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Taxi

   

AFTER dinner at a downtown hotel, my aunt and her friends, all retired, phoned for a cab. A car pulled up to the front entrance where they waited, and they got in, asked to be taken to the concert hall and chatted together until they arrived. When asked the fare, the driver laughed. "I was on my way to meet someone at the hotel when you all happily climbed into my car. This isn't a taxi. Enjoy the symphony, ladies." And with a wave of his hand he drove off.


ONE warm summer night in Toronto I was looking for a cab. Finally, one pulled up to the curb.
   "Are you free?" I asked the driver.
   "Always free for a lovely lady, " he answered with a smile. Then as he drove along, he suddenly asked me, "You like music, lady?"
   "Some," I replied.
   "I like to sing," he said. Then, "Do you like Mario Lanza?"
   I told him I did and he promptly burst into Lanza's popular hit, "The Loveliest Night of the Year."  He had one of the most beautiful voices I had ever heard, and as we progressed up University Avenue, people on the sidewalks turned to listen as his voice soared through the, open windows.
   He timed our arrival at the hotel just as he finished the song. I felt like royalty.


DURING a business trip to New York, the conversation with a voluble and philosophical taxi driver finally got around to human nature, and the empathy of New Yorkers in general.  "People here," he complained, "wouldn't help their own mothers, unless there was something in it for them; and if it means touching them for a handout, forget it!  Nobody but nobody will give you a dime in this city."
   Since I disagreed, and remarked that Americans were considered generous people, he offered to prove his point.
  "See that cab driver?" he asked, pointing to the taxi that had stopped next to us. "He's my buddy, he'll do most anything for me. But watch this."
  He leaned out of his window and yelled, "Hey, Henry!  I need to borrow a buck from you. Real urgent, man."
  To my dismay, and his obvious delight, Henry sourly replied, "No way, brother, I ain't got no buck to spare."
  My driver's wide grin of satisfaction turned to a sheepish grimace when the passenger in Henry's cab rolled down her window and, extending her gloved hand containing a fluttering dollar bill, said, "I'll give you a dollar if you need it, cabbie!"


ONE dark night while driving a taxi, I picked up an obvious drunk and drove him to his destination, a parking lot. After he paid and got out, I was vaguely aware of him rustling around behind the cab, and I heard him say, "Not a fit night out for man nor beast. Better call you a cab." Then the rear door opened and closed. Without turning my head, I tripped the meter and drove off. After a bit I asked my fare where he was going. Not receiving an answer, I assumed he was just another non-communicative drunk and drove a bit farther before demanding to know his destination. This time I turned to discover a very large and ferocious looking German shepherd. I sheepishly drove the "fare" back to the parking lot quietly, with the meter turned off and let him out.
   

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Last updated May 19, 2008 by Becquet's Custom Programming