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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I'll give you $100 in pirate money if you put ticket machines on the trains

Went to a Bees gave with Sov last night and decided to take the Trax to the ballpark.

So I'm walking up to the Trax station and just then I can see the train approaching, but I've still got to buy my ticket. So I hurry over to the ticket machine, and the transaction goes really fast, my ticket prints just as the train pulls to a stop. But then my change starts dispensing, and I had forgotten that they give you those god damned gold dollar coins for change from these machines, and I paid with a $20. So I try to grab all $16 worth of pirate money with one hand while holding my wallet and ticket in the other hand, but my fist isn't large enough to hold 16 gold coins, so I drop 3 or 4 of them on the ground. Scrambling, I manage to pick up my fallen money and step over to the train where I push the button for the doors to open. But they don't open and the train pulls away from the station, leaving me alone with 16 fucking pieces of pirate gold in my hands. I place the coins in my pocket and proceed to extend my middle finger toward the train with the hopes that the idiot driver sees it and feels a little shame for being a fucking douche bag.

This whole incident reminds me of my number one gripe about the Trax: they need to put ticket machines on the fucking trains. I once told this to a police officer who was taking down my information after he caught me on the train without a ticket (I had a Trax token, mind, but no ticket, and that's not good enough). The reason I got on the train without a ticket? I got to the station at the same time as the train, I was running late, and so I decided to risk it and hopped on the train. Now, if there were ticket machines on the trains, this wouldn't be a problem. I told that to the police officer while he called in my information to make sure I wasn't a repeat offender, and he said, "That would give people an excuse to say 'Oh, I was going to buy a ticket!'" and I scoffed at the foolish pig and said, "That's where you're wrong. People have an excuse NOW to be caught without a ticket -- they have MY excuse. But put ticket machines on the trains and then people have NO excuse not to have a ticket, and then nobody has to decide whether to miss their train or risk getting fined." He was silent to my retort, because I had bested him in logic, and he was ashamed. Good thing he could hide his teary eyes behind his stupid aviator glasses.

Before you try to tell me that ticket machines on trains are impractical, I say au contraire. Take a trip to Berlin and you'll find that their subway trains, street cars, AND city buses ALL have ticket dispensers on them. They are tiny little boxes attached to the standing poles by the doors. And let me just point out that Germans are about the most efficiency-oriented people on the face of the planet. If ticket machines on trains are good enough for the Germans, then by god they're good enough for us.

I would also like to address the god damned pirate money. Listen up, America: The ONLY way gold dollar coins are EVER going to catch on is if (1) we do away with paper dollars altogether, and (2) we make it so that ALL machines accept the dollar coins. It would be even more successful if we instituted a $2 coin, much like the Euro. That way, when I buy a $4 Trax ticket with a $20 bill, I only have to get 8 pieces of pirate money in change, and my fist is big enough to handle that. But if we're going to be realistic, the only reason the Euro coins work so well is that cash money is much more dominant in Europe than credit card money. In America, it's exactly the opposite. Many people don't even carry cash regularly anymore. And when we do, we discard our change from our pockets into our coin jars at home, to be forgotten until we cash in the coins a year later when the jar is full. So coined dollars are more of a burden in America than anything else.

Sometimes, I feel like the only rational person in the room.



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8 comments:

Pirate Queen Sarah said...

The only use I've ever found for pirate money is buying off my niece and nephew. They secretly think I'm married to a pirate as I have a dog with an eye patch and those stupid coins at the bottom of my purse.

Sovknight said...

I'll admit that when you texted me to say you'd be running late because you dropped all the pirate money, I pictured you running around the TRAX station, chasing after little coins that were gleefully rolling away into grates and underneath curbs, while onlookers stared unhelpfully with mouths agape and IQs dropping. I felt bad, which is when I called to make sure you were ok. I probably overstated it in my mental picture, but my imagination is sometimes vivid.

Either way, I'm glad it worked out, because you were able to use the dubloons to purchase delicious beer and salty pretzels, although I'm convinced that you didn't get your change back from beer guy because you paid in pirate booty.

By the way, the Bees lost. :( I'm glad we didn't stay for the 11th inning just to see them lose. We'll do another game soon.

Sra said...

To Ye olde Pirate Queene: I know a woman who does the same thing with her daughter. The little one loves coins, and so mummy rewards her with coins when she is good. Then she gets to buy prizes when she has enough money. Good system, methinks. Yargh.

To Sov: Yes, if they lost, I'm glad we didn't bother to wait it out. As for beer guy, it could have been the dubloons, but I've been in bars before where waitresses keep your 50 cents change if you pay them in cash. It makes me mad. It's so presumptuous to assume that I'm going to give you those 50 cents. It's called a GRATUITY for a reason, namely, I give it to you if you do a good job and I'm gracious for your efforts.

Sterkworks said...

Let's burn the Georges. I'm with you on that one.

Sterkworks said...

Let's burn the Georges. I'm with you on that one.

Sovknight said...

I'll admit that when you texted me to say you'd be running late because you dropped all the pirate money, I pictured you running around the TRAX station, chasing after little coins that were gleefully rolling away into grates and underneath curbs, while onlookers stared unhelpfully with mouths agape and IQs dropping. I felt bad, which is when I called to make sure you were ok. I probably overstated it in my mental picture, but my imagination is sometimes vivid.

Either way, I'm glad it worked out, because you were able to use the dubloons to purchase delicious beer and salty pretzels, although I'm convinced that you didn't get your change back from beer guy because you paid in pirate booty.

By the way, the Bees lost. :( I'm glad we didn't stay for the 11th inning just to see them lose. We'll do another game soon.

Sra said...

To Ye olde Pirate Queene: I know a woman who does the same thing with her daughter. The little one loves coins, and so mummy rewards her with coins when she is good. Then she gets to buy prizes when she has enough money. Good system, methinks. Yargh.

To Sov: Yes, if they lost, I'm glad we didn't bother to wait it out. As for beer guy, it could have been the dubloons, but I've been in bars before where waitresses keep your 50 cents change if you pay them in cash. It makes me mad. It's so presumptuous to assume that I'm going to give you those 50 cents. It's called a GRATUITY for a reason, namely, I give it to you if you do a good job and I'm gracious for your efforts.

Pirate Queen Sarah said...

The only use I've ever found for pirate money is buying off my niece and nephew. They secretly think I'm married to a pirate as I have a dog with an eye patch and those stupid coins at the bottom of my purse.

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