Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Le Big Mac

Ahh, Paris....we have a problem.

Q.  What do you get when you cross a diet of Big Macs with the French railway system? 

A.   Trains that are too fat to fit between the station platforms.

"Mind the gap", the traditional warning to be careful and not step into the gap between the door of the train and the concrete platform will apparently no longer apply at thousands of French train stations.  It seems the railway operator SNCF just spent $20.5B buying 2,000 new trains, only to find they won't fit between some station platforms.

"We measured the gap at a number of stations and that's where we got our dimensions.  We sorta forgot that a lot of the older stations were narrower" said VP Engineering, Inspector (Jacques) Clouseau, whose previous career highlights included designing ignition switches for Chevy Cobalts.


To show their strong civic involvement, JP Morgan Chase Bank has announced that they will be committing $100M over five years to aid revitalization in Detroit.  They said they would donate the profit they make on their credit card operations next Monday morning between 8am and 8:15 to help bankrupt Detroit get back on their feet.  

They said they would like to do more, but that's all they could afford to piss away, what with the sky-high legal bills they're incurring trying to keep themselves out of the penitentiary.  

Not to be outdone, Goldman Sachs announced they would chip in $20M, too.

And dats today's (slightly embellished) news.  :)



  1. That's interesting about the fat trains in France. On a related topic, riding trains in Europe is one of my favorite things to do. I hope we see a revival of train travel here in the States. I hope you're having a great week.

  2. Detroit needs all the help it can get, even from sleazy big banks. They could help more by forgiving a lot of the debt that put the city into bankruptcy.

  3. Gotta give the French credit for trying, albeit a major screw up. Amtrak is light years behind Europe.

  4. Someone has to be the worst engineer in France.

    I was not aware that the big banks put Detroit in bankruptcy. What the hell did they do, charge interest? I thought that cities could just borrow as much as they want to pay for what ever they want and dish out huge pensions. Who knew they have to pay it back...and interest too. Bastards!!

    Next thing and PT will expect responsible city management.

    1. On the surface I agree Joe. But could it be they made loans to a city they knew was a dead man walking, and fully expected the State of Michigan or maybe Uncle Sam would come to the rescue? If so, then it wasn't a prudent loan to begin with, in which case a haircut might be in order.

  5. I'm with Stephen - riding trains in Europe is so much fun! I used to ride a train from my hometown to my school town for many years to go to school.

    When I took my youngest son to Germany once, we rode a subway in Munich. He was still little and thought it was an amusement park ride. When we got to the first stop, he immediately said what he said after EACH amusement park ride: "Again!"

    1. Never been to the The Contenent, but I did ride the tube and the trains all over southern England. Loved it!