I live in Toronto right? Toronto is a big place. Some people have cars, others don't. For the latter group they have this thing called the TTC. In theory the TTC is a wonderful invention of mank ind (sorry, the spelling is deliberate... I totally had a Jack Handy moment). In theory.
In theory communism was also a wonderful idea, as was my decision to try my hand at online dating. In theory. But the reality of the TTC and communism oddly enough, is that there is just not enough money available to compensate for the amount of people who use it. It doesn't take a used car salesman to figure out that if buses on a particular route... say, the 168 Slumington for example... are overcrowded on a daily basis and that it is not uncommon for some people... say, me for example... to have to wait for several buses to go by before one comes that will stop, that more buses might be in order. Blah blah blah, we all know how I feel about the TTC...
Now, going out. Dates, shopping, stamp shows etc... Usual mode of transportation is of course the TTC. Due to the large size of the city, any other way is not very agreeable to my wallet. However, there are times when taking a cab must be done. Usually there is booze and some cheesy nightclub involved, but not always. On Friday, there was booze, but instead of a cheesy nightclub there was an English pub. And an Englishman, which is the best part of course. I was running late... yadda yadda yadda. Looked at the time and there was no way that the bus and subway were going to get me to where I needed to be on time so I needed a cab.
I called one. It came. Away we went and I started my usual cabbie banter which typically begins with a comment about the weather, or an inquiry as to the business that evening. Normally this is the start of a two way conversation that will carry us to my destination. Sadly, Friday was not one of those nights.
Now, I get that not every cabbie wants to chat. I have also been the passenger of very chatty cabbies when I have mostly just wanted to not talk, so I get that there is not always going to be compatibility between driver and drivee. Silence was the order of the day on this ride, and not just not talking silence, there was no music either. That meant complete and utter silence. It was one of those really uncomfortable silences-- like as if we had been dating for 3 years and one of us had decided to break up right then and there in the taxi. I wanted to hum, whistle... anything that would something. But nothing...
Until my silent cabbie passed the turn off that is. Driving in Toronto can be complicated at times, but my destination had a sum total of one turn, and he missed it. And it wasn't like it was some obscure street. So I had say something which of course made the already awkward situation even more so because then I really did feel like I was a part of a dysfunctional couple. "You IDIOT", I screamed. "Can't you even drive? I gave you one simple task, all you had to do was turn right onto Bathurst... I couldn't possibly have given you an easier fare... and you STILL messed up... I am not paying for you incompetence..."
But out loud I said quietly "Um, I think you missed Bathurst." And yes, he charged me for his screw up. And I paid.