A man who bought a ticket to travel on a train, and subsequently changed its date with a ballpoint pen when he realised it was the anniversary of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks, travelled the next day instead, and escaped discovery by the train's guard, who was half-blind.
Myke Woodson, of Hull, East Yorkshire, purchased the ticket to travel from Hull Paragon Station to the quaint, historic minster town of Beverley, to trawl its numerous charity shops for book bargains, but when he realised the date was 11 September, he decided to wait until the next day.
There was the question of the date on the ticket, however.
Carefully taking a pen, and overwriting the second '1' in the '11' to make the date look like '12', Woodson somehow imagined it would be enough to escape the attention of the guard/ticket inspector.
The next day, he boarded the Beverley train, and sat as close to the back of the vehicle as possible, to give himself the best chance of avoiding the guard. This plan failed when the guard emerged from the rear driver's cab, next to Woodson's seat, saying:
"Tickets and passes, please!"
Woodson froze. The hair on his neck bristled and stood on end. His armpits became rivers of sweat. He handed the ticket to the doddery old guard.
Squinting the squint of a man who should have retired 20 years ago, the guard looked at the out-of-focus ticket for an eternity, before striking a line across it and moving on down the carriage.
Woodson heaved a sigh of relief, and said:
"I don't see anything wrong in altering the date. It doesn't make any difference to the train company. I bought a ticket, and I travelled. It's not like I'm a faredodger or anything."
Rail employees have been warned to use greater scrutiny in the future.