Doesn’t relate to movies, software or books, but just how I always find myself in funny situations.
A coworker asked me to write about it, because it seemed too unbelievable to be true.

“The Metropass”

I was at a friend’s house for dinner recently and a group of us decided to head downtown to a bar.  Since the cold Toronto weather had begun to show up (it was around -20°C that night) we looked into getting a cab.  We had a group of about 5 people so we ordered a van cab (because certainly getting 2 cabs was out of the question).  As we waited, an argument arose because several of the people present had metropasses, rendering the $30 cab a waste of money. This took place during the first week of January, and I had actually purchased my metropass earlier that day.  The argument continued on about the additional $10 charge for ordering a van cab (making the cab fair >$40) and we decided to take the bus.

As we walked to the subway we called in and canceled the cab, only to see the cab drive by us about 30 seconds later.  About 5 minutes into our walk, and feeling the reality of the freezing cold weather, we changed our minds again and decided to take the cab after all.  The cab (now returning to wherever it originally came from) drove by us once again, this time we flagged it down.  The idea here was that since we did not explicitly order the cab, the $10 would be waived.  He realized we were the original callers (some how) and after 2 minutes of arguing we decided to take the subway instead.  The cabbie was pissed off, I was cold, and we were standing 100 feet from the subway entrance.

Our clever plan to trick the cabbie into waiving the $10 fee failed and we found ourselves finally entering the subway.  I walked in first, swiped my card and waited for my friends to follow.  I noticed that my friend was short change, and couldn’t find the $3.00 to enter.  Glancing over at the both operator, I noticed he was distracted by a mini-TV set he had setup and was busy watching Inglorious Basterds on DVD.  I casually passed back my card to my friend, allowing him to get in for free.

Now, I rarely do this (pass back my card).  They have signs everywhere reminding people that it is not allowed.  They have posters warning of fines and penalties.  Also, it being the first week of the month, if I had been caught, I’d have lost the metro-pass which I was purchased just hours earlier for $121.00.  The fair had recently risen for the nth time in the last year, and I haven’t gone 2-3 days without being inconvenienced by some mechanical failure on the subway.  In fact that day, I got stuck in the tunnel for 20 minutes due to some power problem, and my friends had to take a cab because they ended up shutting down a line.  I didn’t feel terrible for doing it, I’ve been a loyal customer for years, I moved on.

As me and my group of friends walked down to the platform, I began to get this terrible feeling.  Out of paranoia, I slipped my metropass into my back-pocket in case we were greeted by an officer at the bottom of the stairs.  I looked back and also noticed several cameras pointed at the area in which I casually, but blatantly, slipped my pass back to my friend.  (Can you tell I usually don’t do things against the rules?) The train arrived, and I got away scott free….

10 minutes later, we were arriving downtown and I had completely forgotten about the brigade of officers chasing me.  I walked off the subway and pulled out my wallet to take a look at my metropass.   I rifled through my wallet, but it wasn’t there.  I reached into all my front pockets, it wasn’t there.  I reached into my back pocket (as I just then remembered I hid it there) but alas, it wasn’t there either.  I instantly realized that I must have dropped it earlier while trying to hide it in my back pocket.  With all the winter jackets, scarfs and gloves, I didn’t hear or feel it fall.

I immediately, parted with my friends and jumped on the first train back up town.  The entire ride up, I couldn’t help but feeling how stupid I was for dropping it.  I took off my jacket and took out my wallet and emptied them both into my lap, desperately trying to find the small card.  It wasn’t there.  But the station I entered was quiet, and it was likely that no one had actually entered since I was there 20 minutes earlier.  I was quite optimistic I would find the card sitting at the bottom of the stairs.  I arrived at the station, and stepping off the train my paranoia returned.

As I approached the stairs, I looked up and saw several officers huddling around the ticket booth.  They weren’t there before.  I scanned the area looking for my card, which was nowhere to be found.  As my search sweep began to approach the ticket booth, one of the officers looked over at me and asked what I was doing.  I looked up at the cameras, looked at him and the other officers, and explained that I had dropped my metropass earlier.  I then realized that the group was simply watching the same movie as before and were (obviously) not on my case.  The officer kindly helped me look around for it, unfortunately with no luck.

I gave up and accepted that I had thrown $121.00 in the toilet (I had used it once, so actually $118.00) and proceeded to the subway platform to go home.  I waited for about 15 minutes before I realized that at this point the subway had closed and I had missed the last train.  I walked up to the bus area to catch a shuttle downtown.  I waited for the shuttle for about 20 minutes, but it never showed up.  I waited for another 10 minutes, now furious and swearing aloud and still rifling through the wallet I knew didn’t hold my lost card.  Eventually I just was so mad waiting, I just needed to get home at any cost.

I took one last look for the bus, and walked out of the station.  Of course, the second I stepped outside I got blasted by a gust of snow and wind.  I began to walk south in search for a cab.  I looked up the street and was greeted by the shuttle bus (that I was waiting for) driving by and splashing me with snow/slush.  At this point I had no metropass, down $121, cold, splashed with slush and far away from home.  I just wanted to go home.  I saw a cab in the distance turn its lights on and head towards me.  I flagged him down.  As he pulled up, I felt that this particular cab looked oddly familiar.  It was the van cab I had originally ordered an hour earlier.  I suppose he took a coffee break because he was basically parked in the same spot we had left him earlier.  Fortunately he didn’t notice me, and did not charge me the extra $10 fee.  I asked him kindly to drive me home.

Maybe it was karma, maybe it was me just being a dummy.  I bought a metropass the next morning and just tried to forget it ever happened.  2 days later, after I had already purchased a replacement, I got an SMS from my girlfriend informing me that she had just found a brand new metropass on the ground.  She already had one, I already had one, so she gave it away.

Sometimes, I feel like my life is a giant XKCD comic, that week, I felt like my life was a bad episode of Seinfeld.

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