As I keep saying, until I am completely and permanently disconnected from the wonderful world that is taxi, everything that might be and is "stranger than fiction" will continue to embrace me, and a truly poisonous entwining it is, similar to a 23 foot python swallowing me whole. As I mentioned last week---a fellow cabbie both harassed and maligned by some fool for no reason whatsoever---last weekend I too had a similar experience, my big crime of the recent Century being dumb enough to check out a call at the 1410 East John Safeway.
That it turned into what I am about to describe says everything about taxi, at least the side that is odd and odder and getting stranger, it appears, by the day if not every ensuing second and minute tick, ticking away. And all I can say, repeating that appropriate commentary by the that great furry black & white philosopher, Sylvester, and his ever relevant: sufferin' succotash! I couldn't agree more.
Driving up to the most likely suspect, an older woman pushing a walker who responded, no, the cab wasn't for her, but wait a minute, the passenger who had been waiting was now standing at the bus stop at the other side of the store. Taking her lead, I made a full circle around the Safeway, coming back around on East John but not finding my passenger, if one had ever truly existed, which I doubted.
But working upon the premise that you never know, fully assuming that the lady was probably mistaken, and again turning into the Safeway driveway for a last glance, a shortish, plump gentleman sporting big black-framed glasses pointed back into the store Once again I meet the same woman, again saying that no, she was waiting for a Metro Access Van, not a cab. And give it a break already--- there wasn't anyone waiting for me at the bus stop!
During this fairly innocuous exchange, the not-so-shining knight in rumpled clothing shouted, "Stop harassing her," the guy suddenly and instantaneously violent, quickly approaching my cab all the while chanting that famous 13th Century Buddhist prayer, "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo," popularized back then by the Japanese monk Nichiren.
When I tired to explain myself, he again chanted "nam-myoho-renge-kyo" in an attempt, near as I can tell, to transform all immediate suffering he might be experiencing to some expectant bliss. Flustered with this nonsense, I finally responded that "you are out of your mind" which, while probably true, did not appear to assuage his suffering in any measurable degree. I then tried to reason with the fellow but muttering something "beneath his breath" he, thankfully, just walked away, perhaps searching for that next eternal Banyan tree around the next Safeway corner. Should I hope for something to fall on his head?
I wonder what comments Tweedy Bird would have had upon the subject, Tweedy America's resident cartoon Stoic, regarding our un-feathered world while residing in a less-than-gilded cage. As is obvious, the average cabbie can be doing nothing whatsoever yet will still be targeted simply for being a cabbie. I think somewhere therein lies a life lesson. I wonder what it could be?
Transmission issues continue to plague my cab, what is simple isn't, and making it worse.........
Taki's Yellow Cab Shop is Closing
Yes, after nearly 20 years, Taki, Yellow Cab's mechanic supreme, is fleeing Yellow Fleet after just over a year in the new location, due, it appears, to many unresolved issues with current Yellow Fleet management Taki is mad as hell! and next week is heading back to his homeland, Vietnam, for a 3 week vacation.
That it complicates my life cannot be understated because neither he nor good Randy could figure out the seemingly electrical problem compromising 1092's overall automatic transmission function. While I hope we can limp along until his return, I will be accelerating my reach for a newer replacement car.
Uber Threatens to Leave Seattle
Uber, unhappy with the City of Seattle's progress toward an unionized Uber workforce, has said it will stop operating in Seattle if an actual union is formed. If they do go, maybe I'll start a new TNC/ride-share company, calling it Blubber, an app devoted to trimming the fat from customer's wallet's. I envision it would be very popular with the "carrot & celery" crowd. Why we would be gluten-free too!
And Speaking of TNC Companies
A rider I had the day before wanted to go to Lynnwood on Tuesday during evening rush-hour but was concerned with the cost, saying he was thinking of taking Lyft instead because they quoted him $25.00 for what could be $60.00 in the cab due to traffic. I told him to take Lyft but to be conscious of the Lyft reality, forcing the driver to an hour-long drive minus their fee and gasoline in addition to how long it will take to get back.
In January 1863 President Lincoln freed the American slaves. Most recently, Uber and Lyft, far smarter than Southern Plantation owners, have convinced millions of men and women worldwide to voluntarily enslave themselves. And to pay for their own enslavement. Wow! what a great deal! Can you believe it?
I couldn't believe it, when I heard it, Yellow Cab and the single owners planning on bringing back a new version of the DDS dispatch computer system, this after changing over to our current system and nearly destroying the company with more confusion and mishaps that I had lost count.
Over-my-dead-taxi-body is my initial response. Some not very wise folks have suggested that we can even choose between one or the other, keeping the old system in our cabs if we want to. Huh!?