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As a hot Betoota train pulls up at the station, the fear of many a local teenager is realised.
Stepping onto the vehicle in single file like the ring wraiths from Lord Of The Rings, are 4 ticket inspectors and their dreaded battle cry, “Tickets please everyone!”.
Most of the bus comply with the request but can’t help but feel there’s really something “off” about these guys.
“They always have their entire arm tattooed , and you know they’re the real deal because they’re those ones that are super faded and look like they were done in a basement in the 70’s” says one communter, Jackson Coyle (31), a regular commuter.
“They always seem so determined to get someone. They really turn the bus into a hostile place with their mere presence”.
Randy Costa, a well known ticket inspector has been on the ‘force’, as he says, for almost a decade now.
After a stint in the army and a separate stint in jail, Randy found the structure and authority of the job rewarding and exciting.
“Yeah mate, it’s honestly just great to be a part of the community, public transport is important ya know?”
“If we allowed every troublesome teenager to get away with not paying for their ticket this entire system would collapse, there’s no doubt about that in my mind”.
“Don’t get me wrong, the job isn’t for everyone, you really have to be ready to get your hands dirty if it comes to it.” Randy stated.
Local student Noah Sutton (16), is no stranger to Randy Costa, the two have had an ongoing cat and mouse game ever since Noah started using public transport on his own.
“We all call him the grim reaper, he once chased me on foot through half the city, the guy is like 70 years old, It was like something out of a Zombie movie”.
“He didn’t even look tired when I looked back at him, he just had this glazed over look in his eyes, like he was in some sort of a trance, it was the look of pure determination. He kept chanting that ‘run rabbit run rabbit run run run’ nursery rhyme. It’s all I could hear”
“Luckily I got away up a fire exit because I honestly reckon he wanted to do more than just give me a fine.” Noah recounted.
When asked about his encounters with Noah Sutton, Randy refused to comment other than pointing out that the job is unconventional – when compared to other aspects of the public service.