One thing you discover quickly driving taxi is that your passengers (or let's say an unfortunate minority) feel the freedom to say anything they choose, providing you with all kinds of unwanted advice and opinion. One might say that their motivation is totally benign, feeling that since they know more than you they are assisting in your higher education. It is their version of charity to the unwashed. Maybe it is somehow tax deductible. How shocked they become when their unsolicited advise and kindness is rejected, confirming their worse suspicions. How unappreciative! And I must admit that I for one fall into the that snotty category. Many years ago an eighth grade teacher wrote on my report card that "Joe thinks he is smart. He isn't. He's lazy." Just shows that I have never learned that vital lesson, a rotten non-egghead to the bitter taxi end.
How simple is simple when it is too simple? The guy on the 300 block of Bellevue East, after making me wait 7 minutes marooned on the busy street, gets in with the greeting of how I am going to get him to the chain Italian restaurant at the corner of 9th North and Broad. I know instantaneously he is the "overseer type" and feels it is beneficial instructing me with the sweet lash of his whip. My usual response is to say that he (and anyone else sharing his attitude) is attempting to invent new streets and routes, the rationale being that Denny Way has been there nearly forever and really, do you truly imagine I don't know the 3/4 of a mile to your destination? I am assuming that he was the manager and like a Blue Heeler, can not stop his instinctive herding. Not appreciating my response, he asked to get out, saying he was going to call and complain on the taxi hot-line number. I asked him if there was a number where I could place a complaint concerning him. He didn't like that either, not expecting the dalit (untouchable) to rise out of the sewer. I would have been glad to take the five dollar fare and be done with it. But no, blood had to be spilled, the driver had to be insulted, assuming this must be his daily credo, bullying the unworthy who must be made whole. One must understand that if everyone to you is a dog to be kicked you are occasionally going to be bitten. Everyone knows that, don't they? Or if they don't, torn trousers will be the standard dress of the day. Didn't he see my snarling teeth?
West Seattle to Top Hat
These two guys were smart and one decided that I needed instruction. I don't believe I mentioned that I write but this one particular gentleman started going on about Chekhov and that I should read one of his short stories, wait six months and see if I can recreate his style. I said why would I want to do that? I told him that if he was in my writing class he would be tossed out on his ear. It reminded me that after reading a bunch of Charles Bukowski I wrote a poem about winning at the race track, getting roaring drunk then pummelling a whore all night long in a skid row hotel. My wife was shocked but hey I said, you know this is fiction. So much for misplaced emulation! And so much for taxi advise. I think I already know the roadway and the direction taken. And if I don't, I know there will always be a benevolent sage ready and eager to instruct me.
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