Looking back, failing to buy a ticket for that journey was a bad move. Since I was a kid, not paying on the train has been a matter of personal pride. After all, I’m a Marxist and believe in free public transport for all, which to my mind, justifies leaping the barriers. Thirty years ago there were hardly any inspectors on the trains or at stations, so it was all down to your conscience whether you paid. I didn’t have a conscience; they were the preserve of class enemies.
On the buses back then, you gave the driver two bob and told him to keep the ticket; two exploited yins sticking the Vs up to the fascist yangs at Head Office. After they privatised public transport, that scam was fucked as the buses became single person operated. The drivers all got free shares and the clippies were retrained as Revenue Compliance Officers, checking tickets; meanwhile the fares went through the fucking roof. Consequently, any driver who let you on cheap, was risking his job and shares, especially on account of the fact there were as many Phil Spectors as passengers. Those cunts in their peaked caps would report drivers for letting people travel a stop two far, or threaten folk who’d lost their skitter bits of paper with prosecution for fare dodging. In the end, most people stopped using the buses, except for the pensioners and cripples with their free passes of course.
Privatised metros were still a playground like, though they started to get dangerous. You had to be alert to avoid getting caught; nowadays it’s piss easy, as there’s the #PhilSpector hash tag on Twitter every day, telling you where to avoid, but the technology wasn’t always so helpful. When the system opened, you had about a million to one chance of getting caught and if you did, you just gave a false name and address. For about five years I was David Haskins, the bassist out of Bauhaus; no-one ever checked up. The old inspectors couldn’t give a shite; they were on pennies for wages. If anyone was stupid enough to pay the pissy 2 quid fine on the spot, it went straight in to the inspectors’ pockets to stop their bairns getting rickets or Derbyshire Neck.
Once they computerised the system, it got serious, with a full database of the whole electoral roll; no chance of bullshitting a Phil after that. Mind I suppose it meant they didn’t need to rerelease Bela Lugosi’s Dead to pay off the fines David Haskins had run up. They bastards also put CCTV cameras in all the stations, so if you take a piss on the way home, that’s a hundred quid fine. Paying for it meant the fares were hiked even more; people couldn’t afford it. Even school teachers and Methodist ministers didn’t buy tickets for a while until they took the old inspectors off the trains and strung them around exit barriers in the city centre, meaning most folk had no option but to cough up.
The big loophole of course, was that if you wanted to stay out the central area, the metro remained free; until the elite squad working out of South Gosforth Control Centre came on the scene. They weren’t your normal long term unemployed, thick as pig shit, security guards, or radgey steroid case bouncers in bomber jackets. These cunts came tooled up and meant business. Ex SAS corporals and disgraced coppers; 5 foot 8 psychos with taches in sky blue woollen blazers. A pocket full of lead or pool balls; they gave me a doing I’ll never forget.
One Thursday, I got on at West Jesmond, heading back across the river to Pelaw. At Central, the driver announced there would be a “full barrier ticket check at the next station, Gateshead.” I didn’t worry as I’d not be getting off there, but just as the doors sounded, the blue coated boys appeared from nowhere and came aboard. I decided to act natural and flicked through a Chronicle job section someone had left behind, making it look like I was interested in an “immediate start as a real time custom liaison officer,” in some call centre or whatever the fuck was being advertised.
They started at the far end of the carriage and it seemed like every daft fucker had a ticket, meaning they got close as we were pulling in to Gateshead. The choice was to try and bluff my way past these lot (difficult) or breeze past the spastics at the barriers (piss easy), but they out thought me. Four of them blocked the closing doors, while the other stood over me as the train slowed. Psycho eyes, shined shoes, immaculate hair, fists clenching and unclenching, a blank name tag.
He wasn’t fooled by my pantomime routine of going through my pockets, shrugging the shoulders and gulping for air, all saucer eyed and pitiful. The four door guards surrounded me; No Name clicked his fingers and they dragged me from the seat. Other passengers froze. Silent. Wax faced. Nobody spoke up or came to my aid, through several blew kisses and one threw a single white rose; people got bullets between the eyebrows for complaining about this gang.
They hauled me from the train at the next stop and threw me against the litter bin and route map. Face down on the platform, the breath gone from my body, No Name crouched beside me; I could see how highly sexually aroused he was and I felt his breath hot on my neck as he twisted my hair.
“The time to pay has gone.”
He smashed my face off the platform, then repeatedly buried his feet in to my back, legs and bollocks, while I made a squashy sound as blood pissed from my nose like a ketchup hose over his shoes and along the platform. No Name got his dick out and furiously jacked off until a stream of jizz momentarily blinded me. Most of it blended with blood in the ridged, concrete storm channel, like soured cream and salsa.
Soon after unloading, No Name wiped off on me and zipped up. He lolled back against the station wall, breathing heavily and smoothing his hair. He was crying with joy. The other four half dragged, half kicked me along the platform and up the stairs to the concourse. Potential passengers averted their eyes as I was taken into a small room. I suppose it was intended as a store room for cleaning materials, but all it contained was a bed, one unshaded light and a camera on a tripod.
The blue blazers began undressing each other like a trained fag sex show troupe; all tongues and body lotion. No Name assumed the role of auteur as the other four held me down and took turns. Fat dicks stretched my prolapse as I cried in pain and anger.
I wanted to die in that room, but didn’t even pass out. Hours later, when they’d satisfied their needs, I was thrown on the floor. They lounged on the bed, snorting poppers and massaging each other. I blankly watched their post coital ear nibbling and nipple tweaking. No Name stood over me, kicked me perfunctorily in the smiles and smiled.
“Buy a ticket in future.”
I decided to take the bus back to town.
I had to wait fucking ages for the 527 as well.