Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Er Im

I'm not the most organised or disciplined of individuals. On Monday, however, I surprised myself. I knew I was going to be going up to London on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday so when I was buying Monday's car park ticket and train fare, I also bought for Tuesday and Wednesday, thus saving myself queuing on subsequent days.

I stored the various advance tickets in my purse whilst making a mental note that they were there. I am very good at forgetting where I've put things.

Yesterday everything worked out fine. I took out the Tuesday and Wednesday parking tickets and put both in the car window thinking it would save me searching for the Wednesday one at a later date. The train ticket worked and I saved myself some time by avoiding the ticket desk.

Today everything was going well until I arrived at Liverpool Street and looked for my ticket so that I could get through the ticket barrier. I knew I had found the ticket because I had gone through the ticket barrier at Shenfield. So I checked my coat pockets – nothing. I checked my jeans pockets – nothing. I checked my handbag – nothing. I considered checking the laptop case and thought 'I never put tickets in there – don't be daft.'

The barrier was approaching rapidly. Well actually I was approaching the barrier because barriers don't usually move. I checked everywhere again and the prime suspect, coat pockets, received a further frisk – nothing. The look of guilty fare dodger spread across my face. I approached the man checking the tickets for people who can't be bothered to use the machines.

"Er, I've lost my ticket. What do I do?" I said.

"Talk to 'im over there" came the reply.

I went over to Im.

"Er Im, I've lost my ticket. What do I do?"

"Do you want to have another look?" said Im.

"Well I've already looked everywhere, and I normally keep it in my coat pocket but it isn't there and I think it may have fallen out when I sat down. I have got the receipt. … OK"

And under Im's careful supervision I once again checked my coat and jeans pockets and my handbag, very thoroughly.

Im and I exchanged a look. Me looking guilty, Im looking pityingly.

I had a blinding flash of the obvious and reached as though adjusting my bra strap and pulled out a ticket.

"Er Im, thank you, sorry. I sometimes store my tickets in my bra."

How we laughed, except I didn't. I went very, very pink and hurried off.

No comments: