...A much better story is what happened before I got to the eye doctor. A much better story took place in the cab ride downtown, when I got into a rather interesting discussion about dignity with the driver. It was like a page/scene straight out of "Remains of the Day," except instead of an aging English butler, the main character was a thirty-something Sudanese man. And instead of the English countryside, the setting was L Street. And also, I'm pretty sure Mr. Stevens, the butler in "Remains of the Day" who was played on screen by Sir Anthony Hopkins, never uttered the phrase, "She wanted me to be having sexy on her." (
"People in DC, they don't have dignity," said the driver.
"Hear hear, good chap!" I said.
"They say, to someone like me, disrespectful things because they are very much ignorant."
"Kind sir, whatever does one utter that should be so unbecoming?" I said, whilst buffing my monocle with my plus-fours. (And for the record, despite how disturbing that sounds, this is not when the phrase, "She wanted me to be having sexy on her," came up.)
The cab driver continued: "I give example. One time, I picked up someone in night. This is what made me not ever work in night again." He paused. "Should I tell you? I don't want you to take offense..."
"Carry on, my good man," I said, reapplying my monocle. "As an Englishman, I take offense to only two things in this world: smudged monocles and, of course, dental hygiene."
"She was white, like you, and drunk, like..."
"I assure you I am sober, good man! This flask is full of...tea. And crumpets. Blended together. With fish and chips. And gruel. That's how we eat in England."
"She was from another state. Maybe California or LA. She stay at somewhere like Ritz Carlton in Tyson's Corner. Rich. I take her all the way out there. Long way. As we come near she say, 'I can't believe I end my night with cab driver.' She said with hate. Like I not good enough."
"Cor blimey! She sounds like a manky, pissed up nutter of a scrubber!"
"She sounds like an skanky asshole."
"Yes! She wanted me to be having sexy on her! But was mean and embarrassed because I am not yet a powerful man."
"But you have dignity."
"Yes. Even as cab driver now. This why I refuse her and refuse to work at night. I have standards. I have dignity! But I have ambitions also."
"When I finish school, I will rule people like that one day!"
"Yes! I will be powerful and control them! HA!"
"I will get all beautiful women to ask me to be having sexy on them and they will respect me!"
"It is the American dream..."
And here I thought the dream was being able to occasionally pretend you were an English gentleman looking to purchase a monocle...