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First Class Has No Class

| Hall of Fame, Strangers, Transportation

(After my best friend moved down the coast, I make two or three trips a year to visit him. By booking well in advance and using a rail card, I get a first class ticket. This particular trip I have sat in my reserved seat and have just put my laptop on the table when two business-types, a man and a woman, walk into the carriage. The man sits down opposite me and the woman just stands and stares at me.)

Me: “Can I help you?”

Woman: *stares*

Me: “Um, right. Could you not stare at me. It’s making me uncomfortable.”

Woman: *stares*

Man: “Get out of her seat, please.”

Me: “Er… this is my seat?”

Man: “Look you’re a kid. You probably made a mistake. That’s okay, but this is first class and you need a reservation for these seats.”

Me: “Yes, I know. I have my ticket right here and the reservation with it.”

Man: “That’s not right. They don’t sell first class tickets to children. Now leave before I make you.”

(I should note that the woman has just stood there and stared at me this whole time.)

Me: “Yes, they do. I have one here. If you try and make me using physical force I will be well within my rights to use self defense.”

Man: “Look, I don’t want to hurt you. I do karate so I could easily break your arm if I needed to. I think it best you leave.”

(At this point the conductor reaches the carriage and the man sits back looking very smug, thinking I’m about to be thrown out. The conductor checks my ticket and then asks the man for his.)

Conductor: “Sir, this ticket is for the train heading to Manchester. You are on the train heading to Plymouth. I’m not really sure how you ended up here since that service leaves from an entirely different station. You will need to get off at the next stop and the station conductor will fine you for traveling on this service without a valid ticket.

(The man’s and woman’s faces went through an alarming range of colors including red, white, and blue before they both got up and headed to the end of the carriage wherein they started making frantic phone calls.)

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