Though clearly disillusionment is part of the total taxi experience I think it is time I begin refocusing upon road tales again instead of existential moaning and groaning. Maybe every taxi driver curses his/her fate behind the wheel but one twenty-five year London taxi veteran expressed over the NPR band waves a singular pride that the "knowledge" required by the City of London is equivalent to an academic degree. You sir! are completely correct with all of you English cabbies deserving of Bachelor of Taxi Science degrees. I have more than once fantasied of a national driving academy that would teach every element of taxi along with sub-courses regarding a driver's particular city. We would also include Car Driving 101 as one essential element. I am sick of knowing that nearly everyone just starting out in a Seattle taxi are completely ill-prepared for the experience, leading to failure and heartbreak. Nearly two weeks ago a local taxi driver slid upon the steel-grated Ballard Bridge careening into a car and tragically killing one of the occupants. Saturday night one of our drivers' crashed inside the Battery Street tunnel while occupied. I was called in to pick up the passenger but Seattle "finest" kindly drove the person home. The ticket was issued for driving too fast for conditions. The faucet was indeed turned on this weekend, with over an inch of rain falling over Saturday and Sunday. The Yellow lot was a swimming pool as the taxi sharks splashed through. And now, in some but no particular order are a few weekend taxi occurrences for your reading displeasure. You might enjoy hearing how I told the totally bewildered young woman to "Get out!" but I hope you will bear with me for a few minutes and stick around and read the taxi goods before they spoil upon the shelf.
What Color Should My Hair Be Tonight
Can you an imagine a Halloween party for 22,000? That is what I encountered Saturday morning as "Freak Night" roped them all in at $45.00-95.00 per ghoul at the greater Seahawk Stadium complex. I accidentally accepted a call in the middle of the chaos, nearing getting a ticket in the process of trying to rescue a frantic woman. I lost her amidst the madness instead finding four youngsters discussing the finer points of hair tinting. Quite enthralling it wasn't as a young lady lamented her pastel decisions, wrestling with the conceptual brunette. "Should she be one?" Does anyone know the answer?
Novel Applications for the Modern Sports Page
He gets into taxi burping foretelling the possibility of vomit cascading into the interior. A Seattle Times sports page was draped across his lap along with the appropriate warnings. Thankfully he made it to 201 Yesler Way with his stomach intact.
And with that, to be continued.
Part II 1:47 AM
Back home and ready to continue. The tea house was packed tonight and a trifle too social to get anything completed. Normally I enjoy talking poetry with folks coherent upon the subject (rare I tell you that) but tonight I just wanted to get the writing done. I did just read a NY Times taxi article online talking about the intrepid New York cabbies braving the hurricane. Slow down and stay dry is my advice. Now more of the weekend just past.
Four Star Passengers
Post-Husky & Oregon State Beavers game, I pick up an older couple hailing from Corvallis who drove up for the game, a 4 1/2 hour drive minus traffic. Even though their team had just lost a close game they were the most gracious people. They held a rare wisdom, capable of judging importance. I liked them.
Past Intoxication, Delirious & Dangerous
Belled in late to a Northgate restaurant, the couple were sipping full glasses. Finally they come out, San Francisco Giant fans who had just watched their team beat the Tigers for the World Series title. The woman was pleasant enough but the boyfriend was gone, gone, gone, his voice and tone on the edge of violence. She did her best to keep him under control. He was ready to attack someone who had just unloaded a wheelchair-bound person near their house. He was cooked. He was an idiot!
Saved By Lake City (the 110)
Saturday was beyond busy. Sunday morning was the morning after and besides anyone who was awake was watching the 10:00 AM Seahawk game on their television. Six dollars my first hour. Twenty for my second hour. Making every attempt to remain calm I did a grocery run in Zone 110 then decided to wash the car as I had to do something to prevent madness from overtaking me. I was barely a minute into the wash when I got a call directing me to a neighborhood (non-business) address. Maybe I said, just maybe and I was correct as off we went to the airport and $72.00 with tip. From there my day soared. God! I hate this business!
The Young Woman in the Rain
Sorry folks but I am now past anything reasonable but lastly and certainly the least of them all this weekend was this silly person who doesn't know that you can not commandeer the taxi just because you THINK you are attractive and every man wants to ______ you but hey! you have to be polite and as I told her a million dollars would not have stopped me from telling you to GET OUT! Winking gets you literally no where in my taxi. By the way, young lady, the intersection of Boylston and 10th does not exist, both avenues instead running on a parallel plane 3 blocks apart. And that my friends is how it is and the way it is
and sometimes I will even let four Bangladeshi students smoke cigarettes on the way to a concert in Bellevue even though I knew I would not be tipped though three of them made a point of individually thanking me for the ride. Must be a local tradition back home. So hey! you see I do have a heart (sort of)! And yes if I wasn't exhausted and residing in indescribable stupor I would tell you more of the boring same, eighty-seven rides completed this weekend carrying the kind, the stupid and the simply lame minus a viable brain. And I did it all in an insistent rain which certainly magnified my undiluted pain.