By Mary Trafford (Chelsea, QC)

Most people recount stories of bad behaviour from childhood. Once you've grown up, you're supposed to know better. Not me.

I really wanted to go to the big agricultural fair and horse show being held in the city where I attended university. But I couldn't afford a ticket. I had a pass from the previous year, courtesy of a horse-showing friend. This year's pass was identical - just a one-digit change in the year, in black Helvetica typeface. Dumb on the part of organizers.

So I forged a pass of my own. Using the graphics techniques I'd learned in art school, I set to work. The pass was a simply thing - just a cardboard disc, a little hole in it with a string woven through. Wrap the string through a button-hole on your shirt and into the show you go! (This was before the time of computer-generated passes.)

I used India ink and a crowquill pen - sort of like a mildly evil fifteenth-century monk. Skilfully, I changed the final digit of the previous year to the final digit of that year. Easy.

What wasn't easy was trying to look calm and honest when I actually used the pass. I felt as if the word Forgery was tattooed on my forehead. Apparently it wasn't. The security guard's cursory glance and boredom helped a lot. The horse show was great.

I kept that pass, a reminder of my criminal past. Fully reformed, I pay to get in nowadays.

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