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thought i was a donut, ya tried to glaze me

2.10.2008

Because I Believe in Karma

Earlier tonight I went out to a birthday party on the Lower East Side. I left the bar around 1:15 with three friends and we walked a few blocks up Ave. B to E. Houston get a cab. We took that cab to Bleecker St. in Ridgewood, where one of my friends lived and where I left my car. The cab driver was a good driver, pleasant, and even settled a dispute I had with one of my friends regarding the protocol for taxis taking drivers outside of NYC. It started when he told me his plans to move to Jersey City, a plan I naturally made fun of since, you know, I still live at home with my parents.

"Hey, hey guys..." I said, doing my best high-pitched nerd voice, "I gotta leave and make that last PATH train. It's already 12:15!"

"What are you talking about? I'll just take a cab."

I told my friend that cab drivers are only obligated to take drivers in and around NYC; beyond the five boroughs the ride and flat rate is up to the driver's discretion. He didn't believe me until the cab driver clearly explained it all to him as we drove over the Williamsburg Bridge.

The cab let us off in front of the apartment and I handed my friend sitting shotty (who had no cash on him) what I thought was a twenty and a ten. The fare was $17.50. I thing I'm a good tipper, and pride myself on this fact. My friend looked at me funny, which I assumed was because of the unusually high tip. He asked me if I had a few singles--which I assumed would be given as tip when he received change--but I just said, nah, don't worry about it. Before I got out of the cab the driver turned around and looked at me. I just smiled and said, "Keep it."

I didn't find out until I was upstairs that what I gave the cab driver was actually two tens. A $3.50 tip.

Keep It.


All the way down Metropolitan, down Cypress Ave, through the backroads of Queens when he coulda been making a few quick bucks in Manhattan.

Keep It.

I felt really shitty when I found this out so when I got home I changed into pajamas and called 311.

"Hi.

I was just wondering...I don't know if you can help me out with this but, I just took a cab. And I wanted to know if I could track the driver down, you know, like if I gave you the time and the pick up location and the drop off location. I didnt lose anything in the cab."

"Why would you need to track down the driver?"

"Look. Alright. It's gonna sound sort of retarded but..."

I told her what happened. I ended with, "I'm sorry. I know it sounds really stupid, but I just believe in karma and I didn't mean to stiff him."

"I understand," she said, and searched. Nothing came up in the search; I thanked her for her help. She made me feel better by reminding me that I did tip him, sort of.

And I'm writing this post now because it's on my mind and I'd like to think that I'm putting it out into the universe. So to that cabdriver, I'm really not an asshole. I meant to give you more than what I did, and I'm really, really sorry. So, since I can't find you in that sea of yellow cabs, traveling through this big city, here's my apology.

You can keep it.

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I wonder if my writing has even improved?