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.



  1. Alston Adams said,


  2. gordon said,

    hey mister–

    last winter–with a couple of exceptions–i walked from montmorency to armand-frappier (10-15 mins. brief walk if you cut through all the mall parking lots) each way. i was determined to pocket that 6$ in STL fares daily, needed the exercise, and needed to de-compress coming to and leaving from work. and now i think i’m done with working in laval… 😉

    this whole dichotomy (not the change thing, the extra fare thing) is soo insulting because it’s putting the cost overruns on the backs of the users, Longueuil–for example–doesn’t ask for any more money when you transfer, and finally and most importantly, who goes to Laval voluntarily unless they live there? 😉

    i’m getting deja vu, so please excuse me if i left this same comment two months ago… 🙂

    best to you and yours, mister,

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