Well, today was a train day. I haven't taken the train to work since last week and this weekend I switched some stuff from my main purse to a different one. During the drive to the train station this morning I thought to myself "you should probably check and make sure you have your ten-trip pass thing in this purse Trisha". But then I decided I was being paranoid... there's no reason that I would have taken it out because I didn't need it in my "weekend purse". So I didn't check. Sit down on the train, pull out my book and go to grab my pass for when the conductor comes by. If it wasn't already blatantly obvious, the pass wasn't there. Now, if we know me at all we also know I don't carry around cash. Reason number one, credit cards are easier to use, harder to lose. Reason number two, I can get away with saying "sorry I don't have any cash" in various situations, which always leads to spending and lending less money. So I'm on the train, ticketless and cashless. What do I do? Well about 187 scenarios run through my mind. Really about 3, but I exaggerate. Let's discuss what went through my mind...
Option 1: Fake sleep. Pray they don't try to wake me up. If they do, fake deep sleep. Pray they won't want to make a scene by shouting at the sleeping girl. If they do, fake death. If pulse is checked, fake coma. But then how do I stop faking in order to get off at Stamford for work?
Option 2: Get up and just walk around the train for the entire 40 minute ride, never stopping long enough for a conductor to find me. If spotted and looked at in a questioning manner ask which car has the closest bathroom. Pray I'm not standing in front of one as I ask it. If I am, play stupid, clueless girl who gets really embarrassed when she is told she's standing right in front of it. Or, only if verbally questioned, say I was headed back to my seat in the other car, and just came from the bathroom.
Option 3: Spin-off from the bathroom idea... wait until the conductor is a few rows away collecting tickets and then get up and ask him where the closest car is with a bathroom. Make my way in that direction, by the time I'm back he's gone through my car and collected all tickets. Maybe to be safe instead of returning to my original car I will instead sit down in the car he came from previously, where tickets were already collected and where he wouldn't be looking for "that girl who went to the bathroom while I was collecting tickets".
Option 4: Pretend I don't know I don't have my ticket. When conductor comes by rummage through my bag. Keep rummaging. Hope he's tired of your rummaging and "comes back" to you, but never does. Only if needed say "I can't seem to find it".
- Option 4a: Play the pity card. When told I can't find it, conductor will say I can pay with cash. Open my wallet, show him it's empty. Offer him the ticket I happen to have in my wallet (from over a year ago, never used) from Stamford to Rye, NY as alternative payment... even though it's expired and about $5 less than a ticket for the trip I was taking. If needed, get teary eyed.
- Option 4b: Flirt my way out. "Are you reaaaaally going to kick me off? How about you let this slide and I'll.... (smile coyly, pause for effect)..... let it be our little secret"
Basically the only guaranteed option is 4b, because men are men. Especially men in their 40s who are being flirted with by a girl in her 20s. But alas, it's also the last one I would actually do. I'll play dead, walk unnecessarily essentially playing grown-up hide and seek for 40 minutes, be completely conniving, cry, or throw a tantrum... but probably not flirt. Notice tell the truth and just be upfront about the whole thing is never an option that crosses my mind. I decide to fake sleep while all of this is running through my head, in case that's the option I go with... I want the people sitting near me to believe I'm actually asleep by the time the dude comes around. Finally I start hearing "tickets please" and the sound of the conductor's hole punch. The pressure's on and I can't decide whether to go with option 3 or an option 1, 4a hybrid (fake sleep as long as possible... when it comes to the fake death step switch instead to option 4a). My heart is racing, I'm sweating. Really, this isn't a huge deal, but I get worked up over minimal things. His voice sounds closer. I decide it's too late to go with option 3 and still be convincing that I'm not just trying to get out of paying for my ride so I go with the hybrid and do my best deep sleep impersonation. Time is going so slowly. I'm sure that any second my neighbor will tap me on the shoulder to give the man my ticket. But wait... can it be.... it sounds like his voice is now a row or two ahead of me.... dare I peek? No, too soon. Too risky. Could be my ears being hopeful. Heart rate is fastest at this point. Then I hear the train car door open and close. Could he have collected all other tickets and just went along to the next car? Dare I peek NOW? No, still too soon. I end up waiting a good 2 minutes of silence before daring to open my eyes. Even then, part of me was sure he'd be standing there, glaring at me... suspecting me as a fraud all along. But alas, he was not. The sleep trick worked. Brilliant. Now for my ride home this afternoon....