Words: thanatophiliac, adj.

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The Independent Culture
CAB-DRIVERS have been called many things, but Julian Barnes is probably the first to describe as thanatophiliac the one who recently drove him from JFK. Despite the Port Authority's promise that one is entitled to a quiet ride, this fellow's radio blared doom- laden stuff about the life to come - and, whatever the pleasure he took in thoughts of death, he still wanted a hefty tip.

Meanwhile, in the Angler's Rest, the Italian scholar Ian Thomson recalls the time that he had no sooner handed over the $50 demanded by a driver than two policemen leapt from a car and asked him how much he had paid; they made the driver return it and charge the correct fare from JFK - $30. The fellow looked as if he would still turn nasty without a tip.

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