Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

All Things Come to Pass

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

All Things Come to Pass

Article excerpt

Byline: gary BAINBRIDGE One man's struggle with the 21st century Follow Gary on Twitter: @Gary_Bainbridge or email him at

THIS week I had to retire my bus pass, replaced by a smart card, which I consider a terrible pity, partly because, out of all the photographs of me I own which do not look like me, this one looks the least like me.

Even my Costco card photo, which makes me look like a squashed eastern European terrorist trying to read a distant train departures board, looks more like me than my bus pass picture.

Partly this is because the bus pass picture was taken nine or 10 years ago, but mostly it is because my appearance has changed quite a bit. Back then, I had an austerely short haircut and no glasses, and now I have glasses and a ridiculous quiff and occasionally a beard. I have basically regenerated from Christopher Eccleston into David Tennant. With an occasional beard.

Some months ago I caught the bus, as I occasionally do as part of my continuing attempt to "keep it real", and I flashed my pass at the driver while somebody in front of me was counting out her fare in, it appeared, one penny and two pence pieces.

This is one of the joys of having a pass. There are so few occasions in life in which queue-jumping is accepted behaviour, but this is one of them. It is like bypassing the bouncer at a trendy club and heading straight for the VIP area. I imagine this is the case. I do not go to trendy clubs, as you might have guessed from my continued use of the word "trendy".

But I must have flashed my pass a little too speedily, or, perhaps, flamboyantly for the driver's liking. "Oi," he said, as I bolted for the stairs, hoping to get the Golden Seat above him. "I haven't seen that."

I trudged back to the driver, while a teenager flashing his own pass went past and up the stairs. I knew he had designs on the Golden Seat - he looked the sort. What sort of world is it, I thought, in which a respectable man in his increasingly less early forties is called back by the driver, while a seat-stealing teenager is allowed past? I am not in favour of age discrimination, but there are limits. …

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