Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A ray of 'Sunshine'

Not much is happening tonight. Most of our cabs went 10-21. I plan to stay around until midnight or 1:00 a.m. to see what I can get. Since I have nothing else to do, I'll tell you about Sunshine.

On my first day on the job I was sitting on stand, chatting with my new co-workers, when Sunshine came on the radio. He was calling one of our Iraqis a "raghead" and inviting him to go back to his own country. I was so amused, I said, "Boy, he's a ray of sunshine, isn't he?" It stuck.

Sunshine may have mental problems, because more than once I've been behind him on stand and witnessed a strange thing -- he slaps the top of his head rapidly, for about 30 seconds. He was out of control. I've always wondered if he does that with customers in his cab?

Anyway, I've been on the receiving end of his charm twice in two years.

The first was a two-cab bell to a Marriott, me and Sunshine. He got there first and pulled away just as I was loading. We were going to the Charthouse seafood restaurant in Seaport Village just behind the Hyatt on the waterfront. It may have changed names, but we still call it Charthouse.

After an uneventful ride, I dropped in the Charthouse's parking lot. My doors were still open, with the customers climbing out, when Sunshine roared up beside me with his widow down. He had been waiting for me.

"What did you do, take the long way around?" he yelled, then took off. It was deliberately loud enough for my people to hear.

The second run-in with Sunshine involved dropping at a restaurant complex that is also a cab stand. I didn't see any cabs around, so I called on the radio, "clear", before my people got out. I was stopped, paid, and waiting for them to finish exiting. I was stretching my hood, but not by much.

Protocol is to get paid, have the customers leave and close the doors before you clear. Then you call in and take a place on a stand (dispatch line).

Sunshine got on the radio. "Ninety-five, you need to clear before you call 'clear'." What a bastard. He had been off in the shadows on the far side of the parking lot, waiting for his chance to cause trouble. Most drivers clear at least two blocks from the drop.

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