I was driving the early morning commute and had somebody in the back. We’re having a lovely chat, very relaxed, chill music. I stopped in the natural flow of traffic and was conversing so intently that I didn’t notice someone come along the driver’s side and tap on the window. I startled and my adrenaline went through the roof. I was looking a fellow dressed head to toe in motorcycle leathers wearing a helmet with the visor pulled down. I couldn’t see his eyes and he mumbled something. I said “What? I can’t hear you” and he tried again. He look like Charlie Sheen in that movie The Wraith. It was, in short, very intimidating.
At this point I do not know if this person is an official, an impersonator or what. So I keep my window mostly rolled up. He finally manages to get out “You are driving in the T3 lane and I have video” I replied “Yes, I know, I am a ride-share driver and this is allowed. He said “No, it isn’t, you should have 3 people or more in the car.” And I said “Well, I’ve been doing this a while and have in fact checked the rules. Maybe you should too” Then he said “Well, I’m just warning you” “Yeah fine whatever” I said.
I looked in the rear-view at my rider, and say “Geez, I’m really sorry. (my heart is racing still) I know the law is on my side. The rider was great, no problems.
Honestly, though, it bothered me all day. I was both indignant and angry that yet another dude feels compelled to ‘splain’ things to me without even considering the effect of a masked man tapping at a woman’s window might have on the woman. Like maybe it would be really intimidating. Like maybe the whole situation wasn’t even his damn business.
That night I had dinner with PoseiDantm, his adult daughter Maki and his brother Bob and I’m telling them the story as indignantly as when it happened.. And at the conclusion I say “that’s it”, I said “I’m going to go to the ladies room.”
When I come back from the ladies room Maki looks at me and says is your license and registration KGG***. and I started laughing I said it’s very close.
I said “show me”.
Somebody with the handle Captain Pinchy has posted to New Zealand transport authority on Twitter about my so-called heinous behavior being in the T3 lane. I said “OH. OHHHH, is it ever ON! So I wrote a letter privately and publicly to the New Zealand Transit Authority about Captain Pinchy and found out his real name. I also found a video of him playing music in a band.
I wrote to them and I said, “Look, I said this guy needs to be informed of what the real rule is and he also needs to be spoken to because actually, you’ve got a vigilante and that was fairly unnerving. Somebody crept up on me, knocked on my window, was not immediately identifiable as a human or what authority he had or did not have. So this is a problem and this is somebody whose behaviour might escalate. So I did get a call back. They did actually reach out to him and say, “look you can’t keep doing this and Lilo was actually right.” He apologised on Twitter.
I’m following him on Twitter. One day he responds to a media person who asked what was their most embarrassing story, and he wrote about this and about how how he got caught out through his Twitter feed. I happened to see it, and popped into the thread, laughing to myself. He wrote back ‘my wife is going to get suspicious. I’m gonna have to block you now.”
And he did. But what Captain Pinchy doesn’t know is that I actually look after multiple Twitter accounts. Every so often I go see what he’s been doing. Thing is, I actually like Captain Pinchy.
Do not give Captain Pinchy a hard time. I just love his name. And yeah, I think we’ll call that one good.