Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Taxi Quiz: What Do You Think The Answer Is? & My Choice For Seattle Mayor

To me it is obvious, which it should be, when passengers have crossed over the line of both sanity and civility to the point where the ride must be terminated.  Of course why would I want to literally take the money out of my pocket, telling the offending passenger you have to go? 

The clear answer is I don't want to, instead wanting to continue taking them to their requested destination.  And it just isn't about the money either because, despite whatever crazy behavior displayed, I have no desire to  inconvenience them, grieving me each time this happens.  I do have a very high tolerance for misbehavior but clearly situations arise when there is no alternative to telling  the passenger that they need to find some other means of transportation.

I say all this because my oldest sister commented that I was "about to snap," that two recent posted ride profiles showed I was seconds away from emulating Travis Bickle, Robert DeNiro's deranged cabbie in the Martin Scorsese's movie, "Taxi Driver." She does know that in 30 years I have never carried a gun along with me in the cab.

She also made the ill-conceived  remark that the aforementioned passengers had done nothing to elicit any response but to take them to where they were going.  But in the second case I never truly knew where she wanted to go, and remain suspicious that she herself didn't know. As I said in my post, going home with me wasn't an option.  And one should ask, why did she think it was a possibility, having barely said ten words to her?

Responding to my sister's email, I said, "That's funny!" because it is, further commenting that her remark "treated me like I was some stranger, and not her brother"  It is also another example of someone thinking they know all about the taxi experience while not understanding it one iota.

I also said that the situation reminded me of our father, someone who failed to recognize anyone for anything but especially focusing his unseeing upon his wife and sons and daughters.  Did we even exist, seemingly a mystery marking him to the end of his days upon our planet?  Given that, I remain sensitive to being misunderstood, at least expecting people to make the smallest of efforts toward seeing who I might be.

So instead of remaining resentful, I think a quiz is in order, giving you the opportunity to decide just what state of mind the passengers were in when, in the first situation, the woman saying we were proceeding west while going east; and secondly, the second passenger denying she had routed me to the top of Queen Anne Hill, and as I said, inferred she wanted to sleep with me. Crazy and crazy and, of course, insane!

Quiz # 1

Was the woman who refused to to be reasoned with while we headed in the correct direction down East Aloha Street:

1) drunk

2) on drugs

3) experiencing a psychiatric break

4) or all of the above

I say the answer is number 3 because she was instantly agitated, making all attempts toward resolution impossible.  My "Hey, don't you see that the street numbers are ascending upward." being completely ignored, finding her fury misplaced and completely unnecessary, with it all adding up to that she appeared to be experiencing some kind of mental disorientation that very likely was psychologically-based. 

What was making her "so crazy?"  I don't know and as I said in my post, it wasn't my place to make that kind of determination, having left my DSM (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual) at home.  Maybe in the future I should keep one beside me, and when called for, flip to the correct page and read the pertinent diagnosis to the passenger.  I am sure they would be overjoyed with learning more about themselves, but upon second thought, perhaps not!  Why know about yourself when instead it is so much fun being nuts, the proverbial walking and talking fruitcake!

Quiz # 2

The passenger who directed me from Ballard to Queen Anne was clearly "impacted" upon entering the cab.  Was she under the influence of:

1)  alcohol

2)  drugs

3)  drug & alcohol combination

4) held emotional or psychological components to her behavior

My choice are clearly numbers 3 and 4 because she was definitely "blitzed" out-of-her-mind on what I don't know.  And after she denied she had taken me to 3rd West and West Galer, she tried to direct me back again along the very same route.  Did any of this make sense?

Not to me, and not that anyone, especially my sister, might have noticed that I was the one driving the car.   I just can't let anyone willy-nilly direct me anywhere they want to minus commonsense.  It makes no sense and besides, its dangerous because it I find it very distracting having some lunatic in the backseat telling me where to go.  Regular readers might remember when, a few months back, some drunk insisted I drive us into Lake Washington.  No, I am not going to do that, 1092 not the best of swimmers.

I hope you enjoyed the quizzes, and since you passed the test, just like I did in 1972 during my battery of pre-induction testing, you are now drafted into the taxi army.  Be sure to salute me when I walk by.  And I am not just blowing taxi smoke.  Soon after I successfully completed the Selective Service testing, the US Navy sent me a letter offering to make me an officer.  While always wanting to be in command of my own destroyer, I declined and now sail the cabbie seas in my big, Yellow motorboat skimming over the urban, asphalt waters, ever vigilant for pirates and police.

