I just got back from a week’s vacation on the beaches of North Carolina, and no sooner had I squeezed my family into a Boston cab at Logan airport than a right-of-way squabble broke out. My driver, who turned out to be an affable Nigerian gentleman, was trying to work left into a lane owned by a vocal local who was in turn working right to pick someone up. Everyone was held up by a big bus in front of us both. Our interchange went something like this.
MR. CABBIE: <beep beep> (gesticulating to be let across to the left)
MR. DRIVER: [screaming] Go f**k yourself! You should’ve come in behind me!
MR. CABBIE: Where are you going? You shouldn’t be there! [i.e. stuck behind the bus holding up the traffic]
MR. DRIVER: F**k you, a**hole!
MR. CABBIE: [picking up cell phone] Okay, I can call the police and have them make you move.
[Note: I can attest that this next part actually happened.]
MR. DRIVER: [slight pause] Say you’re sorry.
MR. CABBIE: [without hesitating] I’m sorry.
The confrontation ended instantly, and within seconds we were scooting along on our way home. Brilliant! My faith in humanity was restored. My driver grinned broadly as we dropped into the Ted Williams tunnel: “I will say I’m sorry ten times. It doesn’t cost me anything!” We should all be so wise.