Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Why does every damn thing happen when you're in a damn hurry?

It was a rough ride for your ADD this morning, kids.  First, blurry from fatigue and having stayed up too late watching TAR (sniff! Poor Helo Dad and daughter) I fumbled through getting ready, dropping just about every thing I attempted to grasp or hold for more than 5 seconds.  Shampoo, makeup, clothing, name it.  Me hands no worky.

Then, in what in some ways I see as a bit of comeuppance to tourists, I had a major hassle on the metro.  I needed to add money to my SmarTrip card (and stupidly left that chore for a morning ride.  So foolish.  I should have done it last night on my way home when I wasn't in any hurry, but no.  I didn't.  EFF.).  I had totally planned ahead, had my $10 bill in hand, as well as my ST card, but for some reason the machine wouldn't accept the $10.  So, excellent commuter skills that I have, I *stepped out of line* to put away my cash and get my debit card, and got at the back of the line to start again.  See?  How considerate am I?! 

The tourist (who was umbilically attached to a MASSIVE group of teenagers--insert eye roll) who was standing behind me stepped up and painstakingly added her cash and coins to the machine to get a fare card.  Here's where it got dicey.  Apparently, despite my telling the machine to cancel my transaction, IT DIDN'T.  So the $3.45 that she put on in $1s, quarters, and dimes all went onto MY card.  Gee, thanks Lady!  Bye!  (No, not really, but how hilarious if I had, no?) 

Anyway, from the back of the line I realize what has happened and totally step up and explain it to her, offering to give her $3.45.  BUT ALL I HAD WAS THE FUCKING $10.  No change.  And she didn't have any either.  And the metro station attendant doesn't do change.  And her group was *calling* to her, egging her on, "Come ON Julie!" so she wasn't real inclined to solicit change from them, either.  She was clearly exasperated, and I felt so badly (even though I hadn't done anything wrong).  I offered to go upstairs with her to the Starbucks by the station and get change there, but the crowd in the coliseum was getting restless and any minute was going to give Julie the "DIE" thumbs down, so she just nabbed a low-fare card someone else in her group had and used that to at least get started on her trip.  I then retreated to the SmarTrip machine, finished my transaction, and then hid until I was sure J and her group had left on another train.  That's right I HID.  I didn't want any dirty looks on the platform.  School groups can get ugly in a New York Minute my friends.  And my hands don't work so I didn't feel it was the right time to rumble.

I do feel so badly about what happened, and her losing that money.  But I have had tourists do so many ass-stupid things--to me and others in my company--in my years riding the metro that I feel there is some measure of justice here.  Julie and I were just standing in for the two groups writ small...she, The Tourist.  I, The Commuter.  Someday Clarence will write a play about it and all its classical Greek tragedy implications.  That'll be such a great show. 


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