Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Option Three: Mere Folly?

Greetings from Mexico City.  After finishing the draft of my new book, "To Age 13" in just over nine months I have rewarded myself with a more or less "working" vacation, tomorrow heading to Puebla, Mexico's fourth largest city to concentrate on the edit for seven solid days, along with some breaks to see the city.

My taxi ride in from the Mexico City airport was great, like myself, a twenty-five year veteran of the taxi roads taking me directly to my somewhat obscure Hotel Panorama.  That earned him a $5.00 tip, making it 65 Mexican pesos.  As I keep saying, regardless of the city or country, a professional cabbie makes the difference between a good or bad ride.  You do not want amateurs plying Mexico City's crazy streets!  Not a good idea.

The more I observe what is happening on Seattle's streets the more I understand just how absurd and untenable the situation has become, post-game Seahawk games having more limos and for-hire vehicles out there working than taxis.  That is why I think the following quote taken from the novel "On the Edge of Reason" by the Croatian writer Miroslav Krleza (1893-1981) makes complete sense:

"Folly wears a top hat on its highly learned head, and this top-hatted folly is a form I have studied fairly closely."

What Krleza is reacting to and describing is post-Habsburg Empire Yugoslavia,  Habsburg Hungary being where three of my grandparents fled from.  Now of course we are in 21st Century Seattle but funny how new "royalists" keep appearing, making everything the same as if a hundred years passing has changed nothing whatsoever.   That the City Council thinks that their "Option Three" is based on some kind of tangible reality is the type of "top-hatted folly" Krleza is writing about.

By allowing the limos and for-hire cars to steal our fares without thinking there will be a strong response is complete folly by everyone elected and assigned and appointed to protect us.  And to continue to allow these same bad actors to steal from local citizens is again total folly.  Yes, they are stealing from the passengers themselves because of this basic point.  Because all of the transactions are unauthorized and illegal it means that no payment can be requested.  I see this folly potentially leading to two class-action suits.

One is obvious, with the City paying the cabbies millions in lost revenue.  The other class-action suit will be on behalf of all of those Seattle and King County residents plus all those unsuspecting out-of-town visitors who were robbed by the limo and for-hire drivers.  And for the moment I will only mention in passing the folly of allowing unregulated ride-share drivers to pick up local residents in un-inspected cars, perhaps grounds for a third class-action suit. 

Adding to the folly is that we in the local taxi industry have been telling all of the Seattle regulators for over three years that none of this is acceptable.  And what has been their response?  "Top-hatted," upper-middle class folly.  What a world!


  1. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your posts, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the excellent work.
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  2. glad to have time and composure to read yer Méx postings. would love to read yer straight-up comparison between driving taxi as you might imagine in México and driving taxi in Seattle. keep writing, book and all!

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