Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My taxi wants your soul!

Last night was nothing special.  I was expecting a bigger night but even though things got off to an okay start, after midnight it got dead.

Today was certainly much more interesting(and busier too).  I started out at JFK and got dispatched right away.  I picked up a very nice lady headed to the upper west side.  Things seemed to be normal, and then I tried starting the meter.  For JFK trips, you hit the #3 button twice and then the #1 button to start and it is supposed to show the flat rate on the meter.  But there was something wrong and it didn't work.  I tried again and again.  I had to reboot the whole system(while trying to navigate JFK) but before it rebooted, it printed out a receipt...  It was a receipt for a fare of $666.  So I am now convinced that the taxi was possessed by the devil.  Even after a reboot it gave me some trouble.  But I finally got it to work, and thankfully it cooperated the rest of the night.
The Devil's Receipt
Also, I hate the Van Wyck.  This highway is horrible.  It never fails.  Every time I pick up a fare at JFK I get stuck on the Van Wyck in horrendous traffic.  And it always reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where Elaine tries to get some guy to the airport.  I always make that reference to my passengers and they usually look at me like I have three heads.  But one day, I WILL beat the Van Wyck!

Once I got toe the city, I hopped around the Upper East and West sides for a bit before getting a fare to 49th and 7th.  On this trip, I drove past Rockefeller Center and got a sneak peek at the tree before it's lighting on Wednesday.  I haven't actually gone to see the tree since I was much younger, so it was kinda neat.
Behind the trees and scaffolding, you can see the giant, unlit tree.
I picked up a group of older women on Madison and they needed to make three stops.  They spent the ride chatting, but after the second stop there was only one woman left.  We got to talking.  Turns out her husband is also a cab driver.  She was very nice and told me how lovely it was to have someone as cheerful as I was behind the wheel.  Also, how rare it was that a cab driver would actually get out and help load items into the trunk(which I did).  So, that was nice to hear.

I ended up in Brooklyn a few times.  The first time I drove a guy pretty much right across the Manhattan bridge.  From there, I picked up a group of people coming out of the Nets/Knicks game and drove them to Williamsburg.  I also drove a group of younger girls to Flatbush.  One of them was a rapper from LA and she played it cool until we passed the Barclays Center and she got all touristy for a minute.  They did not tip, which was pretty shitty since it was an outer borough fare and not exactly right over the bridge.  The next fare I had when I got back to the city took me back to Brooklyn again, and she DID tip.  Probably enough for both fares.

It was getting late, so the passengers started coming farther and farther apart.  I was on 14th when I saw two guys hail me.  They needed to go to Penn Station, so I headed uptown.  After a moment, I noticed one of their heads "disappear".  I knew what they were up to.  I took the turn onto 34th a little fast and they came flying up.  They also did not tip me(oh wait, they let me keep the 50cents), but that was worth it.  Hilarious.

My last fare of the night is probably one I will remember for a long time.  I was taking one of my last loops through the Village, hoping for that one big fare to end my night.  I was on 8th st and University when a guy hails me.  Before he got into the cab, i knew he would be interesting.  He was wearing a Santa hat, and looked some sort of inebriated.  He hops in and says "i wanna go somewhere fun".  I paused for a second before asking him if he had anywhere in particular in mind.  He did not and told me to just take him somewhere.  Being not far, I figured I would take him to  Macdougal and Bleeker where he would have lots of choices for fun.  As we were driving, he hands me a $20 bill.  He also asked me when I went off duty and if I wanted to go off duty and go hang out with him.  I politely declined.  We get to the area where I was going to drop him off.  I got out the change for the $20, but he got out and told me to keep it.  When he got out, he looked just as lost as he did when he got in.  I don't know if this guy was drunk or high or just mentally deficient, but he was definitely a little off kilter.  He also smelled.  Really bad.  But at least he made up for the tips I got stiffed on earlier.  After that, I was so befuddled, I had to call it a night.

I am debating if I want to work tomorrow night or not.  I am very tired and I also have some errands to run.  I guess I will decide in the morning.  But now, I need sleep.

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