The Bintel Brief

Bintel Brief: Catie Lazarus on a Wild Ride

By Catie Lazarus

  • Print
  • Share Share

Dear Catie,

A short while ago I returned from a trip on a flight into Newark airport. I live in Brooklyn, and as it was late at night and I wanted to get home, I decided to take a cab.

No sooner than I got into the cab did I realize I had taken my life into my own hands — the driver was an old man, visibly in pretty poor control of his own car. I’m pretty sure he was suffering from something like Parkinson’s (his hands were shaky and unsteady), and from his erratic merging it seemed he was having severe difficulty seeing other vehicles, lane lines, etc. in the dark.

I also got the sense (from an extremely ill-advised cell phone conversation I overheard during the ride) that he was fairly poor, that this job was his only means of income.

On the one hand, I’m inclined to report a driver who poses such a hazard to himself, to me and to anyone else on the road who might cross his path. But I worry that this could lead to his effective ruin: How employable could an unhealthy old man, who happens to have limited command of English, be? So I’m really torn: Do I call the cab company to complain?

SHAKEN AND STIRRED

Catie Lazarus replies:

Your question reminds me of Alvy Singer’s parents arguing in “Annie Hall” about whether or not it’s kosher that their housekeeper is stealing from them. Alvy’s dad is outraged after his wife fires the woman upon catching her going through her pocketbook. “She’s a colored woman, from Harlem! She has no money!” explains Alvy’s dad. “She’s got a right to steal from us!”

The Singers though weren’t debating about someone who could physically endanger himself and others.

New York needs another bad driver like the world needs Bush in office for another term. If you think his driving represents an immediate danger to the public, you should report him to his cab company or to the proper authorities.

And if you find yourself in that situation again, share your concerns with the cabbie, even if you interrupt his call. Also, if he is looking for another phone buddy, I am happy to farm out my mother, great aunt and sister-in-law.

Catie Lazarus is a New York-based writer and comedian. She hosts the popular variety show, “Fresh Meat with Catie Lazarus,” and has written for Time Out New York, Gawker, the New York Post and the Forward.


Send a letter to the Bintel Brief at bintelbrief@forward.com. To read other installments of the Bintel Brief, click here.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Catie Lazarus, Bintel Brief

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.


Comments
Isaac Koll Sun. Sep 23, 2007

What is the meaning of bintle in the word bintle brief? Thank you

Marsha Livson Fri. Sep 21, 2007

Now that our governor, Spitzer, has taken it upon himself to let any illegal alien (I hate that term..I think of ET) have a drivers license, wither they read of speak English, we've not seen anything yet! People who can't read signs, like slow down, bump ahead, various other highway warnings, should not be driving.




Find us on Facebook!
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.