Ivan was in Panama City last week and instead of renting a car he decided to take taxis wherever he needed to go. He ended up chatting with the drivers and hearing their stories. In one cab he asked the driver, not if, but how many times he had been robbed. The driver said he had been robbed 5 times, and on 3 different occasions people tried to kill him.

This was one story he told Ivan.

¨A guy gets into the back seat. He was dressed in really nice clothes; a fancy shirt, suspenders. . . He was sweating, agitated, and asked me to take him to a bad part of town.

He said,´I really just feel like shooting you right now.´

I told him why would you want to shoot me, I´m just a taxi driver. I´m just working and driving around.

He said, ´I just do, I just feel like I really want to shoot somebody.´

So I told him, well, if that´s the case I´ll take you over to my house and you can shoot my neighbor who has been driving me crazy for years.

So the nicely dressed guy says, ´Do you know who I am?

No, I told him. I don´t watch the news, or read the papers. I dont´watch TV, I just drive this taxi.

´My father is the president of Colombia*. My brother just got shot while we were in so and so (a rough part of town) neighborhood, and I want to go buy a gun to get back at them.´

Then he said, ´I don´t care, I still just really want to shoot you.´

Well, I think you´re screwed, because if you shoot me then who is going to drive the taxi and take you where you want to go? How will you get the gun, if you are just left standing in the street because you shot me.

He thought for a minute.

´Okay, you´re right. Keep driving.´

For the rest of the drive I was worried that when we got to where we were going, he was going to get out of the cab and shoot me.

We got there and he asked me, ´how much do I owe you?´

Four dollars.

He pulled out a five dollar bill and said, ´get out of here!´

I drove off and didn´t look back.¨

*this was many many many years ago.

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One Response to Chutzpah

  1. Jessica Rothman Guerra says:

    What kind of tasty drink is Ivan enjoying there?

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