I’ve had two really bad taxi drivers two nights in a row. It’s been a shame since I’ve really enjoyed talking to almost all my previous drivers.
The dude that drove me home last night was unbearable. About a minute into the ride home, I noticed he started sniffling and clearing his throat. He was sick with a cold. Crap. He was blowing his nose, coughing, and making strange noises in his throat. It was gross. Then kept on touching his nose with his hand. Then he spontaneously sneezed this humongous wet sneeeze. I swear I could see droplets on the inside of the windshield. Here I am less than three feet away from him. I’m thinking the entire time I’m basically stuck in a cold-virus incubator for 40 minutes.
It was an awful cab ride all the way home and it took all my strength not to stick my head out the window the entire time. We finally arrived and I knew it was going to get dicey at the end when he had to hand me a pen to sign the taxi voucher. I gingerly took the pen, being careful not to touch it where his fingers had been. I signed it and just got the hell out of there.
Once I got inside, I didn’t touch anything and marched straight to a sink where soaped up both my hands and arms up to my elbows. I did a thorough rinse and scrub. I think it worked because I feel fine today.
So if that wasn’t bad enough, I had an equally horrible experience the night before. This guy in his 50s or so wasn’t sick but he just wouldn’t shut the hell up. As soon as I got in, he started with his life story. Now I like talking to cabbies but most of them know how to talk to a fare. It’s a lot of give and take. I ask them questions and they answer. They ask me about myself and I answer. This guy was just me me me me me me me I lost all my money in a Mexican bank me me me me me me I’m trying to build a condo development me me me me me me I hate the cold me me me.
That’s not all. When I first got in, he saw I was an EA employee. He told me the other night he drove a co-worker of mine home to Port Moody as well. He called him a “Limey”. I thought that was rather odd but ok, sure whatever. That was a sign of things to come.
He knew I worked for EA, so he tried steer everything into tech talk. He wanted to talk about that “game company in Seattle that did well for a few years but had to shut down, they made Super Mario Bros. or something”. Yeah, that’s right buddy, Nintendo did great but that Wii is really doing themselves in right now. I just said nothing. Then he went onto some rant about how Bill Gates is an idiot. Very good. Did you read that somewhere? I again said nothing.
Then came the most awesome part of the ride. He mentioned how Microsoft didn’t really innovate. He said the Japanese had been real innovators and then he threw in this gem.
“Those Japs have lost their edge. It was Apple that invented the Ipod. Japs are losing their touch.”
To end the whole thing he wanted to know if LCD or plasma TVs were better at recording movies. Apparently he thought display technologies had some bearing on how well one recorded images. He made the analogy of Beta vs VHS… yes, because both are image storage technologies. At that point, I wanted to ask him to pull over on the highway shoulder so I could walk the rest of the way home.
Just for completeness, these drivers were from Vancouver Taxi. I hope they somehow read this.
I took the bus tonight.