Cabbies experience no shortage of wild and crazy stories during their long shifts transporting passengers. If you ever want to have your day made by someone else’s history, ask a taxi driver for a story.
A cabbie in the Zhejiang province of eastern China will certainly have a story of a lifetime to tell after something his recent fare told him.
The driver, Wang, pulled up to the curb after being flagged down by a very distraught looking man. The usual line to say at this point is: “Where to?” and the passenger informs you of his desired location.
The location Wang was given sent a shiver of cold alarm through his body as the man said, “Take me to the tallest mountain in the area. I want to end my life.”
What do you do in a situation like this? How do you convince a person that taking their own life is such a permanent solution to a temporary problem? Wang had an idea, but it would take a few white lies and some serious commitment.
He had to pretend to be in the man’s shoes.
Wang proceeded to tell the stranger the irony in his request because he too had been considering committing suicide. Such a monumental milestone in a person’s life could not go by subtly, so Wang suggested that the two of them head down to a local bar and have a few last drinks together.
The distraught man began to calm down seeing as his last moments on earth might be spent having a good time in the company of a friend. He agreed this sounded like a reasonable idea and soon the pair were headed to the watering hole.
Once there, Wang formed his second idea, one that you would expect to come out of an action movie. He bought several bottles of the potent spirit called “baijiu”, a fermented rice drink known for its high alcohol content and knock-down power.
There was a thought crossing Wang’s mind that gave him a sudden bout of fear: he hadn’t had an alcoholic beverage since his wedding a decade ago!
Whatever happened to himself, the witty taxi driver knew he had to commit to the bit in order to save a life today. He stuck with beer as the stranger poured one after another shot of the baijiu down his throat.
The drinks flowed for an hour straight as the conversation grew deeper and darker. Finally, the stranger began to wobble and slur his words. Then, he was gone. Passed out as his body became overwhelmed with alcohol and emotions.
Wang felt a pang of relief seeing as he had at least bought this man’s life a few more hours on earth. *Ring*
What was that?
*Ring* The strangers pocket began to sing the shrill sound of a cell phone receiving a call. The taxi driver reached into the unconscious man’s pocket and retrieved the mobile, pressing the button to connect with the opposite voice as he brought the plastic device to his ear.
The call was from the local police who had received a disturbing report from the stranger’s girlfriend. She feared for his life after an argument they had had which ended his her beloved threatening to end his own life.
Thanks to a smart cabbie and a few drinks, the man is getting the help he needs. As for Wang, his pockets are 1,000 yuan ($150) heavier since the reward his ride-share company awarded him for his life-saving efforts.
What do you think? Did Wang to the right thing? He did save the man’s life after all!