The Logical Philosopher

Monday, April 24, 2006


Hey NY Hack - this post's for you.

Traffic was terrible. They were doing construction and the backlog of traffic stretched back at least 3 lights. Three lanes merged into two then into one which meant not a long wait, maybe 7-10 minutes by the look of things, but I hadn't allowed that for my schedule. I looked down at my palm pilot, punching the button for the clock. I was going to be late - there was no question about it. Damn. I thought. But I can't just jump this traffic. I was wrong.

The cab I was in was driven by a quiet fellow - he had just nodded when I got in, silently pushing the fare button as I gave my destination. As we slowed to a stop he kept looking at his computer, the beeping indicating new fares coming up that he was missing out on due to the traffic. I don't think he wanted to wait either so after he seemed to focus on something ahead, he eased out into the far empty lane, quickly accelerating past the line of waiting cars. His eyes must have been good because he must have saw it before me - the taxi light of the car near the front of the vehicle queue. A few other cars must have thought the same thing, each of them pulling out to bypass the waiting traffic. A green smart car which was dwarfed by cherry red SUV, both right on our tail. I saw my cab driver look in his rear view mirror and give a thin smile.

The flagperson started traffic again, the front of the line starting to move, but the other taxi seemed to hold back slightly. My driver expertly slid in front of him, his coworker instantaneously closing the gap so no other vehicle could get in. No words were exchanged, signals crosses or eyes met. It was just understood. It was almost as if they had their own mental telepathy code.

I looked back at the traffic lineup I saw the smart car and SUV still stopped. A few honks but nobody was letting them in after cutting the huge line. I joined my driver and added a thin smile to my face. I made my meeting on time thanks to the quiet fellow.

Sometimes it pays to take a cab... literally.