This morning, a young woman got on the light rail a few stops after I did. She had pink & blue hair and the kind of colorful swirly skirt & tights getup you’d expect from that description – well, that people in Portland expect. She also carried a folded tripod and what appeared to be an M-4 assault rifle. Closer inspection of the latter revealed that it appeared to be a replica – the spray-on glitter was a subtle clue here. Still, it was a pretty convincing replica at first glance. Nobody said a word.
Her problem, as it turned out, was not her choice of fireams, it was that she neglected to buy a ticket. Yes, we had a fare inspector aboard who was working his way through the car. A few minutes after he got to Ms Pink and Blue, I heard the ominous radio crackle which means only one thing to a seasoned mass transit rider – she had no proof of fare, and the inspector was calling it in.
Let that be a lesson to all you would-be mass shooters: you can carry your M-4 on light rail, but don’t forget your fare.