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Saturday, February 19, 2005

Pointless Precision

"University, please" I ennunciated slowly, loudly and clearly.
"Yuwha?" asked the bus driver, looking as if I had asked for Lake of Tranquility.
"U n i v e r s i t y, p l e a s e" I repeat more slowly.
"sthpgrum" mumbled the bus driver, incoherently.
I placed 60 pence on the slot, and after a few seconds waiting as the diver stabbed at the ticket machine like a gorilla using a symbolic language board to ask for a banana, retrieved my ticket.
I sat down and waited as the whole scene was replayed another 30 times by the increasingly impatient and rain-soaked queue.

"How the hell did you get 60 pence from 'sthpgrum', Sanescientist?" I hear you ask in amazement.

Well, its simple really - 60 pence is the only fare this bus charges. Whether you are travelling from the outskirts of town to the city centre or simply nipping 4 stops up the road to avoid the pissing rain damaging your laptop, the fare is 60 pence. No exceptions.

I look at my ticket and its says

Boarded: Outskirts of Town
Alights: City Centre.

So this begs the immediate question: If there is only one fare and the ticket is identical regardless of your journey - why do the drivers insist on a lengthy conversation about your destination? Further, given that this is the student shuttle and about 90% of passengers are going to the "University" stop - why does that destination elicit so much surprise?

Funny old world.



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