When I was little, about 6 or 7 years-old, I sometimes took a Belfast city bus to school on my own. My mother would walk me to the bus stop and I’d get off right in front of the school about ten minutes later.
One day, to my utter delight, the “conductor” (fare collector) failed to come near me and I made the trip for free. I was so happy that I blabbed about it at dinner that night.
My father immediately stood up and ordered me to accompany him.
We marched to the bus stop, where we waited quite a long time before a bus hove into view. My father flagged it down, made me get on board with him and then announced in a loud voice, “My son tried to cheat the city out of its money this afternoon. He will now purchase the ticket he should have bought earlier.”
I fumbled in my pocket, found the sixpence and – mortified beyond reason – obtained a ticket. I can still see the incredulous looks of the passengers and the fare collector.
We then walked home in silence.
I have not stolen or misappropriated anything since.
My experience is probably a little extreme, but have you had any game-changing moments in your life?