Monday, April 17, 2006
As you know, it was Easter. This kid (poorly photographed above) was highly aware of that fact and was getting into the spirit of things with her bunny ears, going for a ride in the back of the cab in front of me. She was fun to drive behind as she seemed to be having a great ride.
Overall, though, my shift tonight was actually pretty boring. Which is a relief. Most of my passengers were in a happy, laid back mood and, most importantly, were tipping nicely. I got stuck in a weird JFK/LaGuardia vortex early on, during which I dropped some tourists off at Kennedy, saw that the taxi lot was filled to capacity and decided to race up to LaGuardia to see if I would fare better there.
I did, in a way. I got to the front of the line at US Air after only 10 minutes, but when my passenger got in he said, "Kennedy airport." This is called a "shorty." Anywhere in Queens from LaGuardia is considered a short-haul ride, and the taxi dispatcher will you a shorty ticket which allows you to return to the airport (within 90 minutes) and cut to the front of the line.
I got him to Kennedy in record time, thanks to light traffic. I dropped off again, passed by the overflowing lot once more, and once more decided to go back to LaGuardia. I used my shorty ticket, which brought me to the front of the line at Delta and I got some passengers right away. Luckily, they were going back to the city.
The night went smoothly after that, and I was busy for a while. People on the streets were at the same level of retardedness, but the aggression level was much lower than usual. The only real asshole I encountered was some guy who was strolling across the street against the light with his family. As I was bearing down on them, I tapped my horn so they would hurry it up and get out of the way before I, or any of the other cars on the avenue, ran into them.
The women of the group quickened their step but the man slowed down. I guess that meant he was tough or something. He really showed me.
But this kind of thing really annoys me because it's almost as if he expected me to not only see him there, crossing when he shouldn't be, but he also seemed to trust that I'd be able to stop in time to avoid hitting him. Having been hit by a car once as a pedestrian, I know first-hand just how easy it is to get knocked down and royally hurt by a moving vehicle. It's not fun. And when guys do stupid macho shit like this, they're not only fucking with their own lives, their fucking with mine.
So when I saw this guy slow his pace to show what a big tough guy he was, I made sure to lean on the horn to express my disapproval. He, of course, gave me the finger. My passenger at the time read my mind and said, "I hate guys like that." I said, "Yeah, he wouldn't be so tough and brave if he got hit." She replied, "You're so right. I'm a nurse at New York Hospital and it's exactly that type of guy who comes in every day all full of bravado. But it all disappears the second you have to give them an injection. Then they're not so tough."
I understand getting angry at a driver because you got scared, even if you were the one in the wrong, but the above type of behavior is different. It's got nothing to do with fear and everything to do with ego. It's dangerous, completely unecessary, and utterly stupid. This guy wanted to prove something, and boy did he -- he proved that he is a total idiot.