Saturday, March 16, 2019

Cab Driver Philosophy

Eddie the cab driver was complaining to me just last night about one of his cheapskate customers.

The super-generous liberals (aka - socialists) in charge of Hamilton's taxi regulations really "pinched out a loaf" of phony SJW legislation back in the 1990's. For those who don't know, taxi meter rates are mandated in most Western cities. To show how compassionate they were, they came up with the mandatory 10% "seniors discount." Unlike any other business that offers discounts to the customers though, the business owners did not absorb the discount. The drivers did.

I hated it from the start. It wasn't because I am greedy and cheap, which I am. It was the principle of the thing. Why should seniors, whose only real collective achievement is to reach a certain age, be entitled to any special treatment? I've always believed in equality under the law. This "discount" set an ugly precedent. If seniors should be entitled to special treatment, why not the disabled? Pregnant mothers? Welfare recipients? Students? Mental retards? You know how this story ends. Special discounts for blacks for "reparations" and eventually special discounts for Muslims just because Canada is such a "welcoming" society. A caste society. A total departure from a thousand year evolution of Western law and tradition which stressed equal rights over status.

It's a "slippery slope" as that fucking asshole McGuinty said before making it illegal for adults to smoke in cars if children were present. Fucking right it is.

In practice, it often meant that the sub-minimum wage cab driver would pick up a senior's couple with their suitcases, returning from trips to Europe or wherever, on their way to their lovely homes on Auchmar or Scenic, with several shiny new cars in the driveway, or wherever and he would, by force of law, have to provide the 10% discount directly out of his own pocket. Such compassion! The driver's kids would now have to wait another hour for the loaf of bread daddy was supposed to bring home after that trip.

Thankfully, many decent seniors refused to lower themselves to this crude form of legal robbery. But many milked it for all it was worth.

At one time, I bought one of those receipt books from an office supply store and started filling in the discount amount. Then I would get the passenger to sign it acknowledging the transfer of wealth from the poor cab driver to the often well-off senior. My plan was to collect these receipts and then submit them to City Hall for reimbursement. Of course, I never followed through because I knew my odds of success.

Also, in practice, the law created a conflict between driver and customer, and inevitably to anyone who understands the rudiments of economics, it resulted in inferior service to senior citizens. They became the new "persecuted minority," a status they now shared with another group who always complained of never being able to hail a cab. (Of course, the politicians brilliantly respond by writing laws to prohibit discrimination. If it don't fit, use a hammer.)

Aside: A funny thing I noticed when I was in Cuba. In this commie dictatorship I observed people driving around not wearing seat-belts or motorcycle helmets. At least the Cuban commies were smart enough to know they couldn't mandate the use of things that were not available in their country. Only capitalist countries can afford real socialism.

For my last ten years in the business I gave up on the aggressive hustle and just nested at the bus terminal fishing for walk-in customers. I saw the look on cabbie's faces a million times when some old lady with a walker emerged from the main doors and started hobbling over to the cab line. It was hilarious how often the first cabbie in the lineup would be glued to their terminal hoping to get a dispatch order so they could fuck off before the passenger got to their car. Or the way their eyes would dart around desperately hoping to see a more ambulatory and youthful customer who would rescue them and wouldn't demand their "senior's discount" and would often even tip.

Cabbies could be quite resourceful too. I had befriended a Sudanese driver who worked the bus. He was quite the character. He told me about this other immigrant driver whose trick was to suddenly go to the washroom when a senior with a walker, or a fold-up wheelchair, came out of those doors. The plan was calculated to induce the customer to walk to the next cab in the lineup. He was basically dumping his shit downstream. Like that character in Medieval London who directed the effluent from his indoor privy into the next-door neighbor's basement.

Well, knowing the game, my Sudanese friend was second in line when the asshole, and I mean "asshole" suddenly darted to the washroom. But my friend was ready. As soon as he saw that, he left his car and went to the phone booth at John and Hunter to pretend he was making a call. So the old lady ended up patiently waiting for the first driver to return from his phony washroom trip.

Fuck we had a good laugh about that.

I had my own run-ins with that same slimy cabbie. It got tense at times. He finally stopped trying to fuck me around.

One of the first things I learned at the school of libertarian thought was that government programs, ostensibly aimed at ameliorating the conditions of the down-trodden, almost always end up making their conditions worse.

A short list:

Rent controls - housing shortages
Minimum wages - unemployment
Drug prohibition - organized crime, money laundering, civil forfeiture, and epidemic drug use
Old age pensions - old age poverty
Welfare checks - single mothers

and so on.
and so on.

Multiply this egalitarian obsession across a million different human interactions and you end up with a less happy society. And not one in a million can understand why.

Forget about finding answers from Karl Marx. That guy was fucking clueless.

Eventually you end up with civilizations like India or China (pre-western influence) where the strictures imposed by law or by custom become so intricate, so embedded, so reflexive, so unconscious, and so wasteful that material progress becomes impossible for millennia. And even if a few people understand the cause, they are too few, and their books get burned, or banned by Amazon.com, and that civilization can stumble on for thousands of years before some natural or man-made cataclysm FORCES revolutionary change. The black plague had such an impact on Europe. After that they started to understand the importance of proper garbage and sewage disposal, and other advances which I am not knowledgeable enough to provide examples of.

So. Back to Eddie the Cabbie.

He drove a senior customer who demanded her senior's discount. The fare was $15.90 so the discount calculated as 10% of the last full dollar on the meter (How many actually know that?) was $1.50. Eddie rounded it off to $14. The passenger gave him $16 and said, "keep the change."

This little vignette demonstrates the extent of sophistication the cheapskate (usually a virtue-signalling leftist) is willing to employ in order to hide their cheapskatism. Eddie wondered why the passenger put him through all of this extra work when she could have simply said, "Here's $16. Keep the change."

But seniors, more than anyone else, well understand that the 10 cent "tip" went out back in the 1920's. No. What was going on here was the customer was attempting to camouflage their cheapness by invoking the senior's discount charade to make it look like she was actually granting a $2.00 tip. I'm telling you, people are hilarious.

I would be willing to bet that those seniors who engage in these kinds of histrionics in order to create an illusion of false generosity also tend to vote Liberal or NDP.

Maybe I can get a government grant for my "study."

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

And now I want to tell you the story about the two Scotsmen I had in my cab.

Just kidding.

Yes. I have been drinking.

===

Another good laugh. Danny "No-Hair" and I were in line at the go. We were chatting on the sidewalk when this smoking hot babe came walking by. She was impeccably dressed and gorgeous. She walked by often, so all the drivers knew her.

And whenever she walked by, all conversation would stop as the cabbies furtively feasted with their eyes.

So this one morning, Danny and I were talking when we spotted her coming and, like men with military training, we went dead silent, while pretending not to be too obvious in admiring her when we were in front of her. As soon as she passed though, our heads would turn and we study her from the back.

After she'd gone about twenty yards, Danny and I turned back to face each other and we both stated the conclusions of our studies at exactly the same time - "no ass."

Not that there's anything wrong with that. It was just a measurement exercise.

Great minds do think alike though. Toxic masculinity has some intractable obsession with the size and shape of the female posterior. Don't ask me where it comes from, but I doubt it was caused by "capitalism" though I have no doubt that somewhere in the academic literature this case has been made.

It's a good thing no one ever reads my shit or the left would crucify me. Hell, I am even still on FaceBook, or I was the last time I checked.

We almost pissed ourselves laughing.

Before long, laughing will not be allowed lest someone get offended. It's already happening, actually. And wasn't there a recent report about a university in England where clapping has been banned?

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