Friday, October 12, 2007

A few interesting rides tonight

I drove a woman from Northern Ireland who has been living in the US for 15 years. She said at the time she left, gun shots on the streets were the norm. She said it took years of living in the US for her to not dive on the ground when a car backfires. She recently went back to Ireland for the first time in a long time, and it was a very different place. No gunfire. And she said it was the first time she ever saw streets empty of soldiers.

I also drove a US Navy guy who works in public relations. He was recently in San Francisco for Fleet Week, spending most of his time answering the public's questions about the use of sonar and its effect on whales. He's in San Diego now for the military air show, which is at Miramar this weekend. "I don't expect any questions about whales in San Diego," he said. For those who don't read a lot of news, San Fran has an anti-military reputation. In the last few months the city has forbidden the Marines from filming a commercial there, and the city council tried to prevent the Blue Angels from flying (citing safety reasons...). Last year the head of the city council said, on live national TV, that he thinks the US should not have a military.

On a lighter note, our cab drivers are still making jokes about the infamous fire hydrant. Whenever a driver gets belled to that restaurant, somebody comes on the radio and warns him not to run over any hydrants. That is fast becoming legend.

Lastly, our graveyard dispatcher, who has an IQ several points below my steering wheel, disappeared for a few days earlier this week. He didn't call in. Everyone was hoping (praying?) that we'd never see him again. Tonight, he was back, to our great disappointment.

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