoon/evening peak hours, the last car of your train is a Quiet Car. If you are unsure which car of your train is the first or last, as relevant, please ask a conductor. Ask quietly, in case you are already in the first train car during morning peak hours, or the last car during afternoon/evening peak hours, or near enough to one of those cars that someone else, who is in it, might hear you.

Silence! Passengers traveling in Quiet Cars should:

Zip it! Passengers traveling in Quiet Cars also should:

The Quiet Car program is voluntary, but conductors in designated cars will hand out special “Shh” cards to passengers who are non-compliant, unless and until such time as the Quiet Car program is deemed to be in violation of the federal and/or state constitution. “Shh” cards remain at all times the property of the Railroad and must be surrendered upon demand of a conductor. “Shh” cards are subject to applicable tariff regulations and are not transferrable. Unofficial “Shh” cards produced and distributed by passengers will not be enforced by Railroad personnel.

Shut up! Additional things that passengers traveling in Quiet Cars should do include:

In the event of a service disruption:
If there is a service disruption or if a train is operating with a reduced number of cars—such as only one, so that the first car is also the last car—we will be unable to designate a Quiet Car, and you will just have to try somehow to be considerate of other passengers in all cars, even without the threat of receiving a “Shh” card from a conductor hanging over your head, like a businessperson’s leather briefcase or truant student’s overstuffed canvas book bag carelessly thrown onto the overhead luggage rack. For the purposes of the Quiet Car program, exhaustion of a train crew’s complement of “Shh” cards will not constitute a service disruption.

Shh! Enjoy your ride!

Matthew David Brozik wrote this and many other short humor pieces, which have been published in print and online by The New Yorker, Adult Swim, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Grin & Tonic, The Big Jewel, and no one.

Read more humor here. Or read some fiction here.