There are certain "bells" I would rather avoid beyond all others. The Tug Tavern in West Seattle is certainly one of them, more than once delivering me an incoherent and/or belligerent drunk. Saturday night the wonderful Tug gave me a passenger fitting both categories. J______, a short, very muscular man who wasn't going very far, just up the hill onto 18th Avenue Southwest. His communication consisted of drunken gruff "Turn here!" and a mono-syllabic "Go!", J_____ falling into the completely "addled by alcohol" category, stumbling and stupid.
Now this fare would have been just another blip upon the taxi radar screen except for one important reason: refusing to pay his $7.00 fare. J______clearly has a history of using his size to intimidate and pressure people. While his arms may be as wide as my legs, it made no impression upon me other than this guy is just another garden-variety fool and whatever he thinks is appropriate is completely erroneous because I am just not interested in this kind of behavior. You think you are tough? Wrong! I am tougher than you but please dont' make me prove it. Knowing it isn't that hard to cold-cock a drunk, I knew I would have been faced with rolling the fat lug off of the roadway, not deserving to become "road-kill" despite his reprehensible behavior.
Thinking he would just saunter over to his house unimpeded J_____ instead found an immovable force blocking his route. Moving one direction I stepped in front of him. With J_____ taking another step I closed my distance. Suddenly comprehending I wouldn't be dissuaded he pulled out a handful of crumpled one dollar bills and counted out three dollars. "Keep going!" I demanded when he stopped, pulling out what he thought were only two more dollars. Feeling appeased I then let him proceed forward, smiling when I found the idiot had actually given me my seven dollars. I called the Tug to complain but they are impossible, too busy over serving their raucous crew, providing their alcoholic faithful with what they want but don't need: too much booze on a near full moon Saturday evening! As for me I enjoyed the waltz, one-two-three, one-two-three, step left, step right, com' on! grab your partner, and fight!