Thursday, September 6, 2007

The cat, the hat, and the stoner

Last night was very slow, but I had a few memorable ones...

The cat

I had my first feline in the car last night for a short, local ride. It was probably a $6 fare, and eventful. I picked up a lady, attractive, perhaps 35, and two little kids. They all piled in the back. Just before I put the car in Drive, I heard a meow. Not just a meow, but a low-pitched, throaty meow that meant a cat was A) in the car, and B) very unhappy about it. The lady asked me if I minded their cat coming along. I didn't.

Me: Does it like car rides? (smiling)

Her: Yes, actually, she does.

Riiiiiight. Two blocks into the ride and the lady was stifling a scream. I tilted the rearview mirror to see the cat, which the lady was holding like an infant, digging its claws into her. When we got to their residential house, the lady opened the back door and the cat bolted. I saw blood on her neck. She was okay, but what an ordeal. The kids thought it was the funniest thing in the world. Me, too.

The hat

We have a new driver who seems gun-ho, working about 60 hours per week. Nice guy from Chicago. We had cleared at the same restaurant, coincidentally, and then both took positions at the same stand (on the radio), and so I followed him to that stand. En route I saw that his tail pipe was broken and hanging almost to the ground.

I told him about it when we got to the cab stand, about four miles away. He said he knew about it, but hadn't requested a fix from HQ because it might mean a long wait for a replacement car, or they may ask him to wait at the shop for the fix itself -- the bane of cabbies. He got a thoughtful look in his eyes and said he might be able to fix it himself. I was going to suggest he use some mechanics wire, which I keep in my car, but he was already underneath his cab.

He came back out with a dirty shirt and said the problem was solved. I bent down a bit and saw that the pipe was no longer hanging down. I also noticed that he had gone under the car wearing a baseball cap, and came back out with no cap. Now that's a cabbie's field fix. It won't last long, but it'll keep him away from HQ for a few days, probably. This guy will fit in nicely with our crew.

As a side note, this driver used to deliver pizzas in Chicago, and I was able to confirm that if you're an ass to your pizza delivery guy, or stiff him on the tip, your next few pizzas will contain extra ingredients. That's why my guy always gets 20%. When I want a 'za at home, I'm willing to pay extra to guarantee it's clean.

The stoner

I picked up a young kid, perhaps 18-20, at a residential address. He was all "hey, man" and "yo, dude", and could just barely get out where he wanted to go, which turned out to be the Gaslamp Quarter. On the way there he desperately tried to make conversation, but he was too stoned. He was all over the map. I just nodded and said "sure" and "yeah" and "oh" once in a while.

When we got to 6th and Broadway he asked to be let out. The meter said $14.80. He gave me a $20 bill. "You got 20 cents for me?" he asked. I said I didn't, and handed him a single instead. "Oh, wow, thanks, dude," he said. I believe he thought he had given me $15. I didn't tell him it was a 20. We'll call that a marijuana surcharge. You pay to play, right?


p t t . said...

what are the extra ingredients? i know some people that are douchebags to food service people and if they order for me, now I know not to eat it.

Ted Martin said...

He said spit was the norm. Also he once rubbed his raunchy socks on a pizza, then tossed them.

I think it's smart to take good care of people who are responsible for your food (and your cab driver...).