Two cancelled car appointments
“Sick mechanic and too busy”
Excuses that I heard.
Dropped it off this morning
Feeling none too happy
About having to make a third.IMG_20141215_141111[1]

My car was finally ready
Winter tires and brakes
At the garage all day.
The shop sent a taxi
To pick me up from home
Twenty minutes away.

Slid in next to the driver
Honda Civic hybrid
Heated front seat.
Smile from the cabbie
License on the dash
Said his name was Pete.

The usual conversation
The weather and the traffic
The best route there.
So I offered up some questions
“His biggest all-time tip?
Most unusual fare?”

I enjoy talking to strangers
Anyone and everyone
It is just what I do.
Some of the best stories
Come to me this way
Thought Pete might have a few.

The next ten minutes

I listened to a story
At the garage’s cost.
About a trip he made
To deliver a suitcase
That the railway lost.

I noticed Pete’s delivery
Sentence to sentence
Very matter of fact.
Exactly what he means
Straight to the point
No need for tact.

“Beachburg, Ontario.
Where they sent me.”
And he gave me a look.
“Ever heard of it?
GPS said three hours.
That’s how long it took.”

“All of the way there.IMG_20141215_164926[1]
Just me with that bag,
sitting in the back.
No passenger in the car.

No other calls.
Seemed out of whack

I piped up with some thoughts

About peace and quiet
Making easy money.
About listening to tunes
And singing along…
He didn’t find it funny.

“I hated it. It was brutal.
Felt like five hours.
Five hours each way.
A boring, shitty drive.
Ten boring shitty hours.
A boring shitty day.”

“Thought I’d never get there.
Where the hell was this place?
I mean Jesus, what the faawk?!
At one point, I looked in the back.
And I remember thinking,
I wish that bag could talk”

“Three hours on the highway.
Then a two-lane side street.
To one the GPS never showed.
This waterfront neighborhood.
About six or eight cottages.
A one-lane gravel road.”

“The lady must have heard me.
She walked out the door.
Met me in the drive.”
Asked how long it took me?
Three hours, I told her.
But it felt like five.”

“Welcome to Beachburg”, she said.
“It’s just these few cottages.
That’s a long time to sit”.
I handed her the bag.
She said “thank you very much”.
And that was it.”

I couldn’t help but laugh

At the cabbie’s conviction
At the cabbie’s tone.
Like he truly regretted it
Would have refused to go
If only he had known.

“It wasn’t funny” he said
smiling along with me.
“My time is worth plenty.
Sixteen bucks for the ride.”
Told him tokeep the change”
as I handed him a twenty.

“Cost the railway 364 dollars,”
he said, as he wrote.
The garage needed a receipt.
“And a day of your life,”
I threw in with a chuckle.
And I said “good-bye” to Pete.

“It was good talking with ya
And thanks for the tip”
was the last thing I heard.
I felt myself smiling
Because the last ten minutes
I had barely said a word.

He drove away quickly

Another fare was waiting
Off to his next stop.
I paused for a moment
Opened up the door
Stepped into the shop.

Paid for installing the tires
And the brake repairs
Said they gave me “a deal”.
“The cost of two cab rides
And a free oil change.”
I didn’t know how to feel.

Despite the inconvenience
Despite what I am like
I found nothing to say.
Slid in behind the wheel
Turned on the radio
And simply drove away.







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1 Comment

  1. Scott Edwards

     /  December 15, 2014

    ……tires spitting gravel as you commit your weekly crime 😉



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