Monday, March 19, 2007


Merriam Webster's defines gall as "1. a: bile obtained from an animal and used in the arts or medicine b : something bitter to endure c : bitterness of spirit," and "2: brazen boldness coupled with impudent assurance and insolence."

I had a customer last night who fits all definitions. He was around 50, dressed in a suit, pleasant, if quiet, and needed a ride from one expensive hotel to another. When I pulled into the hotel circle and stopped, he asked for a receipt. The fare was $35. "I need your handwriting on the receipt," he said. "Put the date on it and make it for $50."

Generally I don't fill out receipts; I give them out as blanks, because 99.9% of customers wish to defraud the accounting department. A $15 tip is great, so I happily complied. He then pocketed the receipt, handed me $35 and jumped out. The son of a bitch enlisted me to defraud his employer, then stiffed me.

I know cabbies who would have physically detained him for such things. Fortunately for him, I'm not one of those.

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