That Toot you Hear is the Sound of my Own...
There are very few quiet little old ladies, mostly they do love to talk and well, I learned years before I ever got into CAR 29 that I do love to listen to little old ladies, thanks Aunt Marg. There's the one who I've taken all over town, Saint Mary's by the Lake, the library... she always tells me the best way to get to where she wants to go... you know. I was tellin' her just the other day how in my old career, I used to grumble over clients who thought they knew better about the job they just hired me to do; in CAR 29 I love a fare who knows better 'cause they've no problem telling me "where to go", and quite honestly, I don't always know (I mean, I've only been here less than two years).
Then there's the sweet old little blue haired lady I've only once picked up on that dreadfully aweful and awkward part of Concession. A real bitch of a driveway to get in and out of. The day I picked her up there was a wretchedly lovely rain drizzling down while I help her into the cab, folded and stowed away her walker then tried fruitlessly to perform a "back it out into a left turn" dipsy, umm... doodle... I ended up backing to the right and doing a New Yorker'esq U'ee right in front of a bunch of these sleepy ol' Kingston... hmmm, lets be nice and call 'em drivers.
My heart does pound a little more rapidly and with a little extra pride when I (quite safely and more or less within the law) pull a maneuver I wouldn't think twice about pulling when I lived down there... stunts I guess, never at speed... just good ol' belligerent, that's where I want to be, I'm going there, go ahead n' hit me if you want to... ummm... I maintain a spotless driving record, and this little old lady, one of my let's call 'em "Ms Daisys" was quite impressed with my prowess for getting her where she wanted to go... It did get my dander up though and the heart racing a bit more than normal.
This little old lady (that day's Ms Daisy) and I got to the TD Bank. She wanted me to wait so that I could, with no surprise, drive her over across the parking lot to the Loblaws. I told her I would temper the wait time if she was taking too long. I unfolded her walker in the now teaming rain, got her up and outta the front seat; up n' over the horribly too tall a curb next to the disabled parking spot I found closest to the door. Got her all the way inside and went back to sit in CAR 29 and wait... and wait... and wait...
I was flicking the meter off and on a bit to lower Ms Daisy's wait time charge load when this old guy tapped on my window, caught me a bit by surprise. I was all balled up in anxiety, wet and a little, well a lot weary of having to fold up another walker, once more when she got in, and once again over at the Loblaws... When I rolled down the window, letting in more rain, I was almost ready to scream "What the hell do you want..." when... he simply said... "I just wanted to tell you that I saw how you treated that old lady. You are very kind to have helped her into the bank... that all, I just wanted to tell you that someone had noticed"... er, eh hem. All I wanted to say back was... Just doing my job sir, after all, us taxicab drivers are Super Heroes... Just doin' my job sir. I actually just smiled and thanked him as he went on his own way quickly in this darned wretchedly n' lovely rain that just wouldn't stop falling.
Yup, I do love my little sweet old blue haired ladies, my Ms Daisys... and sure it isn't always that way. But these days if I get a little weary about folding another walker, taking two left turns and driving a block or two before having to unfold it to collect the "you keep the shiny quarter young man" tip on a $4.70 or less of a fare... You know, my father just got himself a walker... I guess why I do so love 'em is that these little old ladies quite nicely remind me to do unto others as I have them do unto my father and his walker. And... I can use all the shiney nice quarters and friendly easy little conversations I can get in this little nickle n' dime business I've found myself driving into... toot toot n' toot sweet little old ladies, you do make me smile.