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Token Sucking
April 28, 2003 2:01 PM   Subscribe

A Disgusting Practice Vanishes With the Token "Officially, the crime is classified as theft of Transit Authority property. But among transit police officers it is more accurately and less delicately known as token sucking. Unfortunately for everyone involved, it is exactly what it sounds like." (Originally from NYT. More here.)
posted by Artifice_Eternity (18 comments total)

 
Disgusting. And, according to the article:

A related subway crime involved people who disabled the turnstiles and charged riders cut-rate fees to enter through the gates, to which they had stolen keys. These criminals, somewhat higher on the social ladder than token suckers, were known affectionately as trolls.

So should a particularly bad troll therefore be called a token sucker?
posted by carter at 2:10 PM on April 28, 2003


"Anyways, I've kissed women that's worse."

shudder.
posted by PrinceValium at 2:20 PM on April 28, 2003


Occasionally, methods other than incarceration were employed to dissuade the suckers. Token booth clerks were known to sprinkle chili powder into the token slots most often jammed. Some officers resorted to spraying a small amount of Mace around the regular slots and keeping an eye out for the usual suspects. The ones with bright red lips were then arrested.

heh. Take a bite out of crime, indeed. nice link.
posted by Ufez Jones at 2:24 PM on April 28, 2003


Here in downtown Dallas there used to be this parking lot where homeless people would hang around and convince people parking that they didn't have to put their money in the box because they were parking attendants. They looked like homeless people, but apparently some people were duped by them. I always just told them to get lost. We didn't have a name for them. Just false parking attendants.

Now there's big signs all over the parking lot cautioning people that the lot in question has no parking attendant and if someone shows up posing as a parking attendant, to call the police, that's scared most of them away. This is yet another reason why I prefer having my own car to mass transit.
posted by ZachsMind at 2:26 PM on April 28, 2003


The link itself is good, but I like the Google Text Ads (that have appeared as a result of the word "troll" in the comments) even better. I am seeing ads for the Norway Troll Shop, The Complete Line of Russ Trolls, DAM good luck trolls and Enchanted Trolls. Sweet!
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:39 PM on April 28, 2003


Bah. Ads are now about Personal Injury Law and (mostly) laptop security. Yer lucky.

I can see a token sucker as a character in a David Foster Wallace story. Or maybe Tom Robbins.
posted by cortex at 3:20 PM on April 28, 2003


I guess it's just another employment category lost to computerization...
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 3:45 PM on April 28, 2003


Evolutionarily speaking, the current suckers will either die out or adapt to survival under the new conditions ( MetroCards ).
posted by moonbird at 8:21 PM on April 28, 2003


Yeah, but what pithy name will we apply to those who somehow circumvent the MetroCard system?
posted by FormlessOne at 8:34 PM on April 28, 2003


I hear there's a way to bend expired MetroCards a certain way that will dupe the readers. Don't know if it' true, and it certainly doesn't have the same ring to it, or the nice mental image.
posted by muckster at 9:53 PM on April 28, 2003


great link, that is so damn odd and amusing.
posted by shadow45 at 10:06 PM on April 28, 2003


On June 4, 1973, in the San Francisco Chronicle (page 22), reporter Harris described how he was able to “boost” a 5-cent BART ticket to any value he wanted using an inexpensive scheme that Wattenburg had invented in a few hours. (*)
posted by eddydamascene at 10:43 PM on April 28, 2003


Everybody, read Eddy's post. Hell, it should be FPP.

--Dan
posted by effugas at 3:05 AM on April 29, 2003


Now there's big signs all over the parking lot cautioning people that the lot in question has no parking attendant and if someone shows up posing as a parking attendant, to call the police, that's scared most of them away. This is yet another reason why I prefer having my own car to mass transit.

Because there's a problem with homeless people posing as parking attendants? I've never seen anyone pose as a token-booth clerk...
posted by notclosed at 4:18 AM on April 29, 2003


I remember hearing somewhere (maybe it was in Big Secrets) how people used to use Neco Wafers as quarter substitutes in toll booths and turnstiles.
posted by gottabefunky at 6:41 AM on April 29, 2003


"Yeah, but what pithy name will we apply to those who somehow circumvent the MetroCard system?"
Card Sharks?
posted by chandy72 at 9:02 AM on April 29, 2003


So, what's the big secret in Eddy's post?
posted by PigAlien at 9:03 AM on April 29, 2003


I'm guessing thermal transfer, and that one of the tape types easily available at the time (and since this was the 70s, you could buy a thousand different grades and formulations of reel to reel at Radio Shack) had just the right properties to allow you to do it with, say, an iron.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 10:26 AM on April 29, 2003


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