There's nothing like taxi driving to create a blank slate, meaning the average human mind after too many hours beneath the top light. Yesterday I found this wonderful quote and immediately wrote it down thinking it would make a great title for today's blog. Now sitting here ready to write I can not remember anything except I wrote something down. Where it came from, be it a radio conversation or written article I couldn't tell you. And this is someone, me, with the legendary memory. Ah yes, the well-known taxi lobotomy eliminating all remaining grey cells. Do I remember anything concerning the just past weekend? Maybe.
Taxi is a series of interconnected moments. Here are a few of them from this just past Thanksgiving & Saturday & Sunday.
----Why do I still have to remind myself not to pick up young, Caucasian men after a football game? Every time I break my golden rules I get burned. How many times do I require a lesson before it is fundamentally learned? Obviously too many for this weak-brained individual.
After the interstate rivalry game, the Apple Cup, there were more available passengers than taxis. Given that it was held at the Seahawk Stadium, the overflow branched out into Chinatown and adjacent areas of the greater southern end of downtown. Though there were bells waiting in the "Medical" (zone 230), I passed through and instead picked up three young men at corner the of 6th S. & S. Jackson. Two guys entered and the eventual troublemaker called to his approaching buddy, "Hey Fatty, hurry up!"
I backed up and turned around, telling them that this was the shortest route to the freeway, given all the traffic on 4th Avenue. One thing you quickly notice about a__holes: they never listen to anything you say. Why? Because you the driver are not really there, not in any real terms. You are part of the car, part of a machine constructed with inanimate parts, not a real and actual human being. This explains what happened over a span of perhaps seven blocks.
They were heading to the Duchess Tavern, a well-known UW Husky hangout, a place I avoid given the usual drunken patrons minus any expected civility. University of Washington appears in part to create a particular kind of monster: privileged and unkind, minus a heart, minus a mind! It appears three of these creatures had just entered my taxi. Like I just said, I do know better!
As we were approaching the intersection of 9th & James, the left turn arrow turned red and I continued forward because a left turn on Cherry will also take you to the north-bound ramp for the freeway. The gentleman of the "Fatty" comment began questioning my decision and I responded less than favorably. As we turned onto Cherry I said now that they could be helpful by deciding whether they would like to approach the Duchess by either NE 50th or the Montlake Blvd. As I know all of the routes, I sometimes ask if one is preferred over the other. These wonderful human beings then decided that what I was really saying was that I didn't know the name or the existence of the Interstate system . That is when I had to tell them that it was time to find someone who did. As they exited the taxi the usual insults inferring that I was a typical failed member of the species who could only drive taxi and that type of thing were hurled. This by the way is predictable. Again, the taxi dalit (untouchable) syndrome.
And upon their exit I accepted a Medical bell and found myself taking a DSHS flat rate customer to Federal Way to the tune of $71.00 which just turned out to be my best fare of the weekend. Often it occurs that when once again I am bopped by ignorance the Good Taxi Gods in their benign wisdom assuage the wound. Call it a kind of instant reciprocity. That it happens so often is no longer a surprise. Such are the mysterious metaphysics of taxi!
To be continued tomorrow.