I realized this morning after awaking from my splendid slumber that I was clearly off my game last week. I could blame myself, but I won't. Instead, I'll blame it on what will be billed in my memoirs as one of the most tumultuous weeks of my life -- the "Time of Shambles," which not unlike the similarly named "Time of Troubles" was also largely caused by sh*teous weather, extreme disorder, massive unrest and the Polish (zing!).
But it's true, during this Time of Shambles, I exchanged my trademark bitching for what can only be described as delusional, yet sensible and enlightening philosophical e-etchings. And perhaps, if I cared more about strictly keeping with whatever sort of "theme" I've created here in my personal online toilet, I'd apologize for my being rather "neither here, nor there" last week. But like the old maxim goes, "Apologizing is for suckers" (I can't remember if that was Confucius or Gandhi who said that...), and so I will stand by my words uttered during the Time of Shambles and move the hell on.
Which brings me to this: I will see DC cabbies in hell.
In what perhaps was the least shambley of the events tallied during the Time of Shambles, I had the exciting opportunity to hail a metered cab on Friday going from work to home. (Unfortunately I could not participate in Bike to Work Day because Baguette is currently residing with my buddy The Law, which again can also be chalked up to the Time of Shambles.)
"Splendid!" I thought
to myselfaloud. "You have a meter! Do you love it?"
"Um. Eet eez OK, miss. I tink eet eez the same, really."
"Oh yeah? You don't find that you're making more or less money this way?"
"No, miss. Eet eez too soon to tell, I tink."
"Fair enough. Well, I guess we'll see now! To XXXX XXth Street, please!"And so, the Time of Shambles awkward cab ride began. And of course, since I love the sound of my own voice, I kept the conversation flowing. We talked all about Iran's nuclear ambitions, how much the President has effed everything up, why America is on a path toward self-immolation and, of course, the weather. All the while, I was keeping a close eye on the meter.
A short time later when we pulled into my driveway, I was elated that the meter read just $7 -- a whopping $4 less than the total I usual pay under the retardulous zone system. Unfortunately, though, my elation was to be short-lived (of course it was -- this was the Time of Shambles, after all).
As I held out my crisp Hamilton, just about to ask for $2 in change, the cabbie said:
"That weeell be $10, I tink, miss."
"Uh...what? The meter clearly says $7."
"Oh. Yes. Eet does. But there are charges, you know."
"No, actually. I don't know. What is the extra $3 for? To sit in the cab?"
"Um, no. See, that eez $2.50 included."
"All right. So, this extra $3? That's for...?"
"Well, eet eez rush hour. [It was 3:30 p.m.] And there are other tings, you know, gas fees, miss."
"No, sir," I muttered, using the same intonation I'd have used had I called him what I really wanted to (i.e., "Dick."). "I don't know. That's pretty ridiculous," I added, again using the same intonation I'd have used had I said what I wanted to (i.e., "Go f*ck yourself.").I'm ashamed to admit I didn't stay to fight this ludicrousness. As you may suspect, The Anti DC ain't nothin' to f*ck with, unless of course its HBIC (um, Head
And here's my point (finally, I know...): It's not the zone, nor is it the meter that is the problem. It's the goddamn cabbie! I'm sure not all of them are cheaters, schemers and all-around shady assholes, but some of them are. This sh*t needs to stop. I was in Boston last week and rode in several cabs (thank you, expense account!) and if there was an added-on charge, it was clearly demarcated and explained to me (i.e., "Eet's $3 more because of zee toll, miss." Every cabbie has the same accent, not because I'm culturally retarded, but because that's really the only accent I can accurately type. Sorry.). Here, on the other hand, it's $3 more because the zone system made it so easy for cabbies to cheat their customers that they're trying hard to figure out how to do the same with the meter. And so far, (Damn you, Time of Shambles! Damn you!), they are succeeding.
But next time a cabbie messes with all of this (I typed that with one hand and used the other to point rabidly at myself in a zig-zag formation), that bitch is getting his face planted in the meter (Tee-hee! Cartoonish physical violence is funny!) or at least a stern talking-to. And definitely no tip.