I picked up this seemingly normal woman last night at about 2a-ish from a place called Sesame Donuts in the Raleigh Hills area. She was almost as wide as she was tall and smelled of cat. Wedged herself into the cab and just started rambling about nothing that seemed important (to me) but apparently was enough that she had to keep touching my shoulder to make sure I was paying attention every time she had a point to make.
Complete strangers touching me tends to make me a bit ... irritated. Woman or no.
So this woman is blabbering about how she had to wait at the donut shop instead of the Dublin Pub across the street because she's a good Christian girl and didn't want those heathen men trying to follow her or try and pick her up like all men do on the bus. ("Boys are BAD!" I think she seriously considered jumping outta the cab when I said "Yeah, but that's what we like about 'em.")
ANYway, this woman was talking a bit too much so I tuned her out. We were on our way to the East side via the Ross Island Bridge at her direction, even though I offered to take her the shortest route (that would cost less as she said she only had a finite amount of cash) she said she could only go the way she normally drove because it was the only way she knew. Certainly her option. I tried. So, we were sitting at the light, and she's blabbering away and she finally stops to ask about the meter:
She: Is the meter still running?
Me: Of course, you're in a taxi.
She: But ... we're sitting still.
Me: Yes. I see that. But the meter still runs.
She: Wait a minute. That isn't right. You can't run the meter when we're stopped.
Me: Actually, I can. It's the laws that are set up by the City of Portland's Taxi Cab Commission.
She: Oh, I seriously doubt that. My dad's a LAWYER so I think I know the law! You need to stop that meter right now Missy. I said NOW!
Me: Wow. I haven't been called "Missy" since Sister Mary-Margaret caught me putting ants on Bobby Miller's desk. Well, if you look at the window right next to your head the cab rates are listed right there. If you can't read them I could certainly read them to you.
She: Oh ... you're CATHOLIC. Well, God loves everyone. Even Catholics. then she peruses the rates for a moment So, these are your rates?
Me: Well, the companies rates, as set by the city.
She: What about other companies?
Me: All Ptld based cabs are exactly the same. Any cab you get based outside of the city can charge whatever they choose.
She: I don't believe you. Who can I call that will tell me whether or not you're lying to me?
Me: Whooo. Well, at this time of night, if you want someone you might believe, I'd say call the competition.
She: Why would I call them instead of YOUR company? It's because you're lying to me, right?
Me: Noooo, it's because I didn't think you would believe my company, so if you call the competition they could tell you whether or not I'm lying. Matter of fact, there's a pay phone right there, at the Plaid Pantry if you would like to call them and ask them for another cab because if you call me a liar one more time I'm going to go ahead and let you out of my cab. NOW. Would you like me to take you over there and let you out?
She: Um, no. So, are these stickers on every cab?
Me: Yes, every Portland based cab.
She: Hm. Well, they aren't very big are they?
Me: No one else seems to have any problems.
She: What about people that are blind? Or can't read?
Me: So, you're suggesting that I what ... recite the rates to every single person that gets in my cab on the off chance they can't read?
She: Well, yes. Exactly. I think I might talk to my dad about this. He's a LAWYER you know. He's a Very. Important. Person. You'd better believe me.
Me: Oh. I do. I promise to only run the meter while you're in the cab so you don't tell your daddy I mistreated a good Christian girl like you.
She: Humph. That's all I wanted. A little respect. Drive on.
Me: You and Aretha Franklin sister. We're almost there so how about we don't talk any more so I can concentrate on my driving.