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July 18th, 2007 Night Cabbie | Night Cabbie
 

The customer's not always right.

     
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The customer's not always right.

The customer is, in fact, often severely intoxicated, and thus perhaps prone to some serious misconceptions.

This gentleman, for example, has thrown open the rear door while I'm driving down a somewhat busy road at 40 miles an hour. His legs are swinging out of the cab, and he's yelling incoherently about the girlfriend who got out and told me to take him home about a block ago.

The street's lined with parked cars and there's traffic behind me, but fortunately none in front. I straddle the yellow line, take my foot off the gas, and steer with my left hand while the right reaches back to grab the man's arm and yank him fully into the car.

There's no graceful way to throw on the hazards while doing this, but hopefully the drivers behind me are sober enough to figure out that something's amiss.

He's still holding onto the door, so it thankfully closes when I pull him. He begins scrabbling at my neck, and in the course of deflecting his blows I perhaps make contact with his face once or twice. I'm simultaneously braking, steering, fighting a man old enough to be my father, and hoping the car behind us really isn't that close.

I get us stopped as the trailing car passes. I shove the man back into the seat, hard, and hit the door locks. I point at the meter—he owes me seven bucks.

He pays me, but doesn't tip.

 
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