Monday, December 18, 2006

A milky moral dilemma - not

This is another one of my flippant posts which doesn't have a great deal to do with informal fallacies in thinking and skepticism. It's just a self-indulgent observation drawn from a scenario I have actually encountered. I am currently travelling in the middle east and Europe with my immediate family and a few days ago we were royally ripped off by a taxi driver at the conclusion of our trip to the airport. We had an agreed price, and the taxi driver demanded three times the agreed price at the airport under circumstances where he thought he held all the cards. In a sense he did, as we ended up paying his extortionate fee (we had to catch the plane, we didn't know the local language, and any loud argument at an airport drop-off zone these days is to be avoided if you don't want to be taken away by security).

So I hushed the indignant women with me and forked over the extra cash. The driver was well-pleased but my companions required some calming.

I was OK because I had found another means of getting my money's worth. I had carefully balanced an opened carton of chocolate milk on my lap for the whole trip in order to avoid soiling the taxi-driver's apholstery. When he became aggressive and nasty at the end of the trip I'm afraid I put the carton down onto the floor under his front passenger seat without exercising proper care and diligence (I was distracted by his aggression). The faint "glop, glop" sound I heard as I handed over the extortion money suggests that the carton of milk was on its side under his passenger's seat rather than upright.

I have not disclosed my carelessness to my fellow-travellers as they have higher ethical standards than I do and would be appalled.

I on the other hand, am experiencing quiet satisfaction as I reflect that the spilt milk will be making its presence known to the driver about now.

If I had had the presence of mind I would have loved to have left a note under the seat - perhaps "no use crying over spilt milk", or "he who laughs last, laughs loudest" or "revenge is a dish best served cold".