For years, debate has raged in Canby over plans to install a quiet zone at three downtown intersections.
It’s well known that, much like the lioness on the African savannah, trains are lithe, stealthy machines whose movements are silent and virtually imperceptible to all but the most trained eyes and ears.
And so, to protect the public, wise Federal Transportation Administration officials decades ago began requiring train conductors to announce their presence by blowing their horns indiscriminately at every road intersection in the entire, damn country.
“This is just like the famous story, ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf,'” Del Griffith, undersecretary of planes, trains and automobiles, explained at the time. “Whenever you loudly warn people about danger for no reason all the time, they always take it seriously and everything turns out great.”
It seemed to be a foolproof plan. But some years ago, meddling town officials and local business owners, who were, for some reason, annoyed by trains blowing their whistles for literally nothing at all hours of the day and night, decided to see if there was some way to make them, you know, not do that.
According to the town gossip, crooked railroad officials, transportation tsars and city councilors met in a smoky backroom one night to cut a sinister deal: Union Pacific would agree to eighty-six the racket, and in exchange, the city would install new and vastly superior safety features at each intersection that would render the indiscriminate honking unnecessary.
Horrified by this blatant scheme to murder the townspeople, good Canbyites revolted, decrying the quiet zone plans in cogent, well-researched posts on social media groups months after the decision had been made and finalized. Somehow, this failed to derail the project.
However, eager to find their way to a “win-win” solution for the community, railroad officials — who are known for their attentiveness, transparency and thoughtful, compassionate consideration of any and all concerns arising from the people and stakeholders who live and work alongside their lines — made an announcement this week.
“For those still upset about the new quiet zone intersections in downtown Canby, we have a free solution: Horny All the Time,” Union Pacific spokesman Kent Wakefield said in a phone interview.
“This new app, available for iPhone and Android, will randomly sound a 140-decibel train horn more than 100 times a day. For best results, pair with your Bluetooth headset.”
Union Pacific accepts no responsibility for dishes, glasses or relationships destroyed by the use of the app, Wakefield said.
“For those who long for a simpler time, don’t get mad,” said Wakefield, doing his best impression of an infomercial pitchman. “Get Horny All the Time, today! And for older consumers, try Horny All the Time Silver, which pairs with most digital hearing aids on the market.”
For more information, visit the Union Pacific website. The Current does not recommend Googling the phrase “Horny All the Time.”
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