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Holiday Gifts for Commuters

“Talking Transportation,” a weekly column on transportation by Jim Cameron

Looking for the perfect holiday gift for a friend who misses their daily commute amid the pandemic?  Consider an item from the exclusive Cameron Commuter Collection:

SCENTED CANDLES: Nothing says the holidays like a fragrant candle to remind you of the old days of commuting.  How about the “M2 Lavatory” scent to revisit the pungent smell of the railroad’s old bathrooms.  Or the “Bar Car Memories” fragrance that smells faintly of stale beer and cigars.

For sports fans, there’s the “Yankee Express-ions”, which smells like sweaty baseball fans tailgating on their way to the game.  Or the “Burning Brakes” scent that has just a hint of fried railcar asbestos brake pads.  And who wouldn’t enjoy the “Dainty Diesel” candles to relive that great scent of exhaust fumes in the morning as you crawl down I-95, bumper-to-bumper, behind a spewing truck?

FAMILIAR FOODS: If you miss snack shopping at Grand Central there’s the “Day Old Zaro’s Bagel Bag” filled with rock-hard baked goods.  Or the “DD Delight”, a bag of month-old donuts found under my car’s front seat… stale, but surprisingly tasty.

HOME DECORATION: Or how about a collection of old, graffiti-covered advertising posters from the railcar interiors.  Maybe you’ll score the rare “If You See Something, Say Something” posters from the time when all we had to worry about were terrorists.  And for the serious collector on your list, there’s a limited selection of salvaged 2 x 3 seats from the old, scrapped M2 cars, perfect for your rec room or man cave.

If you appreciate fine art chose the “Oh No SoNo Bridge” portrait showing the 125-year-old railroad bridge stuck in the open position on a hot summer’s day. 

HIGH TECH: Tired of your car’s GPS ‘voice’?  Load our new “Roadway Romp” package that, no matter the real road conditions, offers a friendly voice keeps saying “no delays ahead”, bringing you peace of mind in any type of traffic.

And for real railroading nostalgia, check out the “Virtual Reality” metasphere bundle complete with 3D goggles playing a two-hour video loop of a crowded train ride with conductors collecting tickets while your commuter-neighbors jabber at high volume on their cell phones.  Ah, such happy memories.

And brand new this year, a CD collection of the Yale Wiffenpoof glee club performing on the 5:45 AM train enroute to a concert in the city.  You’ll smile ear to ear when the enthusiastic young a capella group does its renditions of such classics as “Silent Night”, right there in the Quiet Car, as shocked commuters try to catch a nap on the way to work.

COVID COLLECTION: To commemorate our fight against the pandemic, don’t miss the “Metro-North Mask Mayhem” bundle, a hand-curated collection of slightly used face masks only worn once around the neck of the unvaxed.  They’re guaranteed to be as fresh smelling as they day they were incorrectly worn.

There are no supply chain issues with the Cameron Commuter Collection, all domestically sourced, recycled, mold-removed and guaranteed to please the pickiest of your ex-commuter friends.

Happy holidays!

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