Toucans. I’ve seen these exotic and surprisingly large birds in the trees in Costa Rica. As the locals there will tell you, “Look for something that appears to be a bird flying with a banana in its mouth. That’s a Toucan.” They’re amazing! It was interesting to watch the birds eat the berries in the trees. Even with those large, clumsy bills, they have no problem delicately picking the fruit berry by berry.
So, as you can imagine, I was instantly put on sensory overload recently when I got off the train, made my way along the platform, walked into Union Station and looked up to see a giant Toucan staring down at me! Giant as in possibly five feet wide and three feet high and with lots of bright, bright lights shining on it! There it was! A Central American rainforest in the middle of the cold northern winter on a dark winter morning! What on earth!
Well, you see, at the train station an organization will buy up every square foot of space throughout the place and literally wall paper it with ads. Last month’s advertising campaign was by an insurance company. Between the escalators, the insurance company pasted a list of “dreams” train passengers could read as they rode up or down the moving stairs. Dreams such as your “dream home” and your “dream retirement” and your “dream nest egg” and so on. Dreams, implicitly, only that insurance company could help you achieve. Z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z.
So, once I got over the shocking transition from bland insurance company to outrageously bright and colorful rainforest complete with Toucans one early morning, I enjoyed the ride up the escalator and walk through the station. The advertiser was one of those tour companies that specializes in tropical vacations. And the theme was one of my favorite places…Costa Rica!
The only thing missing was the sound of Howler monkeys! Maybe the tour company can work on that for next winter’s campaign. Howler monkeys and a little steaming coffee kissed by a sweet Caribbean coffee liquor in the commuter mug would really wake up the early morning Union Station escalator riders!