Monday, April 14, 2008

Two 'races'

In the last week I've raced two cabbies, with two losses! I don't actually race, but within the limits of the law (technically), it's advantageous to arrive back in our zone before the other guy -- it lets you get in line faster to get another ride (obviously).

1. Two-cab call to a hotel in our zone, going to 5th & E in the Gaslamp Quarter. I cleared just before Sunshine, who was the 2nd cab on the call. I pulled out and drove my best route to the freeway, then back to our zone. I never saw Sunshine again, and assumed I was ahead of him. Before I got to our taxi zone I heard him call on the radio that he had arrived back. I don't know how the hell he did it! I looked at a map after I got onto a cab stand, and can't think of a route faster than mine. I had gone up 5th Ave to the freeway entrance just north of Cedar, then cruised on the freeway. Sunshine, being a psychotic, won't speak with anyone, so I can't ask him. It pains me that I'll never know how the S.O.B. beat me.

2. The other "race" was with Mike, car 105. It was another 2-cab call, this time to a residential address, and then to the Westgate hotel off Broadway in downtown San Diego. Again, I was first, but we both pulled off the curb at the same time, both going north for freeway entrances. The best, from the Westgate, is to get over onto 1st Ave, then go north to I-5.

After two blocks, I made a right, went a few blocks to first, then turned north. Mike turned right earlier. A block later (Ash St?), sitting at a red light, I adjusted my mirror to the day setting to get a good look behind, and I saw Mike waiting at a red, one block behind. At this point, drivers of good will give up the fight and acknowledge they lost, then just follow the leader back to our zone. It's a gentleman's agreement.

Not Mike, the son of a bitch.

In heavy, night-time traffic he zig-zagged through traffic until he was on my bumper with a half block before the freeway entrance. I had him boxed in, having watched his antics in the mirrors. I got very close to the car in front of me so he couldn't try anything adventurous, and kept close to the curb on the right so he couldn't try to squeeze through.

Just before we got to the freeway entrance, he jumped into the middle lane, zoomed up on my left, and then cut in front of me onto the entrance ramp. I honked and flashed my light, and keyed my mic a few times (it will make a clicking sound in his car). Unfortunately for me, he got so close that the only way to stop him from coming in would have been to collide. So he got in front of me! I expected him to back off and let me pass him on the freeway, now that he had had his fun, but he went *extraordinarily* fast all the way back to our zone. What an ass.

About two hours after the incident, we were on a cab stand together, standing outside the cars, smoking and talking like nothing had happened. But something did happen, and I'm going to repay him, plus interest, at the earliest opportunity.

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