My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings,
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

It's the first 90-degree day of my summer job. I took a cab to work. Cabs are intoxicating, dangerous. You take one and feel like you own the whole city. Who hails comfortable, private transportation with the wave of a hand? Slaveowners in the South. Caesars in the Empire. In the back seat of an air-conditioned carriage, it's not hard to conflate your power with theirs. Skeptical? Watch what happens to your pocketbook. Make a habit of riding cabs and through decadence and depravity you, too, shall meet your ruin.

Not one for anything what might goeth before a fall, I generally stick to public transportation. Like any good autocrat, of course, I freely alter my rules to suit my whims, and fancy myself a judicious arbiter. The case at hand: my job pays me by the hour, requires that I wear reasonably dressy clothes, and obligates me to sit and think creatively and collaboratively. Oh, and I'm a congenital shvitzer. The problem: on even the marginalliest of hot days, when I get to the office via subway, I need a half hour to cool down enough for my brain to consider functioning. (Imagine the consequences for my neighborhood dry cleaners.)

The solution: last summer I amended my contract with myself to permit the use of taxicabs when the forecast says 90. Sure, history says this indulgence could mark the beginning of the end. If that's the way it has to be, fine. No use getting all hotheaded about it.