Thursday, December 25

MARC Train Merchandise Catalog

Stuck for gift ideas for the MARC train commuter who has everything? Well here it is, just in time for Father's Day, Mother's Day, Easter, Graduation, Independence Day, Labor Day, Verterans Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, and of course Kwanzaa... the long-awaited MARC train Merchandise catalog! The MARC...Train product development team has filled the catalog with all manner of doodad, thingamajig and whatsit that can be made by Chinese prison labor for a penny, coated with toxic waste that Chinese industries are foolish enough to give away for free and sold here in America for no more than $9.95.

Here are just a few of the items that will soon be available from popular on-line merchandise ordering websites. Each item is specially designed to resemble handcrafted memorabilia of your MARC train experience no matter how short!

What about that single one-way trip on the MARC train you took after a former friend recommended the convenient-when-working train service to BWI only to miss your non-refundable flight to Cancun due to "a mechanical problem" with the train? You'll never forget it with a MARC commemorative One-Way Ticket Stub Display Case! Brushed Aluminum (or Brass) frames the sturdy, scratch-resistant plexi-glass for an air- and water-tight seal to ensure that little memento will last forever!

The reproduction MARC Platform Electronic Message Marquee paperweight! Fondly recall the years of wondering when those gaudy things hanging menacingly over the heads of MARC train commuters would display any useful information or anything at all! Be the first in your cube-farm to display the 1/16-inch scale model of the actual MARC Penn-Line standard equipment. Add two AAA batteries and the marquee will display three "messages" 1. MARC Train Station, 2. Train Number 417, due to depart Odenton Station at 8:33 am, Southbound to Washington DC is operating 10 to 12 minutes late, and 3. Random lights!

A keepsake copy of a semi-faux version of last month's MARC train schedule! This authentic-looking, accordion-style pamphlet will give anyone the impression that they are holding an actual MARC train schedule Vol. MCDXII No. 137! But a closer look will reveal a humorous yet strangely familiar take on their recent MARC train experience. Also available in a plexi-glass and brushed aluminum or brass frame.

Tired of getting "that look" from your boss after walking in the door late again due to "mechanical problems"? Well, imagine the look on his face when you produce an Authentic MARC Train Excuse signed by John Porcari, Knuckledragger-in-Chief of the Maryland Department of Transportation! That's right, a full month's supply of personalized excused lateness memos on MDoT letterhead, give the official "O.K." to that day's lateness. Each excuse is addressed to your boss (simply supply the name!) and personalized to you. You fill in the date and train number using your own pen and ink, and bingo! You have an official excuse.

And what merchandise website would be complete without T-shirts and coffee mugs emblazoned with some of the catchy slogans first made popular by Mike Netherland and his Blogs? Slogans such as:
1. Never Run for a MARC Train....They don't Run for You!
2. CAUTION...Dangerous Overcrowding
3. "Jus' Push the Door Open, Man!"
4. "Commuters Riot"
5. I'm in the Loser Lot

And much, much more!

Thursday, December 11

Smart Benefits and CommuterDirect

Well, since it has been two months since my last posting on this blog, I thought I would at least put in a few words before the year is out. I am home sick with the flu today so I have nothing better to do.

First, I have figured out the secret to getting your Metro SmartBenefits, your MARC monthly ticket AND your Smart Trip card funded through CommuterDirect. I have been getting my MARC pass in the mail from CommuterDirect for the past three months, for the past two the charges have been correctly applied from my SmartBenefits and from my credit card.

But it was only until last month that I finally got the the remaining SmartBenefits allocated to my SmarTrip Card. Apparently you have to do this from a Metro fare machine. And apparently there are instructions for doing this on the Metro web site but I couldn't find them.

[NOTE I had a link to the PDF but that went dead when the webmonkeys over at WMATA decided to change their site. Kelly has scanned the hardcopy for us, but I can't figure out how to post the thing here. Soooooo if you want the thing e-mail at me at and I'll send it to you...for free! I know it's a bleeping valuable thing, and I shouldn't just bleeping give it away....but it is bleeping illegal to try to sell bleep you don't own!]