Without Question, the Best Choice for Mayor: Jenny Durkan---Please, No Bad "Moon" Rising!

"I see the bad moon rising
 I see trouble on the way
 I see earthquakes and lightin'
 I see bad times today"

from "Bad Moon Rising" (1969)  written by John Fogerty and performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Of course I am referring to that other current candidate for Seattle mayor 2017, Cary Moon, that most theoretical of electoral candidates, and if I can say it, a "liberal and progressive" version of Donald Trump.  I find the parallels between the two compelling due to having very similar lives---growing up wealthy, working for their parent's company, and never having to truly work for a living, with both of course sharing a propensity for thinking they have ideas that should be listened to and embraced.  The reference in the CCR song to earthquakes is important to any consideration of Cary Moon's candidacy, given that she was a proponent of keeping the damage prone Highway 99 (the Alaskan Way Viaduct) bridge standing.

While many might remember the February 28th, 2001 magnitude 6.8 Nisqually earthquake, with an epicenter 11miles northeast of the state capital, Olympia, many don't realize that if it had been shallower, the Alaskan Way Viaduct, along with much of downtown Seattle, would either have tumbled down or been rendered irreparable. As the saying goes, Seattle and area "dodged a bullet" but unfortunately the seismic gun is slowly reloading beneath the earth's crust, meaning that within the next 50 years, there is 87.56 percent probability of a 5.0 or greater earthquake occurring.

In Oakland, California, the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake destroyed the similarly designed Cypress Street Viaduct with a loss of 42 lives.  Given that 110,000 cars cross the Alaskan Way Viaduct daily, one can see the potential for hundreds of lives loss if the "big one" hits Seattle today in the near future.  Also during that same earthquake, San Francisco's Embarcadero Freeway was severely damaged, resulting it being removed in 1991.  In other words, it was preordained that the Alaskan Way Viaduct was slated for some future catastrophe potentially killing how many motorists I hate to think about.  That is why it is being thrown down and taken away.

If you need further convincing that Cary Moon's advocacy to keep the Viaduct up and working was misguided, please note that since 1931, Seattle has experienced 1,113 earthquakes within a 30 mile radius.  And given that Moon is an Operations Engineer, what in the world was she doing saying it should remain as the monument to the 1950's era engineering it is, opening for traffic April 1953,  eight months before I was born in Puyallup, Washington.

This period of Northwest engineering certainly has a tainted history, exemplified by the opening in July 1940 of the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge (the legendary Galloping Gertie), a construction promptly collapsing into the Puget Sound on November 7th of that very same year.  If the ancient Romans had built the bridge, it might still be standing but since it was built, like Moon, by American educated engineers, some question might be applied whether she, and others like her, know what-the-hell they are talking about.  Just ask her.  I know she will be quite reassuring about everything she doesn't know anything about. It comes with very familiar territory: hubris.

In reference to Moon's opponent, Jenny Durkan, while coming from a similarly coddled background, she did strike out on her own and teach school in the Alaskan wilderness, along with working as a baggage handler for Wien Air Alaska.  That she also served as the United States Attorney for Western Washington from 2009to 2014 suggests she understands politics and issues on a far more workable level than Cary Moon.

And another reason for Moon wanting to be mayor: having so much spare time she needs a hobby, and running Seattle would fit in perfectly into her assumed lifestyle. Some people collect stamps, others famous autographs, so why not run a big city?  Why, it might even be fun!

That is why, despite similar policy positions, I think Durkan is the correct choice to be Seattle's next mayor.  Moon also unfortunately reminds me of all those so-called policy expects featured on NPR radio.  If you have a degree in whatever subject and are currently teaching at whatever university, you are then completely qualified to render both opinion and solution upon subjects that have plagued humankind for millenniums.  Have anyone noticed how simple the issue or problem appears to be when they speak?  If only they were in charge, everything would be solved instantaneously.  Ain't that grand?

And according to Cary Moon, she has the answer to Seattle's most pressing problems.  And how she knows is a simple matter of privilege, her leisurely life having provided her plenty of time to lay around upon a couch and think about the world's problems, coming up with all the answers.  Just like Donald Trump, wouldn't you agree, two "green" peas in the same upper-middle class pod?


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