As I am wont to say, I meet everyone in the taxi including many I would rather not. Continuing my effort to present taxi here as factual, as the 'you too" experience you would have if you were misguided enough to join my abused fraternity, here are two examples taken from the weekend, one from each busy day because it was at times non-stop, not even bothering to count all the Sea-Tac runs I had. No complaints on the money side. It was terrific!
They were my first fare, and yes it is often true trouble comes in pairs, this version calling from a bus while I waited for them at the 108th & East Marginal Way South Chevron station. This was an "insult-to-injury" fare because I knew they were going short while making me wait and wait. Getting my "no-show" I was hoping for a new fare to come through when there they were running toward me. Of course the woman wanted to go the wrong way. By the way this is typical of this kind of particular demographic, their behavior predictable. You can depend on them being completely and utterly uncooperative. They argue and they never, I mean never wanting nor willing to pay the full fare. I have found that all I can do is recognize the situation and ride it out, understanding it is a bit of stormy weather and eventually the rain will stop falling.
They keep telling me that she is getting out and he is continuing on after he picks up something. Okay I keep saying, no problem, no problem. The meter is at $11.00 dollars when we pull up and she hands me a ten, holding me in place while he runs up to the apartment. I keep the meter on "hold" while we wait nearly ten minutes when I finally say, "you know, I haven't been running the meter, you have to go." She immediately exits and I begin pulling away when the young gentleman appears shouting "hold on, hold on!"
He is going all the way to 200th and Pacific Highway South and I now need a guarantee I am getting paid. Having already given unintended discounts I am now adamant, " I need some money before we go." His favorite response is "Are you serious? Are you serious?" And of course I am. It is four o'clock in the morning in the almost middle of nowhere and I have this violent, aggressive kid in the taxi and he doesn't care whether I live or die. I know this and I tell him to give me an advance or I am dropping him off at the 7-11 a mile away. While he yells a variety of crap I calmly drive to the store and pull over to the curb. Making it clear there is only one option he finally departs leaving the car door open. Knowing this scenario I pull off rapidly which closes the door. I get the telephone number added to the "no-service" list and proceed to my next call, an airport time-call.
Again, this is taxi as it really is. An incorrect response and instantly there could a serious confrontation. It is no joke. I am sure that more than once this kind of situation has escalated into gunfire and needless death. The wise cabbie remains cool while maintaining a measurable control. Giving that up you minimally get ripped off and the worst you are dead. Taxi driving is not a game. It is a very serous business. That is why it is a crime the way the City & County license the unprepared. Do they care? You know the answer!
What is that address?
English was not her first language. Not speaking well, neither could she understand. She kept saying that she was going to 29108 29th South. "Federal Way?" I asked. She responded "Des Moines" and I thought one could call parts of that area "deep De Moines." As we near the South 200th exit she says this is it. Trying to make sense of this I say okay as she keeps repeating, "29108" knowing that eventually it will all make sense. We pull up to an apartment building and tells her boyfriend to come out. Finally she gets out and so do I as he is paying. It never fails that when the ride is somewhat strange or confusing, it continues, with the boyfriend unable to unlock his door from the inside. Ridiculous as three minutes past, the guy showing no sign that he will ever succeed to open the door but finally he does, protesting that he has to pay $40.00. What a couple, what a world and let me out of here!
I pick up the father and son from Arkansas at the Museum of Flight. Talking some about baseball, and yes, they had attended last night's game, they laughed and laughed about the crime tape, disbelieving. Yes it is unbelievable but not in Seattle, idiocy now manifest. You don't believe me? You must be from Seattle!
The initial presentation from Cooper and Mundy is now again scheduled for this Thursday June 13th at 2:00 PM, city council chambers, city hall. Could there be a riot? Surely not!