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5:44pm on Saturday, 25th August, 2012:

Broken Ticket


I went to London today to meet an old friend. On the tube trip back I texted my younger daughter to let her know what time I would arrive (I'd have texted my wife but my daughter actually checks her texts). In inadvertently put my mobile phone back in my inside pocket, where my ticket was.

Last time I did that, the phone wiped the magnetism off the ticket. I took my phone out of my pocket and it had the ticket caught on the casing, so things didn't look good. Sure enough, when I got to Liverpool Street the barrier wouldn't accept my ticket; I had to show it to one of the people on the gate. I tried to use it to get to the platform for the train, but again it didn't work and I had to show it to the person on the gate. Finally, when I got to Colchester, it failed again; again, I showed it to the person on the gate.

At that point I decided I'd throw it away in the station bin. I also had the receipt I got when I bought the ticket to throw away. Except, hold on, where was my receipt? It was supposed to be in my left pocket where I kept the phone, but it wasn't there. I had my ticket in my right pocket, to keep it away from the phone, so I checked my inside pocket and found ... my ticket. I checked the ticket I'd just shown the inspector, from my right pocket, and it was the receipt.

I guess what happened was that when I took my phone out of my side pocket, it brought the receipt with it. It stayed stuck to the back of it while I did the text message, then I put both of them in my inside pocket. When I removed it and spotted the receipt, I thought it was my ticket. After all, who pays attention to what a ticket looks like?

Certainly, three ticket inspectors whose job it is to check tickets don't.

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Copyright © 2012 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).