Life of Scott

Imagination unleashed.

Friday, January 04, 2008

New Years and Cabs Can Go to Heck

I cannot think of a smooth, no-problems cab experience. I have taken more cab rides than most people in Cleveland. I lived downtown for two years, take them every time we're in Las Vegas, and they never fail to amaze me.

Joe and I were going from the Vegas airport to our hotel when the cabbie decided to lecture us on how the world is about to end because of all the sinning gamblers and drinkers. las Vegas is a silly place to preach that kind of thing. The fool! Same trip, next cabbie told us about his swinging days and how he "fucking blasted" this one married woman while her husband watched.

Another trip, I was all hungover with Joe in the back seat of some Chinese woman's cab when I asked her to roll up the windows and turn the air on because it was hot. As soon as she did, I farted a disgusting morning-after-drinking-and-buffet-dinner fart. The Chinese lady was all pissed off, rolled down all the windows, and even threw the window shade off her own window so it could open farther. Then we played $1 craps at Slots-of-Fun, which is a such a shithole. But not as bad as the Monte Carlo, which smells like dirty diapers.

A few days ago on New Years Eve, I arranged cabs to and from a place 20 minutes out of town. I was quoted $25 each way, which is fine for eight people. The first guy tries to charge us $35, so I gave him $32 and told him to charge me whatever he wants because that is what he gets. This was after he pulled into the wrong driveway and I insisted he take us around the building. He kept saying "no no no no no," and I said, "just go to the left of the pole, just go that way, hurry up, it's right there." So he finally listened to me and scraped the shit out of the bottom of his cab because there was a curb I didn't see. "Oh... oh dear. Now I understand why you didn't want to go that way."

The second guy was 45 minutes late and told me that he was going to charge us $50 if we want him there at all. We were sitting in the vestibule of an empty party center, so of course I said ok, sure buddy, whatever you want. When we got back to my place, I handed him $31 and started walking away. He got out and started grabbing my shoulder to keep me back, threated to kick my ass if I didn't pay more, that it was a $59 cab ride and I was getting a discount. He knocked the poinsettia out of my hand, called his dispatcher (who told him to cool it and leave with the money), and continued to threaten me for not giving in to his bullshit scam.

There were four or five of us, so he didn't want to actually start a fight. Amanda was a little hysterical and called the police. Craig stood there looking tough in case we needed to throw down. Joe tried to be the reasonable one, asking, "how much did it actually cost you to go back and forth, so we can tip you on that because it's only the tip that matters to you." Evan is being all legal about it, saying, "We have a contract with the dispatcher! If you have a problem with the rate, that is between you and the dispatcher!" When he didn't respond to those, I got angry, took my hands out of my pockets, got in his face, and said, "Listen here you pecker. I paid you $31 on a $25 fare, which is a 25% tip for a cab that was 45 fucking minutes late! As far as I can see, you are lucky we're fucking paying you at all for that kind of horseshit. Now if you have a problem with that, we can stand her all fucking night in the cold rain, but you are not getting another goddam cent out of me! If you don't get the fuck back in your cab, then you can suck--" Which is where I stopped myself. He did leave after that and we drank more beer upstairs.

If I got any part of that story wrong, don't correct me. Because I felt tough and awesome and that is how I remember it. We were renegade defenders of mild-mannered cab riders everywhere! We refused to be swindled and we emerged victorious, albeit wet and cold. No one will steal from us and get away with it! We will not give up $20 just because it is easier than standing outside for a half hour! And why? Because we are awesome. WE make the rules. And no one will push us around!

This is what makes people drive drunk.

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