Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Brain surgery and air races

Last night I was staging in front of a nicer restaurant, having foreknowledge that a lot of long rides came into that restaurant about two hours earlier. You tend to accumulate knowledge from the streets -- watching enemy cabs do dropoffs, speaking with doormen and bartenders, etc. So I'm standing outside my cab with the radio turned all the way up so I can hear my number. I'm chatting on the cell with a friend. Three guys walk out of the restaurant and walk past my car. I glance at them to see if they'll make eye contact, approach me, or gesture that they need a cab. None of the above.

After what seemed like a minute, I glanced behind me, to the other side of my car, and there they are. The lead guy puts his arms in the air in a disrespectful gesture of "well, are we going to wait all night?" I asked in the tone an adult uses with a child, "Do you need a taxi?" "Well, yeah," the guy said. I said nothing more, and just got in and waited for them to enter.

Turns out they're all very drunk and about as rude as anyone I've driven. I asked if they were in town for the air races (Red Bull is sponsoring Extra 300 races over San Diego Bay this weekend.*). The guy in front, the rudest of them all, said they were in town for a neurosurgery conference. They're all brain surgeons, specializing in the removal of tumors.

Based on their behavior in soliciting the ride, I'd say these brain surgeons are the dumbest people I've ever encountered. Anyone who thinks a cabbie has a telepathic ability to determine if somebody wants a ride is an unconditional idiot.

*I had a couple of reasons for asking if they were associated with the races. First, I've driven a couple of groups who said they were with the upcoming event, and they were rude bastards. Maybe it goes along with that sport? Secondly, I saw on the freeway an Audi SUV with red decals all over it -- all proclaiming the air races. The guy tailgated me unbelievably close, and I was in the slow lane driving the speed limit. When traffic to the left opened up, he floored it and just kept accelerating -- way, way above the speed limit. Real pricks, these Red Bull Air Race types. I was going to buy a ticket to Saturday's main event, but now I'm planning to watch for free from Coronado Island, because jackasses aren't getting any of my money. If I'm close enough to get good photos, I'll post them here.


4min said...

ohh, brain surgeons, i had one guy in green shrubs in hospital territory gesture frantically to me once. I assume I was driving too slow when approaching the corner to pick him up. I was at the back of a long flock of taxi cabs who had all not seen him, driving slow just for the purpose of picking up the once the others miss.

he reached for the handle and i decided to floor it. no need for pricks like that. it sucks when people are pissed at you before you do anything wrong.

4min said...

oops, scrubs, not shrubs. sorry about the bad spelling.

Ted Martin said...

No problem. It's the web, not the Wall Street Journal!

Sounds like you meted (sp?) out some street justice to that guy. I once told a rude man in front of a bar that my car wouldn't start, and that I was sorry, but I could drive 20 feet forward to pick him up. I was mad that he couldn't walk to the car, and insisted I drive forward. When he turned his back to go back into the bar, I started the car and punched it. I wanted him to know the car was fine.