Thursday, July 17, 2008
Dear Mr. Cabbie
I’d like to thank you for the wonderful tour of D.C. There we were, meter ticking away, exploring addresses that I’d previously seen only in the Metro section scoresheet of who got shot by whom last night, with a healthy side helping of the Health Code Violation listings.
I knew I was in trouble when I plunked myself down in your taxi, and you told me you were unfamiliar with the area where you had picked me up. Hrm. Neat! So, how did you get here in the first place? And who hasn’t heard of Cleveland Park? Did you think you were perhaps in actual Ohio? Nevermind.
Here we go! Connecticut Avenue, headed north! Wait, why exactly are we going north? Well, that’s easily fixed by a mid-street U-turn, with brakes screeching and a chorus of honks from the other drivers.
So, Rock Creek Parkway really is lovely this time of year. And then, later, much much later, we grind to a halt. Ride over. Yay! I can go home to bed! Oh, hold on.
Could you please tell me why you believe I live inside the 7-11 on Barracks Row? I love Slurpees, sure, but we’re in the wrong quadrant entirely. I know this because I live in the only quadrant we haven’t visited tonight. You’ve tried the other three, so by process of elimination, there’s just one to go!
Of course you know which building is mine. I pointed it out to you from the freeway. Hrm. Please tell me again why we were on the freeway? Oh, that’s right, it gave us some conversation topics during that long slog across West Virginia. And that jaunt across Pennsylvania. And that little side trip to Kentucky. And I’m not talking about West Virginia Avenue, Pennsylvania Avenue, or Kentucky Avenue. I firmly believe we visited the actual states as part of the neverending cab odyssey.
OK, so, we’ve made it to my building. My home slice of rent-controlled tenement existence has never looked so beautiful. I love you. I love me. I love sleep. The meter says $20. Here’s some money for your trouble. I’m keeping some of the money for my trouble, mind you, but the fare would have been about $12. So that’s what I’ll pay.
Oh, cabbie, thank you, thank you muchly, for the worst cab ride of my life.
There was the cabbie in Sarajevo who relentlessly corrected my pronunciation. The one in Bogota that took me on an exciting side journey through a remote hilltop shantytown, all the while muttering about his allegiance to the FARC. Or the prosletyzing one in DC, who always says, “Why go to Eastern Market, when you can go to heaven?” I’ve landed in that Cab o’ Jesus more than once. But you’ve taken the cake of fabulously awesome Cab Rides From Hell.
Wow. Thanks again.
Your Fare Who Quite Possibly Knows Where She Lives
PS – I’m exaggerating, yes, but a 6.7 mile trip should never take more than 20-25 minutes in no traffic, and really, really shouldn’t ever take longer than an hour. For any reason. Yikes.