I felt like this was gonna make up for all the rest of it. I had procured a genius cheap cooler bag that holds ice with no leaks, had packed a sixer of Saint Arnold White Noise, water, and a Dew, and had a sack of snacks at the ready, as well as the newly downloaded The Last Jedi on my laptop. I was straight-up GOLDEN, y'all. And the first 2.5 hours of the trip were pure perfection. I didn't even have to use earbuds, because who was I gonna disturb??
In Greenwood, MS, a couple of older ladies got on and joined me in my car. They were sweet and friendly, and I happily put my earbuds in and went back to my movie. At one point I heard a pop loud enough to startle me, and pulled out my earbuds to hear more popping and a very-not-good hissing sound. The lady across the aisle was looking down at her feet saying, "What the hell is dat?" when I saw the yellow flickering. FIRE!! FIRE, Y'ALL!!! The grate at the bottom of the wall at her side had a big ol' fire in it, and I'm talking flames. I yelled, "It's a fire!" and yanked her up and away from it, then ran out of the car. I frantically looked for either a fire extinguisher, alarm pull, or a radio of some sort, and nothing. I took the stairs two at a time and sprinted through three cars before I saw an Amtrak employee, and yelled "FIRE!! FIRE IN OUR CAR!" Through my adrenaline and panic, I still thought his expression and the many emotions written on his face in 3 seconds flat was hilarious. He ran after me back to our car, where the two ladies were still frozen, staring at the now much bigger flames. We pulled them out and he yelled for us to go upstairs and wait. He paged over head for a conductor to our car immediately, and cut the power to the car, which I later learned got the fire out, which was electrical. After loads of Amtrak people with the same multi-emotional faces passed us upstairs on the way down to our car, I thought, "They have no clue what to do." How comforting!
We waited for quite a while, then the same guy came and got us and let us get our stuff out of the acrid, crazy fire car. They then took us to another lower car that was very full, and we got put in the only seats left, which didn't even recline. No apologies, no thanks for sprinting to find us, just BYE. They never stopped the train or let any of the other passengers even know that it had happened. It was CRAAAZY.
I arrived home three hours late, still shaky, and with resolve to never take an Amtrak again. Unless I'm really drunk and don't know any better, I guess. The seats are comfy and the people working there were (mostly) very nice, but nope.
Life is adventure and I love it, but you can keep the fire part.