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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Pardon me, I seem to have lost my cat ...

This morning had one of those events happen that makes me view my life as a random series of strange (and frequently entertaining) moments. (I get these a lot; they just happen to be linked by happening to me. Often.)

I got to the barriers at the last tube stop, and couldn't find my Oyster card. For any readers not in the UK, this is the card swipe system that lets you travel on London public transport. You can get them as weekly, monthly, and annual versions, all at an eye-watering price that is the equivalent to TFL (Transport for London, the darling pirates running the system) bending your bank account over a chair without any KY.

After ten frantic minutes of slapping, then digging into, every pocket and pouch I had on my bag and jacket, a member of the tube staff wanders over to me. By this time I'm trying to not to whimper out loud.

TFL guy : Are you alright there?
Me (not-quite-wailing) : No - I can't find my Oyster!
TFL guy : Where did you get on?
Me : Walthamstow. (Technically Chingford, but you need to swipe through when you change at Walthamstow, so I knew I'd had it then.)
TFL guy : Let's have a look.

At which point I had the fun experience of describing my Oyster sleeve to him.

Me : White, with a bald cat holding a lightsaber.
TFL guy: A what with a what?
Me : It has a grey robe on. The cat, I mean, not the Oyster.
TFL guy starts edging carefully away...
Me : Didn't you ever watch Star Wars? Obi-Wan? I AM YOUR FATH - no?
TFL guy moves faster, shaking his head. The British transport cop who's been watching our exchange starts towards us.
And then - I see something lying in the corner, next to the escalator. It's white and grey and has a bright neon yellow streak of colour that winks up at me. With a joyful squeal, I stampede past TFL guy, swoop on it, and wave it triumphantly in the air at both him and the cop, who must have moved VERY fast when I made that cooing noise and dived at the floor.

Cop : Alright here?
Me : We're great! I thought I'd lost it!
TFL guy : Me too...

I went bouncing through the barriers and down the road to work. It was only afterwards that I realised that the TFL guy (who is probably 3 times my size both vertically and horizontally) was actually a bit unnerved by me. I'm guessing the Darth Vader impression didn't help.