Friday, March 23, 2007

Mr. Marzetti is a real bastard

Marzetti goes from his house to the same restaurant at the same time every day, Monday through Friday. He's like a Swiss watch, except most Swiss watches aren't bastards. He's an older gentleman, and he uses his age as an excuse to be an ass.

He goes six blocks and thinks a cab driver needs second-by-second instructions, even though everyone has driven him 100 times. He claims he has had drivers who don't know the way. He's lying. The restaurant is on the same street as his house, and it's just down the road. It can't be driven improperly.

He always calls for a cab at 4:25 p.m., and everyone on the stand nearest his house vacates and goes elsewhere at 4:20 just to avoid him. Today I got him on the way back, which is tricky to prevent because he calls at different times for the return trip. And some bells off that stand are lucrative. It's kind of a game. Do I risk Marzetti, or don't I?

When I pick him up he asks, "Who have I got tonight?" He says he can't drive any longer because his eyesight is poor. Now a little background is in order. Whenever I drop him, he says, "Thanks. You're a good driver." Once or twice he said, "I'd ask for you by name when I call, but whenever I do that, somebody else comes. Nobody seems to care." He hit the nail right on the head. We don't care. We're not mean, we're just trying to make a living, and we can't do that with a bastard.

Since he wants a regular driver, which is common for regular customers -- we call it personalizing a customer, maybe I could give him one. So, whenever he asks, "Who have I got tonight?" I give the name of a driver I don't like, since he can't recognize me. Then I drive him well and treat him nicely so he'll be inclined to ask for "me" the next time. Sometimes I suggest that he does call for "me". It minimizes my exposure to him and it thwarts my enemies at the same time. That's a win-win.

Now for the punch line. The fare is always $5.60, and after handing over a 5, he digs through his pockets looking for three quarters. He gives a FIFTEEN CENT TIP. This is another case of an older person having lost all touch with reality. Don't misunderstand me. Marzetti is as sharp as a tack. There is no dementia or Alzheimer's. I'd bet ... $.15 on that. Oh, and you have to take his tips in perspective. We pick him up at a $2 or $3 million home that he has owned for more than 30 years. It's paid off. He's rich, and tips $.15 on $5.60.

I wonder what Marzetti tips the serving staff at that restaurant? How many unsavory things has he ingested, unknowingly, because he's a cheap bastard?

UPDATE: I thought of something weird. Marzetti always drops a 5 in the window, then asks, "Is that a five?" He's always right, which means he can see well enough. He is probably having the last laugh when I give him the names of my enemies. What a bastard. You know, I've been driving two years. You'd think it might have occurred to me earlier. This blog is giving me a whole new perspective on bastards.

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