May 14th

The Death of Taxi Cab Terrorism–Sometimes the Day Turns Out Just Fine


New Yorkers used to live in a constant state of terror and wasn’t from Osama. It was from being caught in a cab with only a $20 bill. The conversation would go like this: (Upon arrival)
CABBIE: I hope you hev sometinga smalla than a $20.
ME: Ah, no.
CABBIE: I don’ta have change. Here, dees is all I have. (holding up $3)
ME: But my trip is only $5. You don’t have $14 change??
CABBIE: You don’t have change?
ME TO SELF: No I don’t have CHANGE. That’s why I take a cab. Because I freaking never HAVE change for the God Damn BUS!!! Yeah, I’m holding out on you because I want to have a Goddamn argument with a roving cab driving in the middle of Park Avenue.
CABBIE: (irritated) I just started my route. Everybody come in, de only have $20. I geev everyone my change.
ME: It isn’t my job to make change for you. Isn’t this part of your job?
CABBIE: Where I supposed to get change? Go to the fruit stand. Buy some fruit. You ask him.

ME: Me? Are you kidding me?
CABBIE: How much you hev?
ME: I hev $4 and a $20.
CABBIE: Ok, I take de $4.
ME: Great. Thanks.
CABBIE: Fuck You. (said quietly in another fucking language)

And now, spring is in the air, and joy in my heart. The TLC has forced upon all cab drivers a VISA machine (of which they have to pay 1.5% of all charges). And today, as I cabbed the 10 blocks to work (so shoot me), and the fare came to $4.00, I nonchalantly said: “I only have a $20, do you want me to charge? To which the reply was, ever so politely, “no, I have change.”

I never thought I’d live to see the day. God Bless America.

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