Thursday, April 03, 2014

Come On and Take a Free Ride

Tonight, I caught the 6:01 train from Penn Station.  The train was short, which means that there were only 8-10 cars instead of the usual twelve, which means more people standing.  I was one of them.  Standing in the vestibule with several other men, we were outside the lavatory.  One of the men had a suspicious look about him.  He was looking around, like he was up to something.  Being the observant and curious person that I am, I started watching him.

He stepped into the lavatory at Penn Station and shut the door.  Right away, I assumed he'd try an old trick I've seen other people attempt.  That is, locking oneself in the lavatory to avoid paying the train fare.  Sure enough, by the time we got out of the East River tunnel, the door was still locked and he was still in there.

One of the guys in the vestibule was drinking a beer, and we all know how beer works.  You can't buy it, you can only rent it.  He knocked on the lav door, and the guy in the lav yelled out, "just a minute."  The guy drinking the beer and I looked at each other, and he was angry.  He also knew the guy was trying to evade the fare, and he was not happy about it.  He said to me, "I HATE when people do this."  When the conductor came by to take tickets, the guy drinking the beer told the conductor that there was a guy hiding in there, and he'd been there for the past 20 minutes.  The conductor knocked on the door and said, "Hey buddy, are you ok?  you've been in there for 20 minutes."

The guy opened the lav door and told the conductor, "I'm ok, just constipated."  Really.  He said that.  I wouldn't make something like that up.  I wish I recorded this on my iPhone.

The conductor asked the guy for his ticket.  Naturally, he didn't have one.  The conductor said, "that will be $21."  The guy then spent what seemed like five minutes checking his pockets, his bag, everywhere to find money.  Finally, he found his wallet and opened the billfold.  How much cash do you think was in the billfold?

Zero dollars.  ZERO... POINT... ZERO.

He asked the conductor if he could pay by credit card.  The conductor said, "we only accept cash."

The conductor then asked the guy for ID, and began filling out a form.  I've seen guys with no cash and no ID get removed from the train, but I guess since this guy had an ID, they'd give him a bill instead.  It took a while for the conductor to complete the form, and while he was filling it out, the guy drinking the beer told the conductor, "I don't want you to have to fill out the form."  He pulled a wad of cash from his pocket.  "Let me pay his fare."  The beer drinking man was trying to embarrass the fare evader, who just stood there and said nothing.  The conductor wouldn't allow it, and the fare evader was given his bill.

The fare evader just stood there for the rest of the train ride.  No shame at all.  What a weasel.  I was hoping he would get booted from the train.

Moral of the story? Pay your fare.  And eat plenty of fiber.

Happy commuting, and may you encounter uncommon sense.

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