Autumn always reminds me of train accidents.


When we were living in Connecticut, before I had an iPhone or kids, I used to have a job.  Sometimes I worked in the New York office and when I did I took the train from Greenwich to Grand Central.  Desperate for something to read one day, I found the train’s newsletter (?) and learned all about Slippery Rail season:

“In autumns past, you may have heard our train crews mention “slip-slide” to explain minor service delays. This condition is created by a Teflon-like substance left by crushed leaves on our rails that gets even more slippery when it rains.

When a train attempts to speed up or slow down, this slippery substance – called pectin – can cause the wheels to slip or slide along the rails.” – MTA LIRR

Pectin.  The same stuff we eat in our PB&Js.  And more!

  • In the cigar industry, pectin is considered an excellent substitute for vegetable glue and many cigar smokers and collectors will use pectin for repairing damaged tobacco wrapper leaves on their cigars.
  • Until 2002, pectin was one of the main ingredients used in Kaopectate a drug to combat diarrhea
  • Pectin is also used in jellybeans.

In other words pectin is everywhere, including all over my driveway and sidewalks.  If I never would have read that newsletter I would never know to be worried about fallen leaves.  Now you know too but

*wait for it*



I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.

Pectin Pectin Pectin


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