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The Wx4 Standard Railroad Joke
(It's loads better than The Willys Joke)

Railroaders exist in a realm of their own, in a figurative mental isolation ward, where many succeeding generations of them have seen their neurons mutated free of the constraints of polite society - just like Congress. We judge that this presents no real threat to civilization at large (we certainly don't buy into the theory that rails will be at root of the coming Mayan apocalypse*).

*Editor's note: This piece was composed before that disaster.

It can make for awkward moments, however, whenever rails blunder outside of their familiar existence. Two things invariably happen (more things, if alcohol is involved):

  1. Non rails are repulsed and confused by the railroader's liberal use of profanity and esoteric jargon. Example: A rail might make, in the process of totally offending her* audience, a double-entendre joke (liberally laced with more generally-recognized profanity) about "coupling-up", or "splitting a switch" - terms that normal folks (non-rails) have never encountered.
  2. The pro railroader is offended when her audience backs away while making the sign of the cross.

*We use "her" in recognition that women rails frequently are more accomplished than their male counterparts in the process of integrating creative profanity into everyday situations. Way to go, gals!

What this all meant to we Wx4 researchers, as we proceeded with our quest to come up with The Wx4 Standard Railroad Joke, was that we were faced with a conundrum. A clean, intelligible joke would not conform to railroading norms, yet Wx4 is rated PG-13. Further, we were still licking our wounds over the backlash against our double-entendre The Willys Joke, which resulted in a blanket ban of Wx4 from attending Jeeping events in six Midwestern states.

After considerable research and collective cocktail-hour contemplation at our Bayonne, NJ labs, and associated watering holes, we hit upon a solution: Self-interest must prevail. Put forth a joke that won't cause us ejection from church socials and toy train meets. A few nasty off-the-record remarks at rail gatherings ought to keep us in good stead with the pros, in our line of thinking. Yes, we failed in creating a true railroad joke, but at least the result is funnier than our sucky Jeep joke.

So, here it is, a squeaky-clean offering that really isn't about railroading at all. But, what the F%#k!