Hypothetically Speaking: Dirty Criminal

Let's imagine that I boarded a train in Germany today without paying for my ticket.
Maybe it was because I was cold.
Maybe it was the hunger knawing away at my stomach lining.
Maybe my confusion about which train to board can be blamed.
Maybe the fact that I spent the morning at an art museum in which every piece portrayed menlancholy.
Seven hudred years worth of art work focused on the biggest thorn in my flesh?
All just hanging there on the walls, taunting me.

I knew I had not paid for my ticket.
I knew I needed to pay for a ticket to ride the train.
I did not care.
I don't know why.
When the man on the train called for tickets to be checked, I pulled out an old ticket.
I knew it was an old ticket.
I avoided eye contact.
I held the ticket upside down.
He didn't fall for it.
The time was marked.
The ticket was expired.

At the next stop, I bounced off the train and didn't look back.
He followed me.
Apparently, "In Germany, when you fail to purchase a ticket, you must pay the price."
I tried playing the stupid famale card.
I tried playing the dumb American card.
He didn't try very hard to not give me a ticket.
I tried to explain that I couldn't pay him 40 euros for a ticket.
I told him it was my first time in Germany.
I used my big blue Precious Moments eyes to stare at him in silence.
I almost walked away.
Truly, I believed this was negotiable.

He took a page out of a good parenting book.
And like any adult speaking to someone acting like a toddler, he gave me two choices.
He said I could pay him 40 euros or I could pay more to the police when they arrived.
I found 40 euros. Magic.

I may have been feeling just a little bit overdramatic.
I may have called Herb from the train car where my 40 euro violation granted me a seat for the next two hours.
Hey, thanks.
I may have exagerated what happened.
He may have thought that I was held up and harrassed by three German hoodlams running rampant on the train system.
He may have been under the impression that these men were threatening (beautiful) young American women and conning them out of money.
I may have underemphasized the fact that it was my fault.
I may have undercommunicated the fact that it was the man's job to check tickets and collect fines from hoodlums.

For the rest of the afternoon I may have had unrealistic fantasies that everyone who I passed by knew I was in trouble.
They all knew I tried to ride the train for free.
They were all ready to arrest me if they needed to.


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