learned a brilliant magic spell:

obtain an old-school muni token and keep it in your pocket. if asked to provide proof of payment on your ride, produce the token and say "i just got on and have been unable to negotiate my way to the front to pay this in"

seen the same old-timer pull that trick 3 times now, and that's enough to know that it's the word "negotiate" that it all hinges on. you can see the context switching happen in realtime in the cop's face and body language. amazing.

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