Monday, May 26, 2014

Nearly Buying The Taxi Farm & There He Was: Big Bob!

He or she "buying" or having "bought the farm" is American slang dating from WW II, an idiomatic or informal euphemistic phrase meaning death in general, and more or less originating from the American (Army) Air Force, referring to a combat death occurring from active battle. This past Saturday I too almost purchased the farm, an errant car nearly hitting 478 head-on at 50-60 MPH.  It all happened in a span of about 7-10 seconds, the final conclusion only realized in the last second.  It is doubtful I would have survived the impact.  Anyone truly familiar with taxi knows it is a war and in those few fateful moments my passenger and I near causalities.

The fare began oddly, the passenger finally emerging from a darkened house in West Seattle.  Having already received my "no-show" I told him I was surprised to see him.  His response was elusive and offensive, making inappropriate remarks and providing a false destination, saying we were going only a few blocks when his real objective was lower Queen Anne a quarter mile from the Seattle Center.  This potentially set up an argumentative tone I thankfully ignored because shortly my full attention would be required.  What most passengers fail to understand is that crazy and disruptive behavior is highly distracting, taking attention away from the road which in this particular case could have proved fatal.  Another facet was the passenger's misinformation.  Had he not lied I would have turned left on SW Austin heading down to Delridge Way SW instead of taking 16th SW and driving past South Seattle Community College, thus avoiding the situation altogether.

Finally telling me where he was really going I proceeded north upon 16th SW nearing the point where it begins turning northwest, transitioning into SW Dawson, when suddenly a car flying up to what amounts to be a blind curve at 50-60 MPH loses control and now instantaneously aimed directly at me.  Instinctively slamming the brakes and pulling 478 sharply to the right I watched the grey sports car wildly fishtail out-of-control, just missing our potential collision.  Coming to a stop parallel to me I didn't even glance at the fool, just glad I wasn't dead.  My idiot passenger finally became more human, complimenting my skillful maneuver.  We continued on to Queen Anne minus further incident. 

Big Bob at 4 AM!

Buying organic cantaloupes and orange juice at Ballard Market this early Monday morning a town car pulls up and there behind the wheel is my taxi past, Mister Big Bob, an early and loved taxi colleague dating from my independent taxi days when if possible, taxi held a relative innocence missing from today's competitive food chain. If not a mentor, Bob was certainly a good friend, eating early morning meals together at Steve's Broiler or the Joker Day & Night, 24 hour Greek eateries never to be replaced, "old Seattle" at its best.

I walked into the store again with him, catching up on a missing decade.  Bob was part of a world before mandatory association membership, making it possible to make a very good living solely working hotel stands and sporting events.  When less tired I will describe that long-lost world and the characters inhabiting it.  There will only be one Big Bob.  Sometime I will tell you why.


  1. I wonder what the most is that someone had to pay for riding in a taxi. I heard that they can sometimes be very expensive. I am guessing the most is in the thousands. There is no way they could charge more then that.

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