And speaking about FOPs (see yesterday's post), long-time readers know how I've raged against, and bemoaned my numerous experiences with, cab drivers.
Well, here's a Pow! moment if there ever was one for yours truly.
Arriving from yet another out-of-town journey last week, for some divine reason I obviously didn't realize at the time, I eschewed the limos at Montreal's Trudeau Airport and stood in the cab line instead.
By luck of the draw, I was matched with a Surprisingly clean black Ford and a driver who got out to take my luggage. I stated my destination and as I sat down and started to hit the Blackberry, said driver spoke.
"Should we take the 20?" (one of two alternative routes to my house).
"Oy. Take Decarie please," I groaned, "the 20 always screws me up for some reason."
"I'll make you a deal," he said with a sly smile. "We'll take the 20 and if for any reason we get screwed up, you don't pay."
Well...a challenging wager like this was not to be ignored.
"You're on," I said...before noticing that there was no meter running.
At that point, said driver pressed a button and the meter gently rose from a hidden compartment on his dash.
"If you need to check your email, why don't you use this instead?" he then offered as he passed me a Dell laptop, connected to the net via a powerful Wi-Fi card.
At that point, I checked around for cameras. This was too good to be true. Or maybe a chemical reaction from eating the airline breakfast.
But no. 'twas real. And as we sped along a clear Highway 20, said driver--baptized Stanley but known to all as "Buzz"--turned to me and smiled:
"Guess you're paying for the ride!"
I did, and happily so. As I did the next day when I was off on another flight, when Buzz showed up 10 minutes early (!!!) for the 6:30 a.m. pickup we scheduled. As I did when he picked me up upon returning to Orlando. And as I'll do back-and-forth to my sojourn to Chicago.
I will use Buzz's first name only for two good reasons:
1) If other cabbies knew his full name,
they may plot an assassination
2) If too many other travelers knew his full name,
I'd never get him again
So cheers, Buzz! You have definitely broken the mold, and have restored my faith not just in your profession, but in humanity.
May you live long and healthily, and open your own Cab school where you can bestow this knowledge and attitude to a new breed of your brethren and sistren.
And P.S.: Are you really allowed to drive on those shoulders? ;)