Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Ticket to ride.

I tried a little experiment yesterday.

I wanted to get to and from work without paying.

I started my mission at the Brixton tube. I approached the turnstile and produced an old ticket and with a quick slight of hand movement I appeared to place my ticket in the slot. At the same time I quickly followed the unsuspecting punter ahead of me. Yep I'm riding on your ticket mate, and you don't even know it. (I love that kind of thing.) So far so good.

Next hurdle is the maze that is Kings Cross. I know for a fact that the gates are usually open when you hop off the Victoria line and make your way over to the circle and metropolitan line. The turnstile I have to watch for is the one that lets you through to go eastward.

I saw there was an old lady in front of me having some trouble with her bags. Being the gentleman I was, I helped her and in the process looked at the guy who was watching the turnstiles. He saw me lugging this bag, with granny in front of me and opened the turnstile for granny, and in the process I slipped through and gave her her bag back. Genius, if I do say so myself.

Now only one more hurdle to get to work. I jumped off at Farringdon and joined the mob of people funnelling towards the turnstiles. I did the old slight of hand trick again, and pushed on through. Half of my mission completed.

The second half, the going home bit is a doddle. After work I went back to Farringdon to catch the overland train to Herne Hill, where I walk home from. They don't have turnstiles at the Herne Hill end, and because I catch this train with a work mate, it was a cinch to get a ride home. I simply told him that I was gonna follow him through the turnstile. No problem. I hopped on the train, happy that I had completed my mission.

I jumped off the train at Herne Hill and sauntered out. Hmm there is a big queue. I have a look and spot some old guys in blue coats at the gates. Fuck. The day I decide to ride free, these bastards show up. I've caught this train for months and this has never happened. The game is up. There is nowhere to run. I walk up to an old guy in a blue coat and basically hand my self in.

OG: Do you have a ticket.
Me: No
OG: Where did you get on the train?
Me: Kings Cross (For a laugh)
OG: How? They have a number of gates.
Me: Slight of hand, mate, and fox like stealth.
OG: What?
Me: I jumped the turnstiles.
OG: You know it's a £10 fine.
Me: Bill me.
OG: What?
Me: Send me the fine.

(I had £20 in my pocket, but there was no way he was getting my money, not today, not by a long shot. I had better things to spent my cash on. Like meeting Smackie for a drink at the boozer. I have priorities y'know.)

OG: We don't bill people.
Me: We'll you are going to have to bill me. I don't have the cash.
OG: You have no money on you?
Me: Nope.
Other OG: C'mon you must have a debit card, credit card?
Me: Nope ( I do have a debit card, but I felt like stringing this along a wee bit more)

The old guy then pulled out a little black book and asked me to write my name, address, phone number, postcode and what I did for a job.

I thought for a minute "Should I just tell him to fuck right off? Do I give a bogus name? Or do I tell the truth?"

I opted for telling the truth. He then started reading my rights like a copper. I sniggered. I couldn't help it. He then wrote down all the questions in his book and wrote down my reply (which I greatly embellished, since he was now writing it all down.) This process took probably 10 minutes, and by the end of it, he asked me to read it and sign it. I then got him to change a few bits, and I signed it. I then got his mate to sign it as a witness. Both of them didn't find it half as amusing as I did.

I mean if they want to play coppers, I'm going to play the annoying know your rights guy! Bastards.

He then informed me that he had to type this up for his supervisor and then he had to pass it on to the prosecutor , who would contact me in 7-14 days. Oh the delight I'm going to have when he calls. If he ever does.

That's the thing, I could have just given a fake name and got off scott free, but for some crazy reason I love to see the big backward bullshit wheels of buracreacy in action. Considering the amount of shit I've had with banks, and BT and any corporation usually I have to deal with, I want my £10 worth of paper work, pain and paper shuffling. I think they are going to call me, and when they do, if they do, I'm going to ask for a statement in writing and opt for written correspondence in the future as I would like records for my brush with authority. Ooooh, authority! I want to stretch out my £10 fine for as long as possible.

Fuck the system? Nope. Fill & file the system.