This week it is screw the issues because this weekend it was all about what taxi is truly all about, meaning making the real money, and this was one weekend when the dollars were ripening upon the taxi trees. My first fare was a bartender leaving the Georgetown Sub-Pop music festival heading to Greenwood District and boom! $45.00 with included a ten dollar tip. That is how it continued all weekend. I was told that I drove by a three-cab call at the University District Deca Hotel that took a bunch of Japanese golfers down to a course in Lacey which is just north of Olympia, the state capital. That my friends is a $200.00 more or less ride. I would not be surprised if the same cabbies brought them back. I myself had a 5:30 AM ride to Bremerton which required a ferry ride. What a beautiful morning it was for a sixty minute ocean voyage. I will never argue with $181.68 minus the ferry fee. One-way with a passenger is now $24.00.
The music venture was electric. Swoop down and instantly a twenty or twenty-five dollar ride. It was hard to go wrong that night, potential passengers swarming the cab.
Sunday morning too started off with a taxi bang as my very first fare from zone 105, the Northgate took me to Everett for fifty dollars. One snafu was the incorrect address I was given. The passenger was instead across the street but walked over to the exasperated driver and said, "Hello, I am going to a motel in Everett!" That made me happy even though the unnecessary confusion didn't.
My favorite local ride is always "Take me to my hotel, then on to Sea-Tac" and it happened twice on Sunday afternoon. A lull prompted me to head back to where there were waiting fares in West Seattle but thinking, "Why not first pass by the Mariners game because you never know." It was only the third inning but there he was,walking northbound down 1st Avenue South, an older gentleman searching for a taxi and waving at me. First to the Hotel W, then the airport. It was his third game in a row, taking in the Mariners versus Angels series for the Toronto Blue Jays, scouting for potential trades. He pitched for the Dodgers in the 1940s. He was a baseball encyclopedia, regaling me with stories. Truly a nice guy! For all you Mariner fans, "Edgar Martinez wasn't just a good hitter, he was a great hitter!" And by the way, what has happened to the SafeCo Field taxi stand? Last Sunday at least it was filled with parked cars. Does anyone still wonder why I resigned from the taxi commission?
The second originated at a Ballard tavern, first to the Pan Pacific Hotel then on to Sea-Tac. They were "pushing it" a little bit and I had to fly. Seven minutes to the hotel and 15 minutes to Sea-Tac, 22 minutes total which included picking up the bags, Mount Rainier smiling at us all of the way. What was interesting is that they called ahead to have their luggage ready to grab but instead they had been placed in the trunk of an Orange Cab. What that was all about is something better explained by the folks at the Pan Pacific. If anyone hasn't noticed, bribery is rampant.
By Sunday midnight I was ready to have a real sit down meal. The 24-hour "Square Knot" Diner has become a Sunday night/early Monday morning favorite but first a call in the Wallingford took me to Bellevue and fifty bucks. Paid for dinner! And checkout the "Square Knot. It is a great place.
Upheaval at the Sea-Tac Feeder Lot
When in the mood at I will tell you about the big change-over which, when explained,
is taxi cab condensed. For once, a long-time taxi guy was put in charge to run the operation. Maybe there will be less shouting. More later.
Nine Hundred Taxi Miles
And before I forget, I drove the equivalent of Seattle to San Francisco. I am still waiting expectantly for the real thing. $200.00 in gasoline is the same regardless of the destination.