Are you calling me a liar, taxi driver? Because I have plainly and explicitly told you that I do not have cash on my person, so, at this point, your persistence in asking me whether I have cash on my person seems more accusatory than inquiring. And no, the fact that I am indeed lying and do have cash on my person doesn’t change anything. If you must know, we’re not parked in front of my house, but rather El Supremeo Burrito, which happens to be a cash-only operation and I am drunk and hungry. In other words, the $10 bill in my pocket is spoken for, thank you very much.

Besides, whether I do or do not have cash on my person is irrelevant. The point is that it says right here on my “Passenger Bill of Rights” that I am expressly permitted to pay my fare with a credit card – as I have told you is my preference – so I resent your interrogation. (If my rights are your issue, your professional organization ought to take it up with the Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection rather than you harass me!)

And, you should know, this is only one of a litany of gripes I’ve accumulated in our six minutes together.

You took Southport when I believe you know Ashland would be faster, thus costing me a minute and juicing me out of $.65 cents.

Your determination to avoid potholes has turned the North Side of Chicago into a virtual Mario Kart course, leaving me nauseated and a little headachey.

This cab smells excessively of coconut. Or feet. Kinda both. It’s disgusting.
I don’t understand why you’re listening to extreme right wing radio.

So, taxi driver, here’s what I’m going to do. When I get out of this cab, I am going to aggressively close your door*. AND, I’m not telling you to have a good night! I’m sorry I must resort to bad manners, but it’s my only recourse! TAKE THAT, FASCIST!

(I’d “slam” it, but there’s a small chance you might be crazy, and I’m definitely not trying to find out.)

What’s that? Why, yes, taxi driver, I do hear the voice of my guilty conscience in the back of my head. Yes, I do acknowledge that it really wouldn’t be that big of a deal for me to give you my $10 then walk across the street to Chase, thus delaying my 1,400 calorie Mexican food binge by a mere three minutes. And yes, I understand that when I give you a credit card, you don’t actually see the cash for three or four days (possibly a week), and that your wife’s hospital bills, your mortgage, or your son’s tuition could be due tomorrow. But no, I won’t listen to that voice. Rules are rules my friend. I’m not being self-centered, I am merely trying to preserve our rule of rules.

So there you have it. You can bob and weave around my rights. You can run me around and jack up the meter. You can overwhelm my senses with air freshener, spilled coffee and B.O. I am powerless to stop you. But just know, there’s an empty gesture waiting for you on the other end. Karma is a bitch, you might say.

Now, get me that receipt so I can get my burrito!

What? Your machine isn’t working? No, god damnit, I don’t have cash on me!

Growing up outside of Cleveland, Chandler Goodman formed a youthful and lasting love of sports, politics, comedy, and foods covered in cheese. Writing and improvising in Chicago, he has finally found a community where his four passions intersect. You can read what he thinks about while he’s sitting on the bus at @SuchAGoodman.

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