Despite the title this past weekend was quite tame as foreboding full moons go. Some deranged driving cropped up late Sunday afternoon including a Metro (City & King County) bus driver who attempted to knock me out of my lane in full view of many witnesses. Given that I drove Metro part-time way back in 1983-84 I am both highly sympathetic and tolerant but that performance my friends was a bit over-the top which will result in a letter sometime this week. Other than the soon to be described Rosy and an irritating situation at Children's Hospital Giraffe entrance it was far more peaceful than usual. Folks tipped excessively and were generally kind and friendly. At dinner last night taxi buddy John unfortunately had more of the moon than he wanted, recounting various tales including a maniacal driver who upon squealing to a stop in front of him, leaps out of his giant pickup and stupidly protrudes his head into John's driver side window. John who at times is perhaps too passive often attracts this kind of nonsense. Monster versus monster is how one survives out here. The impenetrable wall is the best defense which is why the big city cabs have those barriers. I'm glad I scare people but when you are twenty feet tall with menacing fangs it comes with the taxi territory.
Rosy was my second ride of the weekend. All she was doing was a five dollar ride from a friend's subsidized High Point townhouse to 32nd SW & SW Webster. Reluctantly leaving her friend she decided she liked me too. Being a trifle drunk explains some but not all of her behavior. Even after declining her veiled suggestion she continued to remain planted in the back. "Rosy, if you don't leave I will have to take you to the police." which had a station about eight blocks away down the hill. "Take me!" she said so off we went, honking at the first officer I saw. Last I saw of Rosy she was entertaining the unfortunate cop who just wanted to go home. My prognosis is loneliness extenuated by the moon. She was lonely. I was just working. Pay me in advance and I will gladly sit there for an hour and talk all about it. But sixty minutes is about all I can take. There is a good reason more formal therapists charge $200.00 an hour. Listening carefully is a lot of work. All I want is jump on in and get the heck out! And please don't forget to tip!
Amateur dispatching causes all kind of trouble and confusion which is what I encountered too early Saturday morning at Children's. I got belled in to an account fare and there I sat. I called the telephone number, getting no response. Getting my no-show I just sat waiting for my next call and who knows the passenger might miraculously turn up. Happens all the time in these situations. Being patient and reading the newspaper I turn around and there was another Yellow taxi. Instantly recognizing that oh no! I bet he's here for my customer I got out and approached him. Yes he was there for the same customer and unlike me he had spoken to her. That was because unlike me he had received the correct telephone number but why it had been double-belled I don't know but by his response I could tell he also had information that I hadn't received: Michelle's destination. His belligerence told me that one, he knew that the fare was legitimately mine and two, she was going somewhere far, be it the airport or elsewhere. Even after I got dispatch on the line and said "Here, talk to them." he rolled up his window and fumed, refusing to hear reality. Soon thereafter down came Michelle and minus any hesitation I made sure she entered my taxi. After sitting 30 minutes I didn't care where she was going but damn well she was going with me. Her destination was Sea-Tac and my best trip of the weekend. But the snafu was all caused by dispatch. I don't blame the other cabbie with being upset. We were both victims, surely just two of many during the typical taxi day. I certainly don't enjoy being rough and tough especially with a fellow comrade of the roads. It is all bullshit. Again welcome to taxi as I know and don't love it, the fun and games only ending when you close that taxi door one last time. Others, like the late Frank, depart the industry only by expiring. Not the best alternative.