People Are Weird

Amanda Carpenter
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Posted: Oct 03, 2008 9:28 AM
This morning I was scheduled for a 7:30am appearance on CSPAN's Washington Journal to do debate wrap-up. So, I hopped in a cab to get downtown around, I dunno, say 6:45am to be there at 7am. Ok, no big deal, right?

As soon as I climb into the cab, I notice the driver is exceptionally chipper and helpful, asking what is the best way to go, do I need a receipt, whatever. We get down the block and I settle in to do some final reading on my blackberry and he asks me if I like poetry.

"Uh, sure. I guess." He asks if I'd like to hear some.

"About what?" I say sort of incredulously. "Anything you want, sex, drugs, rock and roll, hope, change." Oh Lord, I'm saying to myself. Anything but hope and change. I have met a real life Vogon. I tell him I need to do my reading.

He lets me read until we get three blocks from the studio. "I really have this good one about hope and change." Why me. I want to tell him I am a rabid Republican, but he's driving. He has my life in his hands. I encounter similar things with hairdressers in this part of the country. I keep my mouth shut on these occasions. I do not like car wrecks or bad hair.

So he proceeds to adopt whatever, weird scholarly voice people use to recite poetry and opines about "hope and change" for the last leg of the drive. And something about seasons changing, too Strangely enough it did not mention  Obama outright, but I got the point.  And, he was totally making it up as he went along. Stream of conscience taxicab poetry.

I did not compliment him and kept pretending to read my blackberry. That only would encourage him. I wanted to stiff him on the tip just to reinforce the non-verbal message, but I figured that's too mean. I've worked too many waitress jobs myself to do that.

What a day to start the day.