Yesterday, I had what ranks as one of the most obnoxious cab experiences ever. I'm usually not the type to complain about cabbies unless they don't know where they're going (a frequent problem among drivers in the DC region, particularly for me since the only destination they seem to be familiar with in Georgetown is the corner of M and Wisconsin. It's a grid
people, how hard can it be to find any
intersection between a letter and a number?). The cab ride in question combined the joys of a directionally challenged driver with the worst radio selection ever.
Returning from Crystal City via public transportation in the early morning is a dicey proposition on any day, on the weekends, a taxi is the only option. At 6:45 a.m., I set out for the taxi stand in front of the Marriot, pleased to find a long line of cabs waiting for travelers such as myself. I am dismayed to find that there is no driver in the first cab. Turns out, he went inside for some Starbucks, and when he returned, seemed genuinely annoyed that I was interrupting his breakfast. Perhaps next time, he shouldn't attempt to enjoy breakfast while parked at a taxi stand.
In any case, I told him I was going to Georgetown, that at this time of day, either the Memorial Bridge or Key Bridge would work (my first mistake, I should always ask for the Memorial since it's faster and doesn't require overshooting my destination by several congested blocks). But overall, we're cool so far.
Then he starts the car, and the radio comes on. As in most cabs, it's tuned to talk radio. But not the interesting talk radio you normally find in DC cabs. Some are tuned to WAMU, and a little NPR never hurt anyone. Others choose stations catering to speakers of their native language. Those are my favorite cab rides. I love listening to the cadence and unique tones of foreign languages, maybe it's weird, although, so am I. But apparently, I am not as weird as this cabbie, who had the radio tuned to a station playing a radio infomercial. Not just any radio infomercial, but one for Dual-Action Colon Cleanse.
Now, if you've never heard of this product, I imagine you can surmise its purpose from its name. But if not, here's the gist of it. The infomercial consisted largely of the inventor of this product talking about how he noticed that when his infant daughter took a dump, it was the size of her arm but, being a six-foot-tall person, his weren't nearly as large proportionally. Which led him to wonder what was wrong with his digestive system. He then discovered that there could be as much as 20 pounds of leftover shit in his intestines which prompted him to develop this product in order to produce turds as large as his arm.
And I hadn't even had any coffee yet!
Cabbie did not change the station the entire trip. Which involved the long route including not only the Key Bridge, but the trip up 33rd street that causes the drive to add to the aforementioned overshooting of 29th street with an overshooting of Q street as well (since it's split up and the side of the street west of Wisconsin Ave. lies further north than the other half). And then, when he got to Q Street, he wasn't even sure which way to turn and argued with me that the clearly two-way street was actually a one-way.
On the plus side, the cab had a meter, so at least I knew exactly how much I was overcharged for the extra-long cab ride plus commentary on extra-long turds. Argh.
It's football season folks! Hooray fall!
Here's your good news of the day
, and possibly my favorite news story ever.
And this is
, of course, the best news story of the day (and the reason I was in a cab at 6:45 a.m.). Quick, alert the Pulitzer judges...