Or, a cautionary tale about not believing everything you read on the internet. Or that MAX isn’t as scary as you might have been led to believe.
A few nights ago, there was a report of a cat on the fishhook. For folks not familiar with where the fishhook is, it’s this section of single track near Gateway used by the Red Line to head toward the airport:
Animals get in the ROW sometimes, and when it happens, Control will put out an informational call to trains in that area to use extra caution. In short, this was all pretty much a non-event. You can listen to the call for this incident here, it should be easy to understand once you know what section of the alignment he’s referring to.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, @TelemachusRome who’s been satirizing TriMet (my personal favorites among recent tweets include the off-leash dog park on MAX and coin-operated seat belts for bus drivers) took this as an opportunity for another joke:
Pretty obvious to everyone that this was a joke, especially if you played the audio for the call. Except… except… a talk radio host/blogger who has never been fond of TriMet takes this at face value and runs this story in several places online:
Look, I know it’s trendy in some circles to call MAX the “crime train” or act like the only people riding it are involved in some kind of criminal activity and you should expect to be assaulted if you ride, but come on. I’ve played this call a few times intentionally trying to parse it as some sort of hooker sting and I still can’t see how someone can seriously confuse a cat with prostitutes. They must go to a more interesting PetSmart than I do.
After this “story” ran, the talk radio host apparently contacted TriMet who replied that no, there’s no prostitution ring on the system and this is audio about an actual cat, not a security bust of said non-existent prostitution ring.
Just in case you were worried about who you are riding a train with.
Oh, and for future reference, when an operator calls in a “Bambi alert“? That really does mean that someone saw a deer in or near the tracks, not a stripper. The more you know…