March 13, 2008
Don't Be A Hater
(Warning: This post it rated "R" - chockfull of expletives.)
Last weekend was a horror show of weather. It's always worse at the beginning and tail end of the winter when the temperature hovers around freezing and the precipitation can't make up it's mind what it wants to do, so it opts for a little of everything - sleet, freezing rain, snow. It was amidst these grueling driving conditions that I drove a couple to their home in Williston, just east of the driving range.
Have you seen the bumper sticker, "Mean People Suck?" Well, if that's a truism, then the male half of this twosome sucked. He spent the entire trip tearing down a number of supposed friends, family members and - surprise, surprise - all the while subtly berating his female partner. I have a high tolerance for human foibles; I suffer fools gladly. But people who are flat-out mean get to me. They do suck!
We arrive at their pad and the woman quickly gets out. Really, why spend another second sitting next to this guy? I tell him it's $15. The man, who was slightly tipsy, begins the hunt for his money. No problem, except he is taking his sweet-ass time. Most people understand that time is money to a cabbie and make an effort to pay-up with alacrity. This dude is taking all the time in the world, lah-di-dah, without a "sorry" or any acknowledgment to me whatsoever.
Finally, he says, "I don't have cash, here's my credit card."
"Sorry," says I, "I don't take plastic."
"Why the fuck not?"
"What can I tell you? I'm just not set up to take cards. Do you have money in the house or do we need to go to an ATM?
He says, "Hey, bud - no need to get lippy. I'll get you a check," and steps out of the cab.
Shall we count the ways? There are so many things about this guy that are pissing me off. For starters, how about, "Sorry about this, man. Would you be able to take a check?" And that's my mind to a "T": replaying the dialog in my head, placing new words in the offender's mouth.
Five minutes pass. That is a long time for a cab to sit idle on a busy night. As he approaches the cab, I open the passenger window and, without a word, he throws a check onto the shotgun seat and retreats.
I look down at the check and it's for 15 even. "Hey," I yell out towards the man, "thanks for the tip."
Before we proceed further, let's note that - with this sarcastic crack - it was I who got the ball rolling.
From his front door, he turns and says, "Hey asshole - fuck you."
I say, "Well fuck you, you mother-fucker."
Interestingly, neither of us is actually screaming. That's how you know this is bad.
"Get out of that cab, you cocksucker, and I'll beat your ass."
"Oh, go fuck yourself," I retort. I look at a Blazer sitting in the driveway. "I'm gonna fuck up your car when you get in the house." That's a lovely escalation, I think to myself.
The guy's face turns the color of a ripe eggplant, and he charges at me screaming, "You mother-fucking . . . "
There might have been the exchange of a few further pleasantries as I took off down the street.
Let us review. What have we learned from this story? What is the moral? Simply put: anger begets anger; hate begets hate. If you know this, as I do, then don't take the bait. Let me repeat this: don't take the bait.
Given my checkered history, I fear I may need to relearn this lesson a few more times before it takes hold . . .
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Jeez Jernigan, I didn't think you had it in you. :) Mean people do suck, that's for sure.
Posted by: Jim (of Jim & Beth in Colchester) | Mar 14, 2008 1:02:15 PM
Oh, Jim, I have it in me, all right. Let it serve as a warning: You and Beth better never get on my bad side . . . ; )
Posted by: Jernigan Pontiac | Mar 14, 2008 2:18:10 PM
Holy shit. You swear so I get to. The guy was an asshole, Jernigan, and although you're right (anger begets anger, etc) -- he had it coming. I promise never to be mean and always tip well!
Posted by: AustinDriveGuy | Mar 18, 2008 8:58:06 AM
ADG, I'm going to hold you to that! ; )
Posted by: Jernigan Pontiac | Mar 18, 2008 10:07:24 AM
Well, the anger from that night at least brought some amusement. I couldn't help but laugh - especially when you told the guy you'd fuck up his car. Good times.
Posted by: David | Mar 18, 2008 3:37:04 PM
David - the good times never end when you're riding with Hackie . . . ; )
Posted by: Jernigan Pontiac | Mar 18, 2008 7:50:38 PM