Friday, June 25, 2010
The Time When I Didn't Tip the Cabbie
One night I was at a friend’s house playing poker. I was probably 16 or 17 at the time. I was planning on getting a ride back home with my mom, but suddenly I got a call from her. She told me that she was in an accident and that the car had been totaled. She was fine and it was later determined that the other car had run a red light. But more importantly, I wasn’t getting a ride home from my mom. I asked her what she thought I should do and she told me to call a cab. I remember I used the house phone because a machine answered on the other side and it already knew the address I was calling from. The taxi got there fairly quickly and I headed home. The driver and I started talking and he turned out to be a really nice guy. I told him about my mom’s car crash and we talked about our families and how important they were to us. When we arrived at the house he realized that he had forgotten to start the meter. I wasn’t really familiar with taxicab etiquette and neither of us seemed to know what to do about the fee, so I just asked him what he thought was a fair price. I think he said something like $35. Looking back, I really hope he wasn’t conning me. At the time he just seemed like such a good guy that I gave him the benefit of the doubt, and I still think he was being honest. If he was taking advantage of me then he was a jerk, but if he was honest then I was the jerk, because I remember handing him exactly what he asked for and hopping out of the cab. I thanked him as I got out but I definitely didn’t tip him a cent. It was a novel situation for me and I guess I just forgot.