For many years, more than 30, there has been a big street party on Halloween. Now, it's only actually on Halloween if it falls on a Saturday. People will come to State street in costume on October 31st, reguardless of what day it falls on. The year I'm thinking of, it fell in the middle of the week, and it rained, making it the lamest excuse for Halloween on State street, I've ever seen.
The cops were bored that night. It was so wet and so cold that by midnight, you could drive the entire length of State street. By bartime (1:30 am), most of the cabs had called it quits, and I was trolling for one last drunk before I checked it in. Standing in front of State Street Brats was a group of 5 waving for me to stop (the diplomats had bench seats, so 5 was legal back then). They got in and asked for Edgewood College, which is about 10 blocks out Monroe from Regent street. Cool, a nice short ride, full cab, as good a last fare as you could ask for.
We got to the 1200 block of Regent and the kid sitting next to the window said, "Hey, this is where we get out." So, I stopped. He and one of the kids in the back seat jumped out and started walking into the darkness down Orchard. Orchard is a one way and I couldn't follow them without driving down it the wrong way.
I immediately got the door open, stood up, and yelled over the cab, "Hey, you guys owe me", it was probably $3.25, but I don't recall what the price was at the time.
The kid from the front seat yelled back, "Our friends are going to pay for us." And they stepped up their pace a little.
I looked at the kid in the back seat who'd asked for the ride to Edgewood and asked him, "Are you going to pay for them?"
He replied, "No. I never saw those guys before. You're trying to rip me off, asking me to pay for people I've never seen before. I've got a good mind to not pay you, since you want to rip me off."
"Ok people, end of ride! 5 people from State street to here is $5.25. You said you were together when you got in the cab. You will pay the $5.25, or I will call the cops and you will be cited for refusing to pay me. The cops will make you pay me, and you'll get about a $100.00 fine."
The 2 in the back seat start getting out of the cab, on the passengers side. I go around the cab and say to the guy, "I'm not kidding. I will call the cops. They're pretty bored right now, so I'll get a cop right away. Edgewood is more than 10 blocks from here, I'll follow you, you will get caught. Why don't you just save yourself a lot of trouble, and pay me what you owe me."
He replied, "Why don't I just smash your face into that brick wall, grandpa?"
I took my glass's off and slipped them into my shirt pocket. I said, "Son, that isn't going to happen. Get into the cab! Do it now!!!!"
He looked kind of taken aback. I'd raised my voice a tad when I ordered him to get back into the cab. They got back in. While this eas going on, the 3rd kid had slid out the drivers door, and vanished into the darkness of S. Orchard. I told them I was going to take them back to State street and get one of those terribly bored cops to arrest them. We were off. I was trying really hard to go fast enough through the side streets, that he wouldn't jump out and take off on me. I shouldn't have cared, the girl wasn't going to run off, but all these little events are learning experiences, aren't they.
Both of them started telling me that their fathers were lawyers, and they were going to get me. Yeah, right. If I was a lawyer, and someone notified me that my kid had gotten caught trying to rip off a cab driver for 5 bucks, I'd be really proud of how that kid acted while away at college. I'm not sure if the behaviour would bother me more, or the fact that they got caught, but I know for sure that I would not be pleased. Such a thing might result in cancilation of Thanksgiving bonus, or at least a reduction in the amount.
I was rounding a corner when he made his break for it. True, I had to slow down for the corners, but he must have never taken