I start the meter when they get in. Like every cabbie does. Like I could have after waiting five minutes in the first place. However, I generally try to be nice, so I stop the clock after a bit.
The $400 phone rings. In the cab. So we head for the Candlelight, and the two in the back complain about my having the temerity to let the clock run at all. As I am expected to do by everyone other than this pair. It's a cab; I'm working. "It's OK, honey," he says to his wife, "she doesn't know that we're big tippers." "It has been empirically proven that people that say this do not, in fact, tip," I don't say. She praises the service of a rival company: A driver actually knocked on her door the other day. "Perhaps you'd like me to let you out so you can call them," I also do not say, although the mental image of them doing so in the middle of the Fremont Bridge improves my mood immeasurably.
They continue to talk about me like I'm not there. He wants the 10 cents back on a $13.90 fare, and I think about how only people who can afford things like $400 cell phones act like this. Ever.