why the f**k is it called dolphin’s barn? Who keeps dolphins in a bleedin’ barn?

4 January 2006

You’d really have to wonder what some people have to complain about. Recently there has been a string of letters whining and moaning about Dublin Bus. First off, and for the record, I have never ever had a problem with a bus driver, apart from the crazy russian dude who tried to do his route at light speed, shouting to all his customers and listening to classical music as he went, but even he was amusing. And yes I have waited and waited for a bus that never came, but for the most part that had to do with the fact that the line only had one bus every 30 minutes and it took longer than that to make it through traffic depending on what time you were travelling at.

Anyways, the most recent complaints to The Irish Times have been about the lack of change. See Dublin bus don’t give change. They ask you to have the exact fare, and if you don’t you’ll get a little bit added on to your ticket that you have to bring along to O’Connell st and exchange it for the cash.

Shane O’Sullican writes (sub’s re’q):

Madam, – 2005 has seen a flurry of comment about “Rip-off Ireland”. My vote for “Rip-off of the Year” goes to Dublin Bus for its continuing mistreatment of customers who do not have the exact fare.

According to Dublin Bus over 150 million passenger journeys will have taken place on their buses this year. If even one in every 15 of these journeys is undertaken by someone without the exact change and who pays 10 cent over the going rate, the surplus to Dublin Bus is over €1 million this year alone.

While paper refunds are produced on request, the unfortunate bearers must make their way to O’Connell Street to claim their refund, a pilgrimage that I doubt many people bother to make. – Yours, etc,

What a moaner. The surplus to Dublin Bus, as he puts it, can’t be kept by them. There is no best before date on the ticket, so you can go back in 10 years with your horde if you so wish. Or at least I think you can. And even if they did get to keep it, so what? The actual surplus would be nothing like €1 million, I’ve been in to exchange my change tickets, and I’ve had to queue. Therefore people do make the long and ardous journey down the main street in the city and collect their money. I doubt they do it for every single 10 cent, instead they do the sensible thing and wait til they add up. The in you go with bits of paper and come out with a fiver, or a tenner.

Honestly what is the big deal?

And if he doesn’t want to face the ordeal of Dublin city centre he could always give the fare to a charity and let them go in with a bucket load of paper slips to be exchanges for cash.

I wrote most of this yesterday, just before leaving work, and then wandered around the shops, left my overdue and still unread copy of Anansi Boys back to the library[1] and then purchased a couple of books in Chapters[2] I got Twenty Years After by Dumas; the first book in the Sarantine Mosaic trilogy by Guy Gavriel Kay; and The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler. this last one because NM has mentioned these Philip Marlow books are worth a read. And it was cheap.

Found myself up by the kino, so popped and the only thing I hadn’t seen that was on at the right time, and that I actually didn’t not want to see[3] was Merry Christmas, and the only thing I knew about that film was that it was in one o’dem furrin languages, and set in WWI. I went anyways.

Only for some annoying woman to walk by and knock over my popcorn[4] luckily only spilling a tiny bit, but still, that stuff expensive man. Anways, was really thinking I shouldn’t’ve bothered when the credits started and the seemed to go for ages. But I’m really glad I went. I’ll stick a review up eventually, but I just thought I’d tell you all here that if you have the chance you should go see this film. Really great. Although you will be required to read some subtitles. The film is in French, German and English[5] and is based on the accounts of the unofficial truces during World War I over christmas along the trenches.

So if it is showing near you off you go and take a peak. It’ll put you in a really good mood.


  1. still really want to read it
  2. the 2nd shop in Dublin, not one of the chain stores in the US
  3. Flightplan was on around the same time, but despite vaguely wanting to go see it at some stage cause who doesn’t love Sean Bean, it just didn’t appeal at all
  4. Boo! Hiss!
  5. often with a very strong scottish accent

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9 Responses

  1. anne says:

    Who doesn't love Sean Bean, yeah…
    Is Merry Christmas not a bit on the pathos side? I don't want to cry, you understand…

  2. Fence says:

    No, well, yes, but it is more uplifting than "look they all died" cause while there is death is more of a "restoring your faith in humanity" sort of film than a "isn't human life tragic, pointless and short" one.

  3. weenie says:

    Happy belated new year…not caught up on my blogreading yet…

  4. Paige says:

    Right on the money. The whole point of the system is to encourage folk to have the correct change.

    Sometimes I think the Irish Times Editor just loves stirring it with pathetic, pointless rants. I'm waiting for the "I waited 45 minutes in a queue in CIE O'Connell Street to exchange €2.75 worth of refund tickets. Is this a record?" letter.

    (P.S. Why is Dolphin's Barn so monikered? No, seriously why?)

  5. JL Pagano says:

    I'm with you for most of the bus thing, but I don't agree with the policy of having to go to O'C St. Just think of the irony – you have to get another bus into town and out again to get your rightful change. But even with that irony, I wouldn't make a big deal about it.

    Tesco shops have a collection box for the receipts – why dont the charities try and get a similar box on the busses themselves? I'd be happy to put mine in there.

  6. Alan says:

    I didn't mind the correct change thing except that it seems Dublin Bus always deliberately make their fares as awkward as possible so that if you are a bus user you have to wander round with a pocket full of small change at all times. Or buy a seven day rambler which is what I always did.

    I don't know about whether they keep dolphins in a barn, but keeping anyone in Dolphin's Barn is sheer cruelty.

  7. Carl V. says:

    The movie sounds great. I watched a History Channel special on that last year and it was really fascinating. There were soldiers on both sides of the fence regarding what occurred that Christmas and I had mixed feelings watching it…very interesting.

  8. Fence says:

    JL I think there was something to the effect that if they had such a box on the bus it'd only get robbed. But I've seen them in other places, so donate if you want to say yourself a bus fair.

    Alan, that is a fair point. And they've just gone up, so the one I'd pay most often (when I'm being lazy, or it is raining) is nor 95 cents, so you know I'm going to be using a 1 euro coin most of the time.

    Carl, it is one of those strange episodes in history that we've all heard about, yet seem to know very little.

  9. I never get my change for the bus. They must have made a pretty penny out of me.