…A couple Thursdays ago I was headed to the MOMA for my appointment with Frida (the divine Ms. Kahlo)…I called back about 20-25 minutes before I needed the pickup (allowing a total of 40 minutes before I needed to be at my destination).  They said a cab would be there...I waited, called again, was told another 10 minutes, called again - fuming with myself for not just grabbing one from the street. The cab finally pulls up 1 minute before I'm supposed to be there.  I hop in and as the cab is driving away, I get the call from the dispatcher letting me know the cab is there.  Yeah, thanks.  Anyhow - I'm totally fuming at this point.  Trying to relax and get ready for what is supposed to be a romantic night out. The cab driver is wearing a jail-style jumpsuit and is peering over his glasses and I'm pretty sure that he has smoked crack within the past hour. [AUTHOR NOTE: PROOF?] some point, I notice that the meter is NOT on, but I didn't think much of it. Then I'm like, oh, maybe b/c I waited so long they are giving me a discounted ride.  Um, yeah, right.  So, when we're like 15 blocks from the MOMA, the cabbie yells "Oh ****!  The meter is not running!"  And I was like, yeah it hasn't been on.  Then he proceeds to ask me how much a normal cab ride is from my house to the MOMA.  I say about 10-12 bucks.  He calls into the dispatcher who says 15-18, which is crazy!  Anyhow - we spend the rest of the ride debating it.  I only have a $20 in my wallet.  When we get close, instead of turning down the street to drop my in front of the MOMA, he runs over the curb and drops me at the corner and says "it'll be $15".  I shoulda just hopped out and ran at that point, but I paid, cause I'm a sucker…One out of two is a start...  BTW - we grabbed a cab on the way home and the ride was farther from our house than the MOMA and the fare was just over $10.

AUTHOR NOTE: I have frequently forgotten to turn on the meter. If I remember in the middle of the trip, I ask the fare to compensate me on the back end. If I’ve completed the whole trip and forgotten the meter. Then I’ll “ballpark” the fare. I try to underestimate by a dollar or two because it’s not worth the hassle of arguing over a couple of bucks especially when it’s my error to begin with. Over the years this approach has worked out very smoothly for me.