Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Maybe I Should Swipe My Oyster???

Maybe I Should Swipe My Oyster???
Originally uploaded by Danny Walker 1.

OK, I’m just about to board the ‘Please Don’t Bump Me’ Bendy Bus (a 73 if you must know) and I make my usual shady move to the furthest doors from the driver. My peripheral vision clocks several likeminded members of the public doing the same thing. We have no intention to pay. The bus begins to move, but not before I position myself RIGHT next to the Oyster swipe machine (so if it the milk turns out to be sour, I won’t be the one drinking it). The other non-paying passengers foolishly acquire seats at the back of the bus… amateurs!

I soon start to realise something is up as two dirty faced individuals turn SHARP and head for the doors, mid-stop. The duo’s pupils and attire look about 43 minutes in-between vacations to Crackville, so I know something’s up – a crackhead won’t contemplate pressing the emergency button and jumping out the doors into oncoming traffic for no reason (unless they hear the music to some kind of crack vending ice cream truck).

Next thing I know, vest-clad inspectors swoop from ALL directions and start asking people for valid tickets. As make their way towards the non-paying section, they check tickets/ oyster cards and free pensioner passes, I draw for the wallet ASAP and spend the 80p… reluctantly!

Meanwhile, the doomed people behind me (some still oblivious to the raid) STILL aren’t moving and have already accepted their fate. The crack twins are still hovering by the door wondering whether to jump or not and the officials efficiently shuffle onwards.

‘Ahhhh,’ sigh, the VOCs (Victims of Crack) as the bus pulls into the next stop and they swiftly make their getaway. Just as I’m approached by an official (pictured), I draw for the Oyster and present my ‘recently’ valid ticket… phew!!!

I know what you’re thinking, ‘Why didn’t he just jump off?’ Your answer… I couldn’t be bothered. Also it was worth the journey as about four people at the busses rear were issued with £20 fines!!! The funniest comment I overhead came from a Diiiiiiiiiiirkhead who handed over his penalty fee. “But, but… [Whilst giving the inspector his details]… that’s my last bit of cash. If I get off at the next stop, how am I gonna get home?” The vest-clad warrior looked into his soul and shrugged!!!