Monday, May 19, 2008

you say zone, you say meter, i say i'll see you in hell, cabbie

I can think of no better way to start this week's blogging activity than by quoting a friend of mine, whose comically heavy Russian accent can still be heard in a voicemail message shouting, "Khell yeah! Focking khell yeah!" That's right, e-friends, it's a new week and a renewed Anti DC. My pants are tight, my sweatervest is sweet and I just slept for 24 of the last 48 hours, so welcome back, um, me!

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 myself aloud. "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 Bitch Blogger In Charge *ba-dum-ching!*), felt like she was not only going to pass out but also throw up out of exhaustion. Because of that, I just shook my head, handed the cabbie my bill, bailed out and decided I'd blog about it later. And so here we are...

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.

5 comments:

Beach Bum said...

I would not have paid more than the meter said, aside from the tip I decided to give. They can eff off if they want to argue, call the cops and see who's fucking right.

On the meter box always has a "1" or "2" setting when the meter is ran with the extra charge for rush hour or whatever (forgot what that's called). So whatever extra charge would be automatically stated on the meter. Not in the cabbie's head.

I-66 said...

You should've called me. I would've brought Striker to punch you in the face and knock you out so you wouldn't have remembered the whole thing.

cindc said...

I have yet to find a cab in DC that's using a meter yet--they don't get fined for it until June 1st, so the cabbies are dragging their heels. I try to avoid taking cabs, though...in addition to all the other reasons, a DC cabbie once tried to sexually assault me, and another got my cousin locked up in jail for the night (because she refused to pay the $40 he was demanding for a ride from downtown to Pentagon City).

Shannon said...

I felt less scammed by Bogota cabbies, who could have sold me out to the FARC at any moment and would occasionally route me through mysterious shantytowns.

Man, DC cabbies. I wish there were fewer thieving jerks out there, it makes the good ones look bad.

Marissa said...

bb--

You're right. I should've put up more of a fight, but honestly I just couldn't. I was just too dang tired. But trust I will fight the good fight from here on out!

highway--

You are such a sassy little bitch lately! :)

cindc--

OMFG! I sense a lawsuit! I once got propositioned and a cabbie once offered to do my taxes, but nothing of the sort you're speaking of. That's horrible.

shannon--

I feel the same way about Moscow's cabs. They were all un-metered, gypsy cabs, yet I never got ripped off like I've gotten ripped off here. Ridic.