— So, uh, how’s your day goin’?
— Oh, it could have started off better. Actually, I feel like I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
— Why, what happened?
— Well, things were going okay. I mean I’d gotten the e-mails done. I’d gotten all the dishes done. Took a shower. Got ready to go. Um, but as usual, I was running against the clock, trying to, uh, get down and catch the train on time.
— So, I got on the train. I go in the back like I usually do because I have a pass. Sit down, we go one stop. We, we’re actually coming up to 18th, y’know, just the next stop. And I see the, the ticket checkers, for lack of a better word…
— Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah, I know who you’re talkin’ about.
— People who are always checking for passes…
— …they’re on and I thought, okay, great, yeah, I’ve, y’know, I’ve got my pass on me. So one of them comes up to me asking to see my pass. I start looking in my bag for the place that I always keep it, and it’s not there.
— Oh, are you serious?
— So, yeah! I’m looking, looking, thinking, oh where is it? Then suddenly…eh, y’know, and this is after, too, I start checking my pants and just racking my brain tryin’ to think of where, where my pass could be. Then suddenly it dawned on me that I had left it in the pocket of a pair of pants that I’d worn two days before to work.
— Oh, and they were still at home, I’m sure.
— Yes, they were still at home. So, I start explaining this to the woman. And, she, um, she whips her clipboard out. And I’m like, “Y’know, I just got on.” And she’s like, “Oh right here?” ‘Coz, y’know, we’d just gotten to 18th Street. And I was like, “No, no, no, no, I, I, um, I got on just one stop back at 20th. But I always have my pass on me and that’s why I got on the back. I’ve got money. I can go up and pay right now.” And she’s like, “Oh, just hold on a second.” And she starts writing.
— Let me guess. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that she still gave you the ticket.
— Yes. I still got the citation. So, but, I thought that there still might be hope. So I keep trying to ask her questions, or… And letting her know I can go and pay. And she’s like, “Just, just hold on, let me, let me focus on this and we’ll talk in a minute when I get done writing.” So then I start panicking, thinking, oh great, I am getting it, for sure. And I remember back to somebody telling me that they’d gotten one, a ticket once before on the train and, um, for not havin’ their pass, and it ended up costing ‘em like 250 bucks…
— Well, I’ve gotten…
— And you know with the…
— …one of those tickets before. And, and I mean, I recall it cost a pretty penny. But I don’t remember it being that much.
— Well, eh, this is what I’m thinking it’s gonna cost. And with the money that we’re tryin’ to save for our trip… I just, I almost started crying, thinkin’ I can’t afford this, y’know. So she finishes writing and hands it to me and it ends up being only 50 bucks.
— Oh, they must have cut down the fine then, because I remember I paid more than that.
— Yeah, she had circled 50 bucks. She’s like ”I’m assuming this is your first offense.” And I was like “Yeah, it is.” She’s like “Okay, um, it’ll be 50 bucks. Now I did write down here that you do, you claim you have a pass and you just left it in a pair of pants back in your apartment. So what you can do is go here. “ And she’s showing me all this on the ticket.
“You can go here and contest it. So…”
— Pffft. Yeah..yeah, go down there and contest it. That basically means you’re gonna spend, y’know, most of a day sitting in the courtroom waiting for the case to get called. And then when it finally does get called, y’know, you gotta try and convince the judge that you actually had a ticket. I mean, it’s a total long shot. I wouldn’t, I mean…
— I know.
— …I don’t even know, it’s a waste of time.
— Yeah, I agree. I was talkin’ to somebody here at work about it and they were like, y’know, if you do that you’re gonna be sitting there for a few hours at least…
— …and it’s just not worth it.
— No, I agree.
— Yeah, so, I’m tryin’ not to have a chip on my shoulder about it. I don’t wanna badmouth them. I know they’re just doin’ their job…
— Pffft. Yeah, it’s, it’s…
— …yeah, I mean it’s water under the bridge at this point, so, y’know, don’t…
— It is.
— …get upset about it.
— Yeah, I. Bottom line is I’m gonna be havin’ to pay 50 bucks, so…
— Yeah, yeah, that sucks. I’m sure that was a great way to start the day, huh?
— Well, to top it off then, I also realized that the pair of pants that my pass, I left my pass in – the pocket that I left them in – I washed those pants last night.
— [laugh] Oh, so the pass is probably shredded.
— So, it’s probably shredded, it’s probably done, yep.
— Oh, yeah.