How honest are you? Me? I’m as honest as the next person. Well I try to be. Yeah there are situations where I am not honest but hey, I’m not a mormon and I’m not entirely convinced people are 100% honest or they’d be a saint or something. But generally, I am honest.
For example, I don’t pinch a load of penny dip if the shop keeper isn’t looking. That would be dishonest. Likewise, if the shop keeper under charges me I go “ooh you didn’t charge me for this!”. Of course if a shop keeper over charges me I’ll say “Oi!” and try and resolve the situation by pummelling his head into the floor. Not that that happens often mind. But it could.
Another example might be “oooh I need this fixing” – now if I can’t be arsed I’ll say “Sorry can’t be arsed” I wouldn’t say “Oooh well you know how the wind is blowing from the south well that means that the cows in the field will be eating twice as much grass now so it may take some time” because not only would that be silly, it would be dishonest. Though, again, there are exceptions to this rule.
But the thing that strikes me is how, in general, the population is, as I say, somewhat honest. Ok there are some elements of society that take the piss (“Yeah I’ve got 9 kids and 5 grandparents to look after living in a 1 bed flat so I need more social like so I can afford me Lambert and Butlers kidda”) and would have the country on it’s knees if allowed to continue. But then on the other hand, like I say, the majority of the tax paying, hard working,nose to the grindstone populace tend to be honest.
A few weeks ago I was sat on a train heading to Doncaster or somewhere. I’d got to the station and there was no ticket sales. Normally, in this situation, one would board the train and a conductor would ask you for your ticket. You would then say “Single to Doncaster please” (unless, of course, you were travelling to Birmingham or somewhere) and the man (or woman) would issue you with a ticket, you’d pay the chap/ess and continue on your journey unassailed. But on this particular journey there was no conductor. I got to my destination and again I wasn’t asked to produce a ticket. I left the station concourse feeling pleased that I’d saved myself £4 but also a teeny bit dishonest. Unclean. Guilty of ripping off the train company.
This wasn’t the first, or the last time. I have been in situations though where the reverse has been true. For example when I went to see the lovely zoefruitcake a few months back, not once was I asked for a ticket. Even though I’d shelled out £28 for a first class ticket and connection I was only approached to produce a valid ticket on my way from Sheffield to St Pancras. When I changed trains for Brighton nobody questioned me or asked me to produce a ticket. Had I known, I thought, I could have simply just paid £14 (the Sheffield to St Pancras fare) and not bothered with the St Pancras to Brighton bit. I then thought about how many other people might have done this. Was travelling without a valid ticket just one of those roulette things in life? Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose? I don’t know.
Of course travelling via train without a valid ticket is illegal boys and girls, so don’t try this without the supervision of an irresponsible adult. Indeed, in a similar respect, one might say that downloading well over a terrabyte of music in MP3 format over the past 5 or so years is dishonest. But surely so is forcing your consumer to change format every 10 or so years? Or maybe that analogy is too much of a digression. I think so.