I don’t know why this irritates me as much as it does, but it does. I was heading out through the gates at Vauxhall this afternoon, rejoicing in the fact that I was heading home while it was still daylight. The next thing I know, as I put my oyster on the reader, is that there’s someone behind me – right up close behind me – slipstreaming through on my ticket and out the gates and out the station before anyone can stop him. I looked at him as he hurried past me with his look of studied innocence, and I really wanted to say something or do something, to wipe it off his face.
But why does it bother me so much? It’s no skin off my nose – or no more than any other fare-dodger. The ticket guy at Vauxhall doesn’t seem to care either way. And were I to try and stop them – blocking the gate, or slowing down or drawing attention to their blatant acts – would I not just be grassing up my fellow commuters to the train companies, collaborating with The Man? But it feels so personal that they use me, my ticket, to get their free ride, when I’m shelling out fifteen quid a week for the privilege.
You, o readership, seem a forthright bunch. What do you do about tailgaters, and how would you try to stop them? Bearing in mind, when framing your answers, that this guy was six foot five and big with it, whereas I’m a mere slip of a girl at five foot six on a good day with a following wind.