UPDATE January 15, 2014 – I am thrilled to announce that this post was selected as one of the 20 funniest in 2013 by All Things Fadra in her Blogmas 2013! Happy dance! Thanks Fadra, glad you enjoyed the post. I encourage you all to drop by and check out the rest of the Blogmas 2013 picks – it is a great way to find new blogs to read.
It is Tuesday which means time for Just Write. If you are a blogger you should join in the fun! No pressure, but it is a good exercise each week. You can write about anything, just write. All the details are on The Extraordinary Ordinary and you can read some of the other blogger submissions as well.
Now on with the writing….
So, when I went to Boston for a business trip recently it happened to be during the World Series. At the airport I needed to grab a taxi cab and head to the hotel. The taxi line was really long that day because there were a ton of people in Boston for the baseball game, plus they had a big conference happening, and I think a hockey game too. No problem though because the man in charge of the taxi queue was asking the next person in line where they were headed and then would shout out to the rest of us asking if anyone else was going the same direction. We were sharing cabs since there were so many in line – plus hey it is good for the wallet too. After just a couple of minutes I hear them asking for anyone headed to Newton – that’s me! So I head on over and jump in the cab with another traveler – a man in his mid-thirties I guess. I never found out his name, so I am going to call him George (why not) for this story.
George and I are in the cab and I tell the cab driver I am headed to the Crowne Plaza in Newton. George says, that works for him too. Hmmm, that struck me as odd and I thought he was kidding. But then he said he actually was meeting his business partner right there on the corner where my hotel was so it really was a good spot. Okay, that’s all settled and we are about out of the airport by this time.
Then the cab driver, I’m going to all him Jim because of the Taxi sitcom character Jim Ignatowski (I love that show), spoke up and said “you know you both have to pay the full fare since you doubled up”. Excuse me? George and I looked at each other with a look of bewilderment. “I don’t think so” I told Jim. Now I should mention that Jim had an accent, but I’m not sure what it was. He spoke English fairly well, but you could tell it was not his first language. This made the situation a little more comical as it went along.
Again Jim said they we both had to pay full fare. Meaning whatever was on the meter I had to pay in full and George would have to also pay that amount in full. George and I both told him no, that isn’t the way it works. It is one cab ride to one place and we are only paying one fare. Cabbie Jim then told us “that’s the rules since you are sharing a cab”. We again told him no and that we both travel all the time and take taxis and that is not how it works. Cabbie Jim says again “no, no – because you are really 2 separate people and they doubled you up you both have to pay – that’s the rules”. George then said “show us that rule” and Jim pulled out his little rule book, while he is driving, and hands it back to George and says for him to look it up. Um, no Jim. George and I are just shaking our heads in disbelief at this point. Again Jim says we must both pay and that the guy at the cab stand should have told us that and if we aren’t going to both pay then he will take us back to the airport because we are not together. So I said jokingly, “oh sure we are together, this is my husband. We were just teasing about not knowing each other”. Well this irritated Jim to no end who now says I am a liar and I made it personal and I am not his friend and he slides the window shut – but keeps driving.
George and I are still shaking our heads and we are both texting and tweeting what is happening. Finally, we get to the hotel in Newton and Cabbie Jim slides open the window and tells us that will be $34 EACH. So here we go again telling him no, he can’t charge us more than what is on the meter. We are all talking back and forth, George is a pretty quiet guy, Jim is all wound up, and me – well I find it comical but I do talk loud and fast and apparently this gave Cabbie Jim the impression that I had been drinking because he says to me, “…and you, you be quiet, you drunk” which of course made me laugh (I hadn’t been drinking at all). George is saying to him just let us pay – he has his credit card out (I’m giving George cash to split the fare) but Jim will NOT let him pay.
Now Jim says he is going to call the police. George and I say fine – call the police – we both knew that we were correct and Cabbie Jim was wrong. At this point I think he is still just trying to rip off people. We actually got out of the cab at this point (we are in front of the hotel) and get our bags out. Jim keeps going on and on but will not let us pay. He then walks down the sidewalk and calls the police. Meanwhile George’s business partner shows up and we fill him in and the group of people I was meeting were in the hotel lobby so I knocked on the windows and flagged them all to come out. They came out thinking I was just saying hey and that the car was here to pick us all up for dinner – nope. So I proceed to tell all of them the story that is happening and it was kind of funny because several I have never met in real life before and they were just sort of stunned as I am very animated while telling the story. The few that knew me already just chuckled along. Jim is calling other people at this point and avoiding George and I who just want to pay and get on with our evening.
Then I see a Boston police car pull in. I immediately walked down to him and asked Officer Cutie (don’t know his real name – but he was definitely a cute young officer with an adorable Boston accent) if he was here about the cab issue. He said yes. I very calmly explained in two sentences what was happening. Officer Cutie immediately said “he can’t do that” and we headed back up by George and Jim to get this taken care of. Jim starts ranting to the Officer Cutie right away about how we are two different fairs from the airport so that is why we both have to pay. Officer Cutie says no, you can’t do that and Jim argues with him even that “that’s the rules”. At this point I realize that Jim really does think he is right and is not trying to rip us off – he just is ignorant to the rules. I almost feel bad for the guy, but I’m still not paying double. Jim continues to yell at Officer Cutie and at one point the cop says “you better back off right now or I will put you in cuffs!” Jim keeps saying “this is America, not a zoo!” and “I went to school!”. We have more people watching all of this now – crazy! Even the other taxi drivers that were there knew that Jim was wrong. Finally Officer Cutie says, “look they are trying to pay you, either you take what is on the meter from them or they are leaving without paying because you won’t accept the money.” Jim reluctantly gives in and George pays him – I made sure to tell George NOT to give Cabbie Jim a tip after all this. George laughed and said “don’t worry, I’m not about to tip him”. So he is paid, off goes Cabbie Jim. Off goes Officer Cutie – who apologized to George and I and said that Jim was not typical of Boston folks. Then George and his buddy head off. And I finally can go drop off my bag and check in! Of course, a few more people with my group showed up and I had to tell the story again. It was so funny.
One of the women in my group said she couldn’t believe how easily I was taking the whole situation and that I was still laughing and such. That is just how I am. I knew I was not wrong about the situation and so I just roll with it as it is happening. What else can you do?
When we got to the restaurant I was definitely ready for a drink! My friend Rachael Ferrucci and I shared this big giant flaming Scorpion drink – just what the doctor ordered! Although, as you can see those straws were way too long!
Luckily, the rest of the cab drivers I had during my stay in Boston were not like Cabbie Jim at all! Have you ever had a crazy taxi experience?