Last week I mentioned the subject of miracles. One occurred early Saturday morning of quite another variety. It would portend a series of near misses, especially last night when I was definitely a moving target. It becomes boring quickly when drivers are constantly cutting you off to make turns both on surface streets and the freeway. Clearly too many folks feel they can do anything behind the wheel and anything is exactly what they do. But the first occurrence could or should have been the worse, disabling 478 for the entire weekend.
I had picked up a DSHS client who had been waiting nearly two hours for a taxi. As I left in a message to dispatch, when we (Yellow Taxi) are acting like an ambulance service we need to do better as the passenger was in severe pain and had no other option getting to the ER. It wasn't that busy so there is little excuse except the usual incompetence which is never ending. Taxi drives with a limp. Painful to observe.
I get her to the hospital ER and notice a white van imperfectly parked in front, straddling the lanes. Having come across this kind of nonsense countless times I parked about 20 feet away, allowing a safe distance from the offending vehicle. As my passenger was stepping out, the white van suddenly drove toward us rapidly in reverse, clearly unaware of my taxi. My passenger literally dived out of the way as the van made impact but amazingly missing both her and the open door and the body of the cab, the van's bumper making impact against the passenger-side rear tire. I truly felt that 478 was about to be demolished as I was helpless to move as the passenger was only halfway out of the rear compartment. That the foolish young (I'm so sorry, she said) woman missed causing any damage or killing my passenger was the taxi divine intervention I referred to. A video of this incident would leave you gasping in sheer astonishment. The girl's mother, who obviously was in terrible shape, came running out of the ER scared that her daughter was in serious trouble. Clearly there was no damage. Taxi angels had directed the van into the tire. I said my usual prayers after such incidents and drove on to more fun and games. Such is taxi. Near disaster then on to the next fare. Can anyone wonder why I am ready to exit this business? What undiluted madness it all is.
A few examples of those aforementioned fun & games:
The two guys coming from Hot Mamas Pizza flag me down but don't want to tell me where they are going, a surefire hint that these guys don't like me and certainly are not very nice. I say I have to have the address and one spouts out, "226 Ponitus North." I ask him why he just hadn't told me the address and his answer prompted me to stop and say it was time to find another taxi. His companion (drunk) said he couldn't believe that I was telling them to get out. "You suck!" and I agreed that I did. Getting out he proceeded to hopefully break his hand repeatedly slamming the trunk. Though thankfully 478 is one tough taxi hombre and wasn't brothered in the least.
I pick up a really nice guy going to Mill Creek from the greater Green Lake. I later pick him back up. He has been involved in real estate and we had a very informative conversation about the drop off in the local market. He lives is in a house that he built for sale and thinks he might be able to keep his loss down to about $300,000 dollars. Sobering reality of trusting a system that doesn't care if you live or die.
But thank goodness for Mister McIver, a 15 year old Cairn Terrier who gave me a kiss. Without him the entire weekend would have been bereft of meaning. Nothing like the wagging of the canine be it short tail!