I just had the most unpleasant altercation with a huge African cab driver. I was driving back to the office and slowed down along the way to see if there was parking in front of the convenience store. I like a Diet Coke with my meal, although, if they had it, a beer would have been preferable. The realization that there WAS no convenience store parking came simultaneous with a horn blast from the cab behind me.
While I try to avoid making generalizations, I feel like I can honestly say that the vast majority of cabs I’ve taken have been piloted by bigoted, misogynistic assholes, and it gives me a bad feeling about cabbies in general. Driving in Boston for the last nine years has done little to alleviate my distaste. If you’re a nice cab driver, and I know there are a few of you, I apologize for my wide net. But by and large, cab drivers: you are douchebags.
Back to moments ago. The driver lays on his horn, and, once I register that the offensive noise was directed at me, I immediately slam on my brakes. I realize this makes me an asshole driver too, but, emboldened by the impending retirement of the Focus as it stands, I’m don’t find myself in a position to give a shit if the fucker rear ends me. I return to the posted speed limit and continue. The (one lane) road widens briefly, and the cab takes the opportunity to try and pass me on the right. Oh no sir, I say, and swerve into his path of travel. Then, of course, he tries to pass me on the left. Did I mention the road is one lane? I mirror his movements and thwart him again. At the stop light ahead, I make sure to block the entire path of travel so he can’t get around me on either side, but the crafty bastard pulls halfway into oncoming traffic so that our windows are facing.
Before he’e even there, I’m giving him the bird. Arm outstretched, finger pointed skyward. He gets out of the car and wow.
I’m not joking. This guy is built like a linebacker. HUGE. And through his accent I can hear him asking if I’ve got a problem. I should probably shut my mouth at this point, but there’s no stopping once you wind me up.
“YOU’RE my problem!” I shout, retracting the offensive digit. “What the fuck were you beeping at me for?”
The car in front of us edges eastward. I nudge the Focus up to its bumper. The cab driver hops back into his car and pushes forward, barely grazing my sideview mirror. I stare through my rolled-down window into his car.
Unable to contain himself, he leaps out once more and, gesturing wildly, tells me that next time he sees me in the street, he’s going to pop me one.
“Oh, REALLY. REALLY? You’re going to hit a woman? Come on, go ahead man! Let’s see what happens!”
I’m totally ready for him to pull me out of the car. He’s screaming. I’m totally ready to be punched in the face – broken nose, fractured jaw, bruises on my arms and torso. He’s moving towards my car, I’m daring him to finish the job. I’m totally ready for it. It’ll make headlines.
Traffic moves. I pull left, cutting off a Volkswagen in my race to beat him out of the gate, not caring if the cab’s bumper leaves marks all down my car. As he scrambles into the driver’s seat, he shouts the words that are still echoing in my ear:
YOU KNOW YOU’RE A WOMAN, RIGHT? YOU KNOW YOU’RE A WOMAN!
I have problems with anger management. Bad problems. And I feel it’s a testament to my continued progress that I didn’t throw it into reverse and back the fuck into his driver’s side door. I know I’m a woman, you sideswiping, loudmouthed, bullying piece of shit. The world won’t ever let me forget it. And you, you must be one hell of a man.