Mr. Driver, sweet amuser

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Friday, February 14, 2014

THE first time I had an encounter with him, he immediately got me. His sense of humor, his witty words could not escape his passengers’ attention.

Little did I know that I would “meet” him again, and the long ride from where I took off up to the hotel-venue of our seminar-workshop got me glued to his gabs and I found myself entertained.

Every time he picked up a passenger, or when a passenger got off, he always had a way of making a story out of it.


When the jeepney stopped in front of a school gate and the lady in uniform was about to get off, Mr. Driver said, “Gang(an endearment in Bisayan), amping pagkanaog sa jeep (careful as you get off), guapa ug slim ra ba ka… (you are beautiful and slim). And he added, “never mind the chubby ones… they have much fats to shield their body when they fall…”

I did not like his statement despite how the other passengers laughed and smiled.

Then along the way, an elderly woman hailed the jeepney. Mr. Driver quipped, “People, please help Lola… assist her with her plastic bags… of which the two passengers seated in the rear end willingly obliged.

When Lola had settled down in her seat, Mr. Driver remarked, “Poor Lola… I am sure she does not have a monthly pension, because if she does, many would be willing to chaperon her wherever she goes. And perhaps family members would even quarrel over who would keep her company…”

The man seated across me, holding his tablet, and who I presumed is an office worker, would sometimes respond to the driver’s statements, but most of the time, just like me and the other passengers, he would either smile or chuckle.

A few minutes after, we passed by a gasoline station. Mr. Driver remarked, “Poor we, drivers, always, we have to suffer the rising cost of gasoline. How could we ever keep up with our daily expenses? In fact, gasolines are more expensive than milk…”

‘Milk… I did not know that milk could make one forgetful. Look at Napoles… she bathed herself with milk… and look what happened, she forgot everything… she even forgot that she has a husband. At the hearing, all she said was, “I don’t know… I don’t know him… She does not know any of the senators and congressmen she connived with…”

I realized, Mr. Driver is not only witty; he is well informed, too. He follows the news…

“We drivers work our bones out just to earn an honest living… and these crook senators and congressmen… this Napoles, they deprived us of what are supposed to be for us! I hardly could buy milk for my apo, and this Napoles, she uses milk for her bath!!!”

Then his gazed was directed to a young mother, wearing shorts, showing off her nice, white pair of legs. She was with her young daughter and was holding to a plastic bag containing groceries.

“Look at her! With those nice pair of legs… she should be staying home, and not flaunt them in public. And she would blame her husband if she gets pregnant again. She is the one to be blamed… she seduces the man…”

Every passenger took a look at the young mother with a nice pair of legs…

We were approaching the hotel-venue and I found myself wishing that I could stay and hear more of his stories. I like him… and he surely amuses me.

A few meters away from where I was to take off, I heard him say, “My wife, she accuses me of maintaining a mistress. She says I don’t turn over to her enough of my day’s earning. She was not like that before. God, I am old now (he must be in his middle 60’s). She turned to that man seated opposite me and asked, “You think another woman would still like me, at my age? I know I am handsome, but I don’t have money… and I don’t think a woman would like to be my mistress without getting money from me…”

Again, the remaining passengers laughed… while some smiled. I gave him a closer look, and indeed, despite his age, he is handsome…

“Guys, pardon me if I am too talkative. I only want an outlet… as today, I am not sure if I would be able to earn my boundary. And perhaps, when I go home tonight, my wife would be at the door waiting. I could see her stern look… and again accuse me that I dated my mistress…”

His last statement… I noticed the sadness of realities… and it did not amuse me anymore. I felt sad for him, too.

I hurriedly head off… to where I should be spending my whole day, planning for results-based management of my functions as a government worker. And I reflected: is what I am busy with makes a difference in the life of that driver who tries to amuse himself and his passengers, perhaps to escape the harsh realities of life?

Perhaps I do… or perhaps, I don’t… but what I know is that I am doing my best as a public servant, even if I know out there are the crook politicians who only think of themselves, contrary to what they pledged for.

I know, too, that God is Just…


Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 14, 2014.


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