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What Are The Odds?

My regular readers know that I’m a very conscientious person, and that although I try my best to prepare in advance for all manner of SNAFUs, I still fall victim to the occasional malfunction or “blonde moment.”

My most recent episode occurred en route to interviewing Governor Huckabee. I was really looking forward to our interview and was quite determined not to have anything go wrong. I packed my briefcase the night before the meeting, and made sure that my digital voice recorder was working, had batteries, etc. and that I had a pad of paper and a pen in case of emergency.

I carefully gathered all my things together and hopped in a cab (a black jeep with a yellow taxi sign on top) to the interview destination – a hotel lobby near the Newseum. I was re-reading my interview questions when I reached into my briefcase to get out my wallet to pay the driver. My heart sank. I had forgotten my wallet! My car-less husband (the first person I hit up for cash) was at a doctor’s appointment across town. I had no friends meeting me at the hotel lobby (and I certainly wasn’t going to ask Gov. Huckabee if he could lend me $20). I explained the situation to the driver and sheepishly asked if he had a card or if I could arrange to meet him later on in the day once I had my wallet.

The driver saw how sincerely sorry I was – and told me that he had no cards, and that I should just consider the ride complimentary. I promised him that I wasn’t in the habit of stiffing taxi drivers, and that I really did want to pay him back. He would have none of it. “It’s not a problem, ma’am. Don’t worry about it.” So off I went to meet Gov Huckabee – and I only dropped my Blackberry once in front of him.

Flash forward 4 days… I’m returning home from The Big Sleep Show (it was in Chicago) and waiting in the taxi line at the Reagan National Airport. This time I have hubby with me (he’s always good for a $20) so I figure the cab ride home will be smooth (though I’ve had some bad experiences with DC cabs in the past). As I get to the front of the line, I look over at the cab that we’re about to get into. It’s a black jeep with a yellow taxi sign on top.

I ask the driver if he remembers a woman who didn’t pay him for an early morning cab ride a few days prior. “Oh, yeah.” He said. “You mean the doctor lady?”

“That was ME!” I exclaimed. “I didn’t know how I was going to repay you for your kindness. And now I can do it in person! This is quite a coincidence.”

The driver smiled and was quiet the whole ride home.

I paid him for both rides plus a nice tip. “Keep paying it forward, brother.” I said, “you never know when it will come back to you.”

What are the odds?This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

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One Response to “What Are The Odds?”

  1. CRHD says:

    Terrific story. Makes you wonder how many things in life actually happen by chance.

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