"You want to smoke some weed?" I hear this question at least once a week, and not just from people trying to avoid paying their fare.

People will offer anything to dodge their fare, from weed to a line of coke to cunnilingus, but that's another column. This weed question, it kills me every time. Hamlet's speech about man being "the beauty of the world! The paragon of animals" flickers through my head and I wonder what drug he was on.

Hello!? Hello!? No, I don't want to smoke some weed-I'm driving. In fact, I am the person driving your drunk/stoned/tweaked ass home so that you get there in one piece. The toplight on my cab is a little beacon of safety to light your way.

My risking my neck out here goes an immeasurable way toward saving yours and those of your friends. You can hit a show at Berbati's, drink, walk over to Sinferno, drink more, smoke God knows what and/or snort some damn thing in a bathroom along the way, stagger out onto Burnside barely ambulatory, and like magic, I or one of my compatriots will appear to spirit you away to wherever you're going to sleep it off. And when I do so, do you want me to be even one tiny fraction as fucked up as you are at that moment? I didn't think so.

I don't have any problem with drugs, incidentally. Just feckless stupidity. Oh, and people puking in my cab. Do that and you'll regret doing it more than I'll regret having to clean it up-and that is a considerable amount.