A TAXI LESSON
Life, I believe, has its own natural balances and you only get in bother when you swing the pendulum too wildly one way or the other. 'Going off the rails,' should refer to a temporary period off the behavioral tracks you know and traverse normally.
But evidence of life's balance is elsewhere also. I happened to have a stimulating conversation with a very ordinary pleasant taxi driver this afternoon over a pint and his real life parable struck me enough to share it with you.
So my man picked up a fare one night, a drunken attractive woman in her early twenties with her beau. The young lad was being led by the nose, (or his zipper perhaps), while the tippler was out to show her bossy aggression. Where better way to demonstrate her ability than with a humble taxi driver?
"Turn left here Dude," she says dismissively from the darkened back seat. "Now right here you fucking ejit," she shouts. "Where do think you're taking me?" Matters progressed in this unnecessarily abusive manner for the duration of the journey after which my man asks for the fare shown on the meter. An unholy row ensued before the drunken biddy threw the money over the seat and left in manufactured indignation, howling at the moon. The taxi was almost back in the city lights when an unexpected phone rang in the back seat. The, ahem, young lady had left her smartphone on the seat of his car. Well, You could, couldn't you?
Anyway the family man who owned the taxi drove home quietly and slept soundly that night. The not-too-mysterious phone had twenty missed calls signaled the following morning so he clicked a ringback and a sweet most respectful young female voice came on the other end. "Are you the taxi-man from last night?" she asked hopefully, "Because I'm ringing on my boyfriend's mobile and I think I might have left mine in your car."
When the guy got that far in his story, I sat back and smiled. "All the aces?" I asked. There was a satisfied nod. So this now sober humble lassie is willing to accommodate any venue he suggetsat a time of his convenience to get her precious phone back. My man suggests one and they meet that afternoon for the exchange. "What did you say to her?" I asked still amused. "She offered me a reward but I declined," he told me. "Then she offered to pay my fare to and from where I'd come from to return her phone and I declined that too. So she says what can I do for you?" wherein my man says, "You can promise to never flag me down again for starters," and off he went.
There is a ring of good old-fashioned natural justice to that, but I want to think about the girl a little more. On a Saturday night, full of drink, she's a bad tempered, ill-mannered bitch just trying to humiliate and look down on any victim she can find to bully. On Sunday morning though she is a sweet innocent girl again seeking any help to retrieve her most treasured possession. Butter wouldn't melt in her mouth. So which one is the real thing? The gentleman who did the driving showed himself to be probably what he's always been, one of nature's gentlemen, but where does that leave 'yer wan?'
Even the most brassy modern female when on their own will often revert to character and present a most mild and gentle exterior. Then, on other occasions, we Irish will often use the expression, "The drink was talking," as if that's an excuse for ever being uncivil. I can't tell you what this girl involved is really like because I don't know her so I haven't an educated opinion either way, but the incident was mild in the grand scheme of things and we are all left only to speculate in the end.
I do look for high standards from women but I look for differently high standards from men also. Civility in ordinary communication is a minimum from both though. The behavior of the girl would be unacceptable if you were doing her a favour but I don't see it as much different if you are earning an honest living from seeing such people safely home. You should not be subjected to unwarranted abuse in such circumstances.
So I don't know who she is and I don't want to. But I do hope that she is sufficiently civilised to have returned home that day with her phone again safely in her possession and thought, "I'd really better cop myself on." I hope she considered the incident and saw that there are normal decent people around her who would not dream of treating her as she treated others. I'd like to think she felt sufficiently humiliated by the experience. I hope in short that she learned a lesson from this simple thing and it makes her think in the future.
Because if she doesn't and there's a repeat performance, then she's just a worthless bitch in my books.