It’s not my fault…

It’s Saturday afternoon, and I’m sitting at work, watching the football scores roll in on the Reuters newsfeed, while I wait for various technical gurus to do stuff so that I can start the system up again, and then push off back to what’s left of the weekend. No real hurry though, as it gives me the chance to write this week’s editorial: it should have happened last night, but circumstances, in the shape of TC contributor Andy Collins, a quantity of beer and a particularly potent curry, conspired against me. [Barnsley 3, Southampton 2]

It has been a busy week: three evenings out, and the other two saw friends visiting; more and more I find myself out during the week, and using the weekend to recuperate and recover, quite the reverse of normal practice. [Motherwell 1, Rangers 1] I don’t mind this, as going out at the weekend is a hellish pursuit. Far better to sit at home and shake your head at the sad exploits portrayed on ‘Friday Night Fever’, roadcrash television at its most compellingly awful. This show follows people on nights out, providing a salutory lesson on why the best company is your own. If these are the sort of people who occupy London at the weekend, I’m staying home.

Not that going out during the week is trouble-free, especially if you have to deal with London Transport. Monday night saw me travelling down to Morden, which is ONE STOP outside the area covered by my Travelcard. I went to Bank station, with every intention of buying the extension which would let me travel like an honest citizen. But, during rush hour, at one of the busiest and largest stations, all the machines I could use were demanding exact change, and there was precisely ONE ticket window open, You can imagine what the queue at that was like. [Dunfermline 1, Aberdeen 1] Thanks to my futile attempts to buy a ticket, I was now late, so I hopped onto the tube anyway, planning to sort it out at Morden. [Spurs 2, Liverpool 1. Damn.]

Unfortunately, down at Morden, there was only one man in the ticket office, and he was too busy with people on the other side of the barrier to serve poor me at the “assistance” window. No problem, I’ll go through the barrier and join the queue there. Uh-huh. Not with the London Transport employee from hell on guard, with an attitude straight out of ‘Zulu’ — they shall not pass. Ten minutes of politely asking, begging and finally threatening failed to move him. Luckily, his supervisor turned up, and let me through without blinking an eye, but the LTEFH *followed me through* and explained in infinite detail how he was just “doing his job” and “obeying orders”.

The net result of this aggravation [Spurs 2, Liverpool 2, hooray!] is that I am now seriously considering fare dodging as an active pursuit, since it seems that this is what London Transport want. Why else do they make it so hard to buy a ticket, and treat people who WANT to pay like common criminals?