She (who can't be named), before bidding me goodnight Saturday said your next fare (originating from Ray's Boathouse) will go to Anacortes. For those not in the know, Anacortes, Washington is a small city located approximately 75 miles north of Seattle, well known locally as the ferry terminal and gateway for the San Jaun Islands. Back in 1990 we had a few memorable days there together, bowling and drinking malts. She was wishing me a good fare. Back in 1989 Christmas eve picking up a guy at the Greyhound going to Vancouver, BC, Canada I got his okay to take her along which resulted in celebrating the near holiday with her over Chinese so she knows personally how much difference a long ride makes. We have our own private rituals. When business is slow I call and request she make a 'Holy" sacrifice upon the sacred altar, sometimes suggesting one of dogs she often sits like Nina that very talented and famous whippet residing in Arcata. No, no, no, she replies, not Nina! or Dorie! or Antar! Recently I got this great fare going to a Sea-Tac area hotel from that Ballard landmark, the "Boathouse" but not this time. Sometimes even directed celestial requests leave the taxi gods unmoved.
Sometimes dumb doesn't near the actual descriptive reality of some passengers. Dense. A head packed with sawdust far more apt. Standing at the street entrance to a popular restaurant they made the simple complicated. Attempting my trademark u-turn idiot drivers were everywhere being the Seattlites they unfortunately are, transforming the simple into the hazardous and insane. Going perhaps 3/4 of a mile doesn't stop the male of the party from directing me. Not taking a hint I then announced that it was now a five dollar ride and I'll just get them there. Encountering congestion that only prolonged the agony I made various maneuvers getting us out of the mess and these fools home who never quite understood that shutting the _____ up is the best communication. I know people have been ________for far lesser transgressions.
And I suppose just to test my endurance, I am next directed to a Magnolia address which was on 26th West, not 25th Place West, where 3 drunk and chemically altered young men climb in. I knew they were trouble and cursed my fate for having wasted nearly 8 minutes driving in circles until figuring out where these fools actually resided. Too often this species of passenger choose to believe that a given taxi ride is improvised theatre and the driver is the enthusiastic audience. This is related to the unsavory attitude that cabbies are public property populating a year-round hunting season. Similar to a chorus first one sang out something about knowing that he won't get layed tonight with then the two others adding refrains which somehow (I am not making this up) became "pocket pussy in the glove box!" Ha Ha Ha they roared! The trio grew progressively louder, changing tone and tenor and direction which now included me, as they now had me _________ the "pocket pussy!" This is when I turned onto the shoulder and told them they were attacking me and it had to stop. Fortunately one of then was sober enough to understand that I wasn't joking and got the other two to stop. This ebb and flow continued to Capitol Hill. Of course it was difficult to get them out of the cab making this totally bad fiction a dysfunctional and too real essay and recitation upon privileged culture better flushed down the 21th century too silly American toilet! This is when I request divine ( or any other variety) of intervention. No, I don't want your tip. Keep it! Our country fought how many wars and struggles to preserve this type of immaturity? I don't think so. I hope not.
Last night and this morning we saw the accumulation of years of negotiation and travail translated into the great rate change of 2012 as all 554 Yellow cabs had to have their meters altered and rate sheets changed all before 4 AM when the City inspectors arrived to seal the meters. Taki and his mechanic cohorts performed well, averaging about 3 minutes per cab. It was a sight worthy of the Indianapolis 500, a coordinated symphony serenading the taxi midnight hour.
Goodbye to Frank
The wake went well. Lynn wrote a wonderful autobiography complete with photos which truly did Frank's life a sweet justice. Thanks to all who showed up and donated at the cashier's window for Frank's final passage. Lynn was deeply appreciative of everyones' combined generosity. Despite his legendary surliness Frank was a sympathetic soul which as hard as he attempted could not remain concealed.