Taxi etiquette, the vastness of the Universe and other issues that divide humanity

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The Independent Online
THERE ARE two kinds of people.

There are those who wave frantically at taxis which already contain passengers, and there are those who patiently wait for an empty one to come along.

There are those who, when they hear their telephone ring, settle themselves in comfortably for a long chat before answering it, and those who lean over uncomfortably to answer it, assuming it won't last a minute.

There are those who blow out candles, and those who pinch them out with a moistened thumb and finger.

There are those who write leading articles in newspapers, and there are those who never read them.

There are those who can remove staples with their fingernails, and those who can only remove their fingernails while trying to remove staples.

There are those who, when they see an empty taxi, assume it will stop for them and those who, when they see an empty taxi, know in their heart of hearts that it is already answering a call elsewhere.

There are those who get undressed to go to bed, and those who first get undressed and then dress up again for bed in pyjamas, night-shirts or similar.

There are those who spell it "yoghurt" and those who spell it "yogurt".

There are people who, when they see something they like the look of in a shop, promise themselves they will come back and get it later even though they know by bitter experience that it will always be gone when they come back, and there are those who go straight in the shop and buy it, and wish fervently later that they hadn't.

There are those who can shuffle cards properly and those who only ruin the edges.

There are those who, when a taxi stops for them, get in and wait to be taken to their destination, and those who expect the driver to say, "Sorry, mate, not Heathrow - I'm going home to Cricklewood."

There are those who, when they take apples, nuts, and so on on a country walk, do so because they might get hungry, and those who take apples, nuts etc on a country walk to feed to horses, birds and other animals.

There are those who cannot bear to be in a room where a TV set is on without watching whatever is on the screen, and those who can be in a room without even being aware that the TV set is on.

There are those who peel cucumbers and those who don't.

There are those who take pride in parking a car without touching the pavement, and those whose very first action when parking is to drive up on the pavement, and use it as the basis for subsequent manoeuvres.

There are those who say "CLEMatis", and those who say "clemEIGHTis".

There are those who like pork pies, and there are those who are conscious that, whatever is contained in pork pies, it is like no other form of pork ever seen in a butcher's shop.

There are those who, when getting into a saloon car taxi, think the driver will be offended if they rather snobbishly get in the back, and those who think he will be offended if they rather familarly get in the front.

There are those who tend to think of "fresh cut flowers" as being "fresh" (i.e. alive) and those who tend to think of them as being "cut" (i.e. dead).

There are those who are shocked by the use of a split infinitive and those who are shocked by the ugly contortions undergone by those who attempt neatly but awkwardly to avoid splitting an infinitive.

There are those who, when using a taxi, feel it is their duty to supply conversation to the driver, and those who feel it is a relief not to have to talk.

There are those who look up at a clear starry night and think of the sheer size of the vast universe compared with our tiny insignificant existence, and those who, looking up at the vast starry night sky, reckon it's going to be frosty and they might as well put the car under cover.

There are those who send off for free offers and those who always smell a rat...

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