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taking a stand

Chicago Cab Drivers Want to Charge Puking Passengers $50

Chicago cab drivers are lobbying the city council to allow them to add a $50 surcharge to the fares of people who puke in taxicabs. As bad as we feel for taxi drivers who have to pause, mid-shift, and scrape Jagermeister-scented vom off the floors and or seats of their vehicles, we hope this is not something that catches on in New York, as it strikes us as a very bad idea.

For instance:

• This is precisely what cabs are for, to drive drunk people home! If people won't get in a cab because they're afraid they're going to barf, we're just going to have people all over the sidewalks, passed out in their own vomit.
• You just puked in a cab! Your night is already bad. The last thing you need is to lose $50.
• Plus, you probably don't have $50, because obviously you spent all your money at the bar.
• There are just too many loopholes where we can see wily New York taxi drivers taking advantage. For instance, everyone knows that one's first instinct when puking in a cab is to puke inside one's own handbag. (Everyone knows that, right?) Would you then, having sacrificed the entire contents of your bag or, say, ruined a very nice pashmina, not that that's ever happened to anyone, be required to pay a fine merely because the pine-scented air inside the cab now carries a trace of barf? What if you puked out the window of the cab while it was moving pretty quickly, like across the Brooklyn Bridge or something, leaving only a slight spattering on the tire? Would you have to pay $50 for that? And what if you had the foresight when stuck in traffic to actually open the door and barf onto the ground? Would the act of vomiting make you liable, even though the horrified stares of passersby are clearly punishment enough?

We think not, and furthermore, we think it would really be terrible to put people in the position of having to argue drunkenly about these things late at night. So let's all just do our part to keep this from happening: Should you puke in a cab, tip your driver nicely, and help keep New York a place where we can at least barf without getting gouged.

Cabbies ask for fare hike, $50 clean-up fee for vomit [Chicago-Sun Times]

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