As I have duly noted many times previously, I never ultimately know how passengers will react, or are responding to me. That I am considered somewhat unconventional I suppose goes without saying, especially amongst you readers, my blog often exposing a more feral and undomesticated side of my normally civilized self.
In short, all I try to be is myself minus embellishment one way or the other; and that I am a hippie, a refugee from the1960s who just happens to be driving a cab I make no effort to conceal. With all my other endeavors I remain the same but it is true that cab driving often makes me more irritable than usual, often resulting in a "bitter and biting" tongue though for the most part I make every effort to remain both responsive and congenial. Peace, brothers and sisters, will always be my primary objective, peace both on earth and inside my taxi! If only others were so benign, tranquility might reign across our world.
All this leads up to this past weekend and getting free slices of pizza both Saturday and Sunday courtesy of Julie, employee and pizza maker at the local Capitol Hill pizza establishment, Hot Mama's Pizza, Julie being someone who, along with her record collecting boyfriend, rode in my taxi a few months back to their north end home.
Picking them up at Hot Mama's, they gave me a few slices for the road, and in general we had a pleasant ride to their home abode, all the while discussing records and such. The ride ended with a great tip provided by these nice folks, the kind of interaction making up for the many other less-than-pleasant encounters. As said, that was the last I thought of it, other than occasionally seeing the young woman making pizza when I stopped in for a slice, a pleasant interaction remembered and noted.
But this past Saturday night, coming in for a quick slice, the cashier smiled and said Julie had taken care of it, and there she was in her usual spot, making dough. I was so shocked I forgot to leave a tip but did take a moment to thank her.
And yet again, Sunday night the same occurrence, Julie once more providing me with a complimentary slice. This time I remembered to tip 2 bucks, again thanking her for the recognition because somehow I had done something right, as opposed to the many theoretic wrongs often flung my way. Great thanks, Julie, as your kindness makes that pizza taste ever better, being more than food, clearly a Communion host containing the friendliness of emotions!
Not A Good Place To Put A Table!
Speeding (more or less 60 MPH) to Sea-Tac Sunday night southbound on State Route 509, suddenly in the dark I saw a small table directly in my path a mere 75-100 feet away. Had it just fallen onto the roadway? That is my guess.
Hitting the brakes and swerving to the left, the table bounced off to where I will never know, as my concentration was solely focused upon getting the suddenly fishtailing 1092 back under control. For a quick moment I thought we were going to roll. Thank goodness my driving instincts, dating way back to age 12 and the autumn of 1967, kicked in, saving the taxi day and perhaps our lives. Once we got to his Sea-Tac area hotel, my grateful passenger shook my hand, thanking me for my "professional maneuver."
Is SR 509 inherently dangerous? I pose that question because my near accident occurred within a mile of where my friend Jack received his fatal injury when YC 478 slipped off the roadway into a hillside. Damn taxi! is all I can say. Tables upon the roadway? Amazing!
Too often recently I have witnessed theoretic "good people" do incredible damage to everyone minus any thinking of real and actual consequences. Whether it is the 'liberal" Seattle City Council uncapping Uber or the mayor installing bike lanes on already impassable streets, it is truly troubling that these "saviors of all human kind" forget that they are impacting the innocent, seemingly concerned only with their immediate priorities regardless of all associated consequences. And you can believe there can be, and are, repercussions to arrogance and hubris. Case and point is the helping agency HopeLink, like the animated Mister Magoo, leaving destruction and mayhem in its unseeing wake.
Monday afternoon I got a HopeLink $41.00 flat-rate fare from north Seattle to Bellevue, leaving me no option but to take the Evergreen Toll bridge, the toll at that moment $4.30. Minus that from my fare, and minus a further $4.30 heading back, and you see I netted $32.40.
When I inquired if I could protest, I was told what I already knew: that imperious HopeLink makes us take all liabilities while handling their "civilization saving" missions. Whether 20 % of their calls are no-shows or the majority of the flat-rates do not equate assigned costs means little to nothing to them. They are the moral Royalty and we, the local cabbies, are their minions. Any complaint is met with "stuff it!' and you know, they really do a great job jamming it down the cabbie's throat. And you wonder why I am choking?
Ain't that nice? No!
Did the SPD Hear?
Whether the UW and Seattle Police Departments heard my lament I will never know for sure but something concerning their collective approach to traffic management dramatically changed during Saturday's Husky football game because I found the lanes open throughout the course of the UW 38 to 7 victory over Cal. I even got a fare to Mountlake Terrace. Hurrah! Go team!
And perhaps many thanks to Seattle City Council members Bruce Harrell and Mike O'Brien and the good SPD traffic division Sargent. Like said previously, the ways of the Seattle traffic Gods are mysterious, beyond the reach of mere mortals like me. I just say a prayer and hope for the best. It is all I can do!