Chatty Cabbie

The mini-van cabbie crossed the street and stopped right at my feet. The cabbie beckoned me to the front seat which was empty.

How very kind, but what the hell is this about—-“Greetings”

Seconds after I embarked on my journey to represent the system I hate the cabbie was bursting with excitement to discuss the latest news headlines. He rolled off the headlines like he was reading the headlines for news at 5 or something and for the whole journey.

It was then I realized I was lowered to the long tales of my chatty pilot. Damn, I really don’t like talking on public transportation; I don’t like to talk sometimes regardless even more so early morning.

Besides, my mind was more pondering my final exam I had later in the day.

I prayed for clear skies and zero delays on this journey, go ahead and break the stop light and speed limit if you have to-Okay that’s going too far but you know what I mean-I really don’t want to talk right now, make it quick.

I don’t think it is selfish or rude to just not want to talk “right now”.

I was right in the belly of the beast and there was no escape for the next 30 minutes or so.

He started off by telling me that they were going to free Stephen Fray. This got my attention. He must be lying or joking I thought, but why. I am sure I would have heard about this from somewhere, but then again my whole life has been buried in problem papers, deadlines, assignments, beating the books in anticipation of this very morning, this very day, hours away. Not to mention unexpected problems that has popped up at work, promises to break and keep.

I asked him where he heard this and he said from Ron Mutchette on Irie-FM. I looked away and paused, hiding the loathe I have for chirpy radio personalities like Ron, Francois or Jenny Jones so early in the mornings.

I should have guessed the source. All cab drivers in rural Jamaica have a secret covenant with Ron and Jenny because it is all they listen to in the mornings. Nothing personal against high energy morning radio -I am just not much of a morning person. I do like Jenny’s health tips and positive attitude sometimes however and Ron can be humorous at times with all those sound effects and his top 10 lists but overall not my cup of tea in the mornings.

I need my own ride again-very soon.

I thought to myself, if he heard it from Ron he might have misinterpreted one of Ron’s jokes to be real. For me it just didn’t make sense. My mind flashed back to a discussion I had with my barber a couple months back. We could all agree that 84 years was quite excessive a sentence, almost ridiculous.

I continued with the flow of the conversation agreeing that yes he should not be locked up for 84 years. The argument and justification for me saying that was that many more murderous, corrupt individuals are free as a bird. He is not a life time criminal just a young man who made a fucked up mistake (jackass). Using the regular justifying wrong by pointing at other wrongs.

As I sat there actually opening up to the discussion rattling off why he should be free even though deep down I doubted the accuracy of what he told me. He started agreeing with me even though at first he seemed to disagree. This annoyed me a little. Switching sides so quickly and easily aroused my suspicions of the cabbie being honest with me even in this cavalier conversation about who knows what. Yes, I expect him to be honest with me even though I am not being honest myself.

He continued to pop out headlines talking about Renito Adams wanting to be commissioner of police. Of course I thought this was a loony idea but the way he jumped from Fray to Adams I pretended to agree with his assertion that Adams should be Commissioner of Police-right back at you cabbie-He switch on me and pretend to agree I switch on him and pretend to agree.


Childish I know but who cares 15 minutes to go before it’s over. Next it was the IMF, I could pick up the cabbie’s political inclinations based on the way he talked.

Yes Comrade, No comrade. I could sense his radar scanning for my political leaning through prompting. I remained neutral. I sarcastically said that maybe the government should not get this money from the IMF. All they (government after government) do is borrow and put the country into a deeper hole. Of course I was not thinking about any real world repercussions of not having money to run a county.

Cabbie went silent and looked ahead on the road. I felt kind of bad and I think my sarcasm and indifference in the whole episode was based on the core fact that I really didn’t want to be part of this show.

Intuitively I sensed that saying the country shouldn’t get the money meant the huge pot holes that cabbie is navigating around would never get fixed among numerous other things- I felt stupid but who cares only 5 minutes before touch down.

Upon arrival I paid my dues and exchanged greetings once again.. I actually found the conversation interesting. Later that day I heard that the police Commissioners Office or some organization got 34 applications for commissioner of police, no news if Mr Adams was one of those on the short list. I borrowed a copy of the Jamaica Observer and saw the editorial cartoon poking fun at a Prime Minister decked out in Gaza – Gully , Gangsta clothing running into a meeting with the fractions at Jamaica House ignoring the IMF official standing and looking in amazement.

I also saw the Stephen Fray story buried in a very small section of the paper. Talk about hiding the news. I really only scanned the paper but it mentioned something about the DPP dropping the charges against Fray. I think they are intentionally hiding it as to not alert the international community they are letting him free so if you are from “FARIGN” please don’t read this, the 84 years was just for show, even the guy who threw the shoe at president Bush is free.


~ by RB on December 8, 2009.

One Response to “Chatty Cabbie”

  1. RB, taxi drivers and bartenders are considered lay psychologist in some countries.

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