Relationship is derailed as rail geek girl uses her amazing powers of deduction to catch her boyfriend in a lie.

Daily life in Japan often means spending extended periods of time on packed commuter trains. Nevertheless, whether due to some sort of infrastructure-derived Stockholm syndrome or the country’s long-held admiration of technology and engineering, Japan has a sizable subculture of hard-core train enthusiasts, who’re called tetsu ota (a shortened version of the Japanese words tetsudou/railway and otaku/geek).

While their obsessive level of interest in something most people take for granted sometimes makes tetsu ota social outcasts, others are able to combine their passion for trains with meaningful interpersonal relationships. For example, when Japanese Twitter user @rupear was in high school, one of his friends was dating a girl who was a train otaku. However, at some point the boyfriend decided to start fooling around and became involved with another woman.

For a while, his duplicitous dual dating designs went smoothly, until one day when his girlfriend called him on his mobile phone to ask where he was.

At the time, he was apparently on his way to or from a rendezvous with the other woman. Not having any excuse for being in that part of town, however, he decided to simply lie and told her “I’m at the station by my house,” putting on the guise that he was on his way home, or perhaps running some local errands.

But the train otaku girlfriend immediately knew he was lying. Was she following him, and could see he wasn’t where he claimed to be? Was she tracking his phone through GPS?

Nope. She just used her tetsu ota powers of deduction, and, according to @rupear, said:

“I can hear trains in the background, and the sound of their motors is different from the ones that go through your station.”

With that first layer of deception peeled away, the rest of the boyfriend’s story unraveled, revealing his infidelity and prompting the tetsu ota girlfriend to dump him.

Quick-thinking online commenters offered their suggestions for how the boyfriend could have wriggled out the situation. “He could have said ‘Today I took the special EF64 express train home. That’s why it sounds different,” offered one, while another’s ploy would be “The E257 model is in temporary special service today.” But really, if the girlfriend’s tetsu ota skills are so honed that she can differentiate between the sounds of different trains over the phone, it’s pretty much certain that she’ll know which special express and temporary service trains are currently running, and making a mistake there would just have been digging a deeper hole.

Of course, if the boyfriend had kept a running mental list of all the different possible trains on his line and timed his secret rendezvous accordingly, he might have gotten away with it. That’s a lot of brain power to devote, though, and, to paraphrase the old adage, if you never lie, you don’t have to remember what the train schedule is.

Source: Twitter/@rupear via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he figures that in some ways being a train otaku in Japan isn’t all that different from being a car fan in Los Angeles.