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Clocks on Bus Eireann

Off the bus in Nine Mile House, Ireland

Autumn 2009 —

I got put off the bus in the middle of the countryside near the Kilkenny-Tipperary border in a little village called Nine Mile House. I'd been caught using a disability pass that somebody had given to me.

I was traveling from Cork, where I was living, to Kilkenny where I had lived before and would again. With two stops in-between, I had to show the pass three times. In Clonmel and in Cahir I talked briefly with the bus drivers.

A capped uniformed guy boarded in Carraig-on-Suir, and began asking everybody for tickets, front to back.

He asked me, as he did of everybody with a travel pass, to write my date of birth. Oddly, I knew the proper answer and didn't give it to him. He went sat back of bus, calling the dates in to Dublin to cross-check against recorded travel-passes.

This travel-pass, which I'd had for a few years but had then only recently decided to use, had an especially tawdry provenance. It was "pure gold," from one perspective — but it never did feel right.