Jul 29, 2019: Return

One of the perks of my random working hours, is that I sometimes get to be treated like some sort of high-stakes criminal on the bus.

When I go to work, I like to be efficient when it comes to my bus fare spending. It’s a no-brainer really – it costs £2.50 to get into town, and yet it costs £3.20 if I want to go to town and come back again at a later time that day. As most people do, because they don’t live in town. If I’m on an annoying shift day and I have to go out, back and out again I’ll splash out for a £4-something day ticket. Then I have the travel world at my feet.

The beauty of modern travel is you have to deal with the drivers less and less. You have to pay for your ticket when you get on (unless you use an app, which I could but I wouldn’t get the right sort of tickets) but other than that it’s all QR codes and grunts.

Generally, I scan my return ticket and sit down. No-one really bothers about it. So I don’t bother about it. But then, generally I’m returning home in the eventide hours. It’s unlikely anyone would be going out again at this hour, especially by bus.

But during the day, it’s a whole different kettle of miserable-faced fish.

Bus drivers do not like a return ticket during the day.

They have to enforce them. Because I could be a ne’er-do-well who knows that, actually, this return ticket can be used over and over again in the same day. I mean, I do know that. But I know that because a driver told me one as he tore the QR code off the bottom of my ticket and tossed it to the floor of his cab. Or into a bin. Or something.

So day drivers enforcing this have a great way of doing it.

They don’t speak to you. They don’t say, “sorry, can I just tear the bottom off your ticket?” or anything like that. They just wave a hand about as though you’re supposed to know what they mean.

I, on the other hand, forget that return tickets during the day are the devil’s work for a bus driver. Until the hand waving.

And then I just roll my eyes.

I used to hand my ticket over for the driver to tear.

Now I don’t even give them the satisfaction. I just rip the QR code off myself and hand it to them.

If I was a ne’er-do-well, I’d have a pocket full of expired QR codes and just fake the tearing and give them one from my stash…

But I’m not.

I would just like to stress that.

I am not a ne’er-do-well.

Carole has, twice, in the space of three days, described me as a goody-two-shoes.

Which I am.

I’m just saying…