The last "Hackie" column, "A Happy Hoosier Tale," found me transporting three young men, Norwich College students, to Boston's Logan Airport. In the story, I mentioned in passing the decorum of these students, which I attributed - at least in part - to their school's code of conduct.Their respectful behavior I contrasted with the sometimes belligerent groups of young men I regularly drive around town.
A fare this past weekend illustrated the point, unfortunately.
Three raucous and tipsy twenty-somethings, pizza in hand, sat in my taxi en route to one of their homes in Colchester. "Sat" is more accurately what I wished because they were bouncing off the walls of the cab, involved in a three-way argument.
"You're always judging people without the facts!" my seatmate in the shotgun seat yelled at the friend behind him. "He was in the fuckin' army, dude! He had come from fuckin' Falluja, for Christ's sake. You know how much respect I have for guys in the service."
"I told ya," the guy retorted, "I had no idea. He was dressed like a douche bag - I mean a Stetson hat and studded jeans in Vermont. What the fuck is up with that?"
"Well, that's exactly my point," my seatmate shot back. "You don't know, so why not keep your trap shut?"
The argument went back and forth thusly, with the third guy jumping in, though I couldn't quite ascertain whose side he was taking, not that his ambiguity stopped him from screaming his opinions as well. All of this is well and good if not for the roof-banging and flying pizza.
And that's the thing about testosterone-fueled males: they often lose touch with their surroundings. I kept attempting to calm them down, but they were having none of it. By the time I dropped them off - good riddance - pizza cheese and sauce was all over the floor and seats.
Although fares like this are thankfully infrequent, guys acting this way truly piss me off. It's not the cleaning job after the fact as much as the indifference - lack of honor, really. And that's why I truly appreciate the Norwich cadets.