As a longtime taxi driver and avid opera buff, I always enjoy driving customers to Lincoln Center. On a recent rainy evening, a fashionably dressed Upper East Side woman hailed my cab and asked to be taken to the Metropolitan Opera. I asked her what opera she was going to see, and we began a lively discussion. This well-heeled passenger asked me if I attended the Met regularly. I informed her that I rarely go any more because the tickets are too pricey on a taxi driver's salary. She replied: "Well, I agree with you about how expensive the tickets have become. Even though I can afford it, I am very discerning about which performances I attend. My box seat is costing me around $300, and a Champagne dinner at the Grand Tier Restaurant will be close to $100."
When we arrived at Lincoln Center, she told me how much she enjoyed the ride and that I was a great cabdriver. The meter read $6.70 and she handed me $8. I thanked her profusely, thinking she intended for me to keep the change.
She then said, "I'd like a quarter back, please."
As I drove away, I wondered if that quarter was going to help pay for that $300 opera ticket!
I always wonder what these people are gonna do with that quarter, make a fucking phone call? I've been considering carrying around pennies and giving them out in 25-cent batches when these rich cheapskates want their precious little quarters back. And it's weird, because it really only ever seems to be people with money who do this. No regular working person would ever be so petty about some change. And if they were, it'd be excusable, because they're NOT RICH. The problem is that rich people probably don't even remember what a penny looks like. I guess it's up to me to remind them.