I was riding home on the Howard-Dan Ryan line last Tuesday at about 10 PM. At the Washington stop, a group of gay men wearing "Rainbow '93" name tags boarded the train. Most also were wearing pink triangles or other pride buttons, and some were holding hands. Two stops later, about 20 young men from a Christian youth group came on board wearing T-shirts that read: "Music Mission '93: A Whole New World." They were all WASP-y, and handsome in a midwest farmboy kind of way. Their group leader was carrying a walkie-talkie, which he kept listening to like he was receiving instructions from God. It didn't take long for the two groups to notice each other, and things got tense pretty fast.
When the Music Missionaries realized who they were sharing the train with, their eyes began to glare. It didn't help that the leader of the Rainbow '93 camp, a roly-poly guy with a mustache and round glasses, was talking a mile a minute, saying things like, "There's nothing better than staying in bed all day and fucking." One of the Rainbow group, an enormous black man, started talking to one of the Music Missionaries, who was wearing a University of Iowa baseball cap.
"Are you enjoying the train ride?" he asked.
"Yeah," said the Missionary. "What about you?" One of his friends punched him on the shoulder.
"I don't get much of a chance to ride trains in Dallas. That's why I'm here," he said.
"Sure it is," the Missionary said, and his buddies started laughing.
The train stopped at Wilson, and the guy with the walkie-talkie shouted, "Let's go, let's go," and his Christian soldiers got up and quickly filed off the train. The Rainbow group looked relieved. Undaunted, their roly-poly leader had kept a steady stream of conversation going throughout the ride.
"You know what W. C. Fields said when people asked him why he was reading the Bible?" he asked. "He said: 'I'm looking for loopholes.'"