Master Criminal

10 Jan

Well. It definitely could have been a lot worse.

Hello, dear blog reader, by the way. You look lovely today – have you done something new with your hair? It suits you. I like it. Big fan.

So yesterday I popped off to London to spend some time with my dear friends at the launch of a brand new comedy night – School Night. It was an unmitigated SUCCESS.

All the tickets sold out and it was obvious that all of the acts were having an absolute ball – massive kudos to Matthew Crosby, Matt Parker, Steve Pretty, Steve Mould, Helen Arney and Humphrey Ker for pulling it out of the bag in a huge way, and making maths, music, science, PHSE and history fun all over again. (I was definitely not paid to say that. I’m being completely honest.) For goodness sake, buy tickets for the second show once it’s announced. You will not be disappointed.


As with most of my trips to London back in December, yesterday involved an overnight wait at Paddington Station before my train home in the morning. I normally get the 05:36 train back as it means I’ve only got 6 or so hours to kill on my own whilst I wait. I’d booked my travel a bit late this time, and realised that the cheapest train home was at 11am. “Ho-hum” I thought, and bought my ticket.

Thankfully, I was equipped with a good book (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – I finished it. It was very good.) which made the wait pass by speedily. Whilst I was reading however, I pondered the idea of hopping on the half 5 train rather than waiting around for an extra 6 hours in a cold train station whilst my bum slowly went numb.

At 5:18, they announced that the train now at platform three was the 05:36 to Cheltenham Spa and was now boarding. I got on the train.

Now. I’d say on average, that only 1/3 of my train tickets are ever actually checked, and it’s even more rare at that time of the morning. As you’ve probably guessed, thanks to my excellent luck, my ticket was checked. I handed over my ticket and railcard, but not my reservation slip which would betray my dishonesty.


There was no London Paddington to Cheltenham reservation on their system, so it was obvious that I wasn’t supposed to be on that train at all.

So the upshot of the situation was that I had to pay a fine, which was the full cost of a ticket for that time of the morning. Namely £56. At that point, I was very nearly sick. It was my own stupid fault though. I chose to be (basically a criminal) and now I had to deal with the consequences. When I handed over my debit card to pay, it got declined. Twice.

By now, I was pretty sure that I was going to get hauled off by the British Transport Police once we got into Swindon and would have to spend some time in jail. I wouldn’t survive. I am not tough enough to spend any amount of time in the slammer.

The conductor asked if I had a driving licence on me, and I duly handed over my provisional, which obviously has my home address in Plymouth on it. Because I couldn’t pay for the ticket on the train, they were going to have to send out a fine in the post, which would have been about £89. Because I had nothing on me with my Cheltenham address, and the fine would have had to have been paid within 7 days, the conductor wasn’t happy that further action would have had to have been taken if I hadn’t been forwarded the letter within the time limit.

Finally, he asked me how much money I had on me. I had £25 on me, and some extra coins. “What if I charge you £25 for the ticket? I mean, I really don’t want to rinse you for everything you’re worth.” And he did.

I was the one most definitely in the wrong and the Conductor did everything he could to help me out. I appreciate what he did for me a lot.

Crime doesn’t pay, guys. Don’t think less of me for this.


One Response to “Master Criminal”


  1. Year In Review. « Closing Musings - December 31, 2012

    […] month I… tried to break the law and failed, bitched about fancy dress and took on […]

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