Friday, October 31, 2008

The all time, scariest passenger, I ever had.

I don't recall if it was Halloween or New Years Eve, both nights are frequently out of control. It doesn't matter, I remember him, and I remember the ride.

He was standing near the corner of Lake and University, on Lake, waving for a cab. When I pulled over to pick him up, I saw that he was a mess. There was a lot of blood on him, it probably came from the cut on his face. It looked like someone had busted him in the chops and one of his canines cut through from the inside to the outside, the cut was perhaps 1/4" long. One of his hands, his right if memory serves, was swelled to twice it's normal size. He must have taken a swing at someone, missed, and hit a brick wall. His clothes had blood on them, he wasn't bleeding from his face or hand anymore, but it was pretty obvious that he had bled quite a bit.

He was a good sized man, around 6'2, perhaps 200 pounds. Other than the blood and being tore up from being in a fight, there wasn't anything memorable about the clothes he was wearing. He said he wanted to go to Post road, which is off Fish Hatchery.

I've never had anything particularly against people who have been in a fight. It happens. He was lucky about it, he wasn't in jail. There wasn't any reason to think there was anything weird about him. He wasn't still bleeding so it wasn't like he was going to bleed all over my cab. He wasn't swaying, he didn't slur badly when he talked. I was driving toward his destination, daydreaming as one often does when you're driving, when he got really weird. We were around Park and Emerald when he started muttering, in a low threatening voice, "You drove past my stop."

"Ah, no sir, Post road is out Fish Hatchery, we haven't even reached Fish Hatchery yet."

"You drove past my stop."

This was scary. The guys big, he's not inhibited about being in a fight, and he's sitting behind me. Other cab drivers will know without explanation, all the details of why this is so dangerous, but for the rest of you, allow me to explain. If this idiot were to grab me and try to drag me over the front seat, into the back, with the intent of beating me up, the cab might find an on coming car, or a phone pole, or who knows what. We went through a few iterations of him telling me I drove past his stop, there was no reasoning with him, he was completely out of it. AND, there are people out there who think every cab driver is a crook, who is out to rip them off, it was pretty obvious that this guy was one of them.

So, what do you do? Pull over and try to get the guy out? You might get beat up doing that, because if he doesn't see his house when he gets out, he could go psycho. Do you keep driving and try to keep him calm, and hope he doesn't get any weirder? That's about all you can do. Do you ask for the cops on the radio? No, for a few reasons which include, they won't be there in time to do you any good, and he may go psycho when he hears you ask for them. All I could do was hope that he wouldn't do anything weirder than keep mumbling, "You drove past my stop."

Post road, from Park and Emerald is around 4 minutes on an empty night time road. It was a VERY long 4 minutes. I was very scared. And there's absolutely nothing you can do, except sit there and drive, scared out of your mind.

We got to his destination and he got out and paid me.

Happy Halloween, boo!


Gnightgirl said...

Your blogs make me realize how very, very sheltered I am!

Happy Halloween!

King of New York Hacks said...

that happens to me every night ...I just buckle up and look for a pole to hit with my escape plan intact. No worries.

Real cab driver said...

My best friend was murdered by a passenger in April of '92. I'll tell that story some time.