Melissa Kite Melissa Kite

Real life | 9 February 2017

It was looking very much like the latter if TfL’s automated phone system had anything to do with it

The builder boyfriend declared himself very happy with his £65 pee.

He insisted it was good value for money because it was reduced from £130 if we paid within 28 days. Some would say that is still extortion, but the BB insisted he was a totally satisfied customer.

He was also unfazed by the fact that Transport for London issued me with two fines for stopping on a red route in Elsynge Road for 30 seconds so he could relieve himself. This is because he didn’t have the bother of sorting it all out.

The two fines had two different serial numbers so the total cost of the pee might have been £130 or indeed £260 if I had left it longer than 28 days to pay, and had I not rung up to challenge the error.

‘Welcome to Transport for London. If you would like to pay a fine press one. If you would like to make an inquiry press two. If you would like to speak to us in another language press three.’

I was tempted to press three and ask to speak to somebody in Yupik, a charming polysynthetic language spoken by residents of western Alaska.

‘Tuntussuqatarniksaitengqiggtuq!’ I would declare, which means ‘He had not yet said again that he was going to hunt reindeer.’

Otherwise, I could claim to be from La Gomera in the Canaries and demand to speak to someone in Silbo, a language made up entirely of whistles. Presumably, under equality legislation, TfL would have to find a person to whistle me an explanation of the double fine.

As it was, I suppressed my urge to mess with the messers on the basis that I really did need to bring this red route pee in on budget, and certainly for less than £260.

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