"That's not how karma works," she said. "There's not some Universal Karma Authority that measures how much you tipped your last cab driver and adjusts your expected time to hail your next cab accordingly."
It was raining, of course. I told her to stay in the shade. We didn't have any sunscreen.
"They did an experiment, you know. Goldfish and catfish."
I was halfway in the street at this point, with my arm outstretched. Another cab drove past. Its light was on, there was no one in the back seat. The driver didn't even slow down.
"Goldfish can only remember things for three seconds, and catfish are immortal."
I reminded her the goldfish thing was a myth. I decided against bringing up lobsters.
"So they make the fish play prisoner's dilemma, see."
The woman at the desk had assured me that a cab was on the way, would arrive at any minute.
"Each fish can push two buttons, and they get food based on the result. Then they play again the next day."
I pointed out the foolishness of iterating assuming short memories.
"That's exactly the point."
By now, my jacket was soaked through. A speeding car splashed me up to my knees.
"The goldfish do way better than the catfish."
By playing randomly, I supposed.
"No, dummy. Goldfish have karma."
Another empty cab drove past, ignoring my frantic gesturing.
"See, goldfish can't remember because they're backwards. They pick based on the future."
I told her to get back in the shadow. A cab drove past while I was distracted, but I couldn't tell if it was occupied.
"That's why they don't mind when we kill them, too."
I saw a flash of lightning out of the corner of my eye.
"So, here, your problem is you're going to tip poorly because you're in a bad mood."
I insisted that was none of her concern.
"Lend me $40. I'll pay the tip."
A burst of thunder echoed lazily.
"'Cmon, the sun's getting high already."
I shrugged, pulled my wallet from my sodden pocket, and handed her the money.
"See, it's all about credible intention."
I shook my head, looking down to try to keep the water out of my eyes.
Just then, a cab pulled up, slowing down enough to only splash my shoes.