Sunday, January 13, 2008

STUPID TEENAGERS

I've been a magnet lately for stupid teenagers. Specifically, the ones that want to cheat on the fare by claiming to be 12 years old so they can pay only 50 cents.

In about mid-December, I had a teenage genius try and get on my bus at Uptown Station after midnight. By looking at him, I mentally guessed he was about 15-16 years old. He got on and put his train transfer in and I noticed he had paid a childs' fare. I knew there was no way he was only 12 years old. I told him he'd have to pay the correct fare. He got a "challenge me" look on his face and insisted he was 12 and just coming from his dads' house. I calmly asked him when he was born and he was stumped. He blurted out 1991 and I told him that put him at just what I suspected...15-16. He again insisted he was 12. Getting tired of the game, I told him either he WAS 12 and out way past curfew or he was 15-16 and cheating the fare and either way the police would be interested to chat with him. I told him to pay the fare or get off the bus. He called me a few cliche derogatory names and got off the bus.

More recently, I had a group of four teen boys try the same thing at the light rail station at 38th street. The first kid could have passed for 12, though I guessed he was more like 14 and just kind of wimpy. I let him slide. The next kid was about 6 feet tall and weighed about 225 pounds. I think he was large for his age, but I still guessed he was about 17. The other 2 were pretty average height and size and both looked to be about 16-17. I told the big guy he had to pay the correct fare. He asked what I meant and I told him that transfer he bought at the train was for 6-12 year olds. He claimed he was 12. I laughed and said "Sure, so am I." He looked at me with an attempt at a threatening glare and asked how I knew he wasn't 12. I replied "Because I'm not stupid." I told him he'd have to pay the fare or get off the bus. He got off the bus. His not-so-bright friend behind him tried the exact same thing. I asked him if he didn't notice it didn't work for his friend and he wasn't about to get away with it either. He got off and the ultimate in stupid, teen number three, actually tried to put his bogus transfer in the farebox. I just gave him an "Are you kidding me?" look and he got off the bus. Then the could-pass-for-twelve kid walked by me and off the bus. He actually kicked the back side of the bus as I pulled away.

I did call in on the last group. There was a half hour between buses as it was and I figured if the cops didn't make it in time at least the next driver would be given a heads-up so they wouldn't get away with it.

It's hard to believe I was ever that stupid. Reality hurts!

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