San Francisco Chronicle star columnist C.W. Nevius has the unfortunate habit of casting himself in the role of hero in his own stories. And a new blog post from him is no exception, and in it he details an incident wherein he tried to ride Muni without paying, got caught, and yet wasn't given a ticket because (presumably) the SFMTA fare officer recognized him as a reporter.
"I gave [the fare officer] the Clipper, it buzzed, and I was busted. Fair enough," writes Nevius. "But I have to say, for Christmas Eve, the guy was a bit of a supercilious jerk," he continues after apparently coming to the conclusion that there is no faster way to get readers on his side than to insult someone working for Muni.
"While his partner was writing a ticket, he was baiting me," furthers the columnist, "asking, for example, if I thought it was all right to ride free."
Baiting you? Maybe he was just slightly incredulous that an older, (likely) seemingly employed man couldn't be bothered to pay the $2.25 cost of a ticket?
This is not the first time the Chronicle's top curmudgeon has made us do a massive head turn. In 2012, he wrote a piece relating an incident where he nearly hit a cyclist while driving, but somehow after reflecting upon the matter decided that the moral of the story was that the cyclist needed to "turn down the volume" because he yelled at the careless columnist.
But back to today's post. Nevius goes on to explain that after he handed over his ID, the officer decided not to issue him a ticket after all, and assumes that his locally famous name got him out of the fine.
The writer then concludes his post with a heartwarming note about the lesson learned.
"Moral: check your Clipper Card before you ride," he sagely proclaims.
And yet, earlier in the same piece, he explains that he had plenty of time to pay even after realizing his card was empty, he just thought he could get away with it — even going so far as to say his not paying "was fine until we got to the gate and a traffic control officer."
"When I got on I swiped my Clipper Card several times to no avail. I finally realized it didn’t have enough money on it," he scribbles. "So, rather than go up and pay the conductor, and having watched several people get on without paying, I fell prey to my lessor person and skipped payment."
Look, we get it. Nobody likes those Muni fare inspectors. But when after getting preferential treatment, even though you're in the wrong, why would you write a column calling that inspector "a supercilious jerk"?