Now I know that on a train, the conductor is boss. You don't mess around with a conductor. So anyway, he demands to know who I am. I pantomime that I'm in the last sleeper. He insists on knowing my name. I'm in a quandry because I'm in character and I hate to talk. So I continue to try to talk with my paws. He must think I'm dissing him because he starts to get all pissed off and then demands I take off my head. Now here's where I draw the line! I don't take off my head during a performance for ANYONE! So now he gets even more pissed off. Soon he's threatening to throw me off the train. Finally I whisper my name to the cool car attendant. He relays the info and the conductor checks his manifest. He sees that I am, in fact, a 1st class passenger and orders me back to my compartment to change. As I'm changing a second conductor pays me a visit. This guy is very nice. I explain about Anthrocon and how I'm a fursuit performer. He acknowledges the fact and says the only reason they got upset was that it was an unusual occurence and they didn't know what the heck was going on. Had I contacted Amtrak before I left or let one of the conductors know, it wouldn't have been as issue. He was very polite and thought what I did was pretty cool.
So there is my dilema again. If I wore a full length fur coat, that's not a problem. I put on a mask, and suddenly I am someone completely different! I guess that's the magic of fursuiting, but why should I be treated so differently? I'm not breaking any laws. I'm not a threat to health or safety. I'm not soliciting funds or conducting a business. So WTF? Oh well. At least I got a heck of a story out of it.