Taxi Driver

Someone buzzed up to this apartment on Saturday while the DOG and Taxi were out for their afternoon walk. I was in Sleeping Beauty mode, or at least attempting to effectuate a nap, as is my wont in the late afternoon. I like to nap, because naps trick me into thinking that one day is two. Of course, as people like to say, “It’s all psychological.” Or psychotic. Or something.
So, anyway, I was all tucked in and drifting off into the Land of Nod, when the door buzzed. Thinking the DOG had forgotten his key, I flitted, fleet-footed, out to the front of the apartment, and pressed the button on the video intercom to see who dared disturb my household on a weekend afternoon. I am not a fan of people just dropping in. “I don’t care if it’s someone I like,” I’ve said to the DOG. “I will not answer if I’m not expecting someone.” Although this practice has yielded some rather unfortunate results, such as missing out on Girl Scout cookies (which blow, despite what you may think about those Thin Mints) (but still, it’s nice to help out the little ladies) or some delightful discourse with Jehovah’s Witnesses, it generally works in my favor. Because really, I uphold that dropping in without advance notice is plain ol’, flat out rude.
When I pressed the button, I saw a young man and woman standing on the front step. Neither of them looked familiar, so I was just going to pretend no one was home and hope they would go away. I also considered that they were acquaintances of one of the other tenants and had pressed the wrong buzzer, in which case their idiocy would be rewarded with my not allowing them entry. When they buzzed again, I decided to end my speculation and see what they wanted.
“Yes?” I said, with a strange accent somewhere between British and French.
“Hi,” the man said, with an accent I could not place. (It was neither British nor French.) “It’s Ray. I’m here for Taxi!”
What? I quickly recalled that Taxi’s walker’s name is not Ray, so this person had no business coming here for Taxi. I was suspicious. Taxi, after all, is a famous TV dog, and we have gone to great lengths to secure his privacy from a rabid public.
“Glrffpphhsrphhx??” I said, flummoxed.
“I used to be his driver,” the man said. “I used to pick him up to take him to [daycare].”
“Oh my god!” I said. “Is this Reynaldo?”
Reynaldo was Taxi’s driver for quite some time, until he moved to Florida about a year and a half or two years ago.
“Yes, yes!” he said. (The accent was Brazilian.)
“!!!” I said.
“We just wanted to stop by and see Taxi!” he said.
I squealed with unbridled delight. “Oh, that’s just so cute!” I think I even barked.
I told him that the DOG and Taxi had gone for a walk about ten minutes earlier and would probably be back in five or ten. I told them they could just wait downstairs and see them then. They said they would.
And they did.
Twenty minutes later, Taxi bounded up the 69* steps to the apartment and then burst into this bedroom, where I was trying with all my might to float into sleep. He ran to my bedside and told me all about his surprise reunion with Reynaldo.
“Oh, and some weird-looking old guy in big glasses was downstairs with a bunch of balloons and a video crew!” he said. “But I know how you hate people dropping by like that, so I told him you moved and I didn’t know where you were!” He thumped his tail thickly from side to side.
“Good boy,” I said.
* Giggle all you want at that number, you babies.