A Monty Python moment

May 5, 2009 at 2:52 pm (General)

Stony Curtis, a couple weeks ago, made a series of re-formatted bus tickets, each one expressing his dissatisfaction with the local transit authorities. They’re brilliant, I have to say. The tickets, not the authorities.
However, he left out one overwhelming absurdity.
So, I take the bus to work today, heading to butt-fuck Laval, Quebec’s version of Long Island. Take the metro to the furthest station on Jesus Island and, as I’m heading out, ask an attendant if the transfer I got in Montreal will work in Laval. That would be a big “no.” Okay, this means I’m going to be out about $6. To go to Laval. I ask the attendant where I can buy a ticket, and I’m told to go to the ticket booth upstairs.
So, I head up to the “billeterie” (ticket window, emphasis on “ticket”), realise that they don’t sell week passes, so I hand $20 over and ask for two tickets. And here’s the conversation:

Heavily mascara’ed ticket agent: What bus are you taking.
Me: The 65.
HMTA: I’m giving you $5 in change. Pay on the bus.
Me: Um, but that doesn’t give me enough change to take the bus back at the end of the day. (Rides cost $2.60)
HMTA: Well, I can only give out change for $5.
Me: But how do I get back?
HMTA: Find twenty cents somewhere.
Me: Are you serious?
HMTA: Yup!

So, I take a step back, absolutely douche-chilled by this Kafka’esque situation. Ooo, but then I’m hit with a plan. I step back to the ticket counter where, as has become obvious, they don’t sell tickets and I lay (another) $5 down on the counter.
Me: Hi! Could I have change for $5, please! (All smiling.)
HMTA: I’m sorry, we only give change for $5.
Me: Great! That’s exactly what I want!
HMTA: I’m sorry, we only give change for $5.
Me: But this is an entirely new transaction!

The HMTA sits there, completely confused, the gears grinding rustily in her head, probably thanking her personal Jesus that she’s unionised.
I leave.

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