Caught Red Handed


I’m off to catch a train. Fa la la. The 5:56pm from Brighton Beach. What’s that? The train’s going to be 3 minutes late? Maybe I’ll be able to validate my 2 hour ticket at 6:00pm and get on! No need for a daily!

My cunning plan doesn’t work. The train comes at 5:59. I validate the 2 hour and go. I’m only losing 30c in buying another one. Maybe 40.

time passes…

Mmmm. Beer. Parma. Tasty stuff. Oooh, ooh, there’s the tram. Perfect timing. Oh, gosh, this guy’s in a hurry. Almost fall into the seat as he drives off before the lights change. Where were you, speedy tram man, when I needed you yesterday? I elaborate on this point to my companion for some time. Two stops later, just as I’m really hammering home the injustice of fast tram drivers when you don’t need them and vice versa, someone interrupts.

Oooooh. They look all ticket inspectorish. And as it’s not Halloween… Ah. Where’s my ticket again? Oh. I was going to buy another one, honest. We just got on. I have many other non-valid tickets, look. No, I got a 2 hour. Yes, it expired 2 hours ago. I was going to get a ticket but I hadn’t gotten around to it yet. Have you noticed that there’s never a fast train dr…

Right. OK. Infringed. Reported. Bother. Well, let’s just catch the train home. Wouldn’t it be funny if I wasn’t, in fact, under 0.05 like I think I am, and there was a booze bus around this corner?

Well, will you look at that. Wouldn’t it be funny if I won the lottery and travelled through space and time and had abs you could beat people to death with? Huh. This is my granny’s car! Where’s the winding down window thingy? I can’t find it! I look drunk! What kind of idiot can’t… oh, there it is. No harm, no foul, officer. I will gladly blow into your white thingy.

In a twist that makes this story something of an anticlimax, but me massively relieved, I’m in fact nowhere near 0.05 at this point, as I expected. I will, however, have to take Metlink up on their “contest this fine” policy and write a firmly worded letter to get myself out of this fine.


6 Responses to “Caught Red Handed”

  1. Naughty Thomas. Late at night on the sandy line you can always get away with no ticket. for a start, after about 8 or 10, they leave the gates to flinders st ‘unlocked’ and plus, if inspector chaps come onto the carriage, they dont check you. they just stand there and have a chat.

    If all else fails, however, pretend to be in a coma.

  2. There are often late night “inspectors”. Certainly almost always when I’ve caught the last or second last Frankston train on a weekend. I think they are simply there in the capacity of safety officers or some such. Like you say, they never check tickets, they just stand there and make us feel safe I suppose. Maybe they’re just going home.

  3. They scare the crap out of me when I haven’t got a ticket. Just standing there, menacing. Are they are about to ask for tickets? Should I make a run for it? Will I look guilty if I do? Is someone else about to crack and make a run for it, thereby distracting the inspectors?

    Did you try the drunk excuse with the tram inspectors? You aren’t responsible for your actions when you are drunk.

  4. The late night train ones aren’t inspectors, they’re customer service. To make you feel safer. Or possibly, to scare the crap out of you.

    I didn’t like to push drunkenness as my story involved going to Brighton Beach and driving home. I didn’t want to allow any inconsistencies in my testimony. I’ve seen how dangerous that can be.

  5. What’s the point of Metlink tickets when there is no Stargate SG-1 anymore.

  6. That might work as an excuse if the inspectors are Stargate fans.