Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Lord Help You All

I think the post-Soviet shit is about to hit the fan once again in Georgia, but I am resisting the urge to give you another blow-by-blow of revolution. Because it's important to know your audience, and I know that no matter how long I rattle on about all of it, NONE OF YOU CARE. And that's as it should be, because if all of you cared about every little thing happening in the Caucasus and what-not, you'd probably have my job instead of me, and I'd be unemployed.

So, back to cab drivers.

Usually, when my cab drivers choose to speak to me and regale me with one of their many opinions, I am very agreeable. Often, this is not too hard as the cab drivers are often on my side of the political pasture. But sometimes they'll be a leeeetle too, say, "I-hate-gays" for my taste, but I don't really get into it.

But today, I was in quite the mood. Feeling very put-upon by the world and sorry for myself, I was grumping in silence in the back of the cab, when my driver decided to flip on some day-time hate-monger radio. And, I don't even know what the guy was saying, but his strained voice rising unnaturally high and his suffocating indignation were not the kind of thing to cheer me up. So I passive-aggressively sighed heavily and went through the exaggerated pantomines of headache, but all for naught.

This horrible voice that was still yapping from the radio started saying something about the prisoners in Iraq, and my cab driver noted:

"You know these pictures in the paper, of what the soldiers did. This is not really torture, you know."

I'm just, really, really not in the mood. I don't need moral relativism from my cab driver today. "But didn't you read the article? There was a lot worse stuff going on that there wasn't pictures of. Like, torture. Okay? Torture."

"But can you believe this guy who brings the photos? He could have just saved them for after the war and made a documentary? But no, he has to bring the photos out and make it dangerous for the soldiers that are still there."

"Oh that's bullshit; these guys that were piling up naked Iraqi bodies are the ones making it dangerous for the soldiers still there. Do you think it's a total secret in Iraq that this kind of treatment is going on in the prisons?"

So I'm calling a moratorium on tip-toeing around the cab drivers, as I should have long ago. Seriously, these guys sit and listen to the news all day, they have no excuse for not knowing the writing on the wall. Like my driver that took me out to Dulles last month, rhapsodizing on Richard Clarke and his new book.

You know what? In this city, of all places, there should be ideological cab services. Like when you're just not in the mood to listen to something you find objectionable, you just call the Liberal Cab, Inc., and nod and agree for your whole ride. Or if you feel feisty and argumentative, you call Conservative Cab Co. and have it out.

Eh, enough. I have a softball game on the Mall to go lose.


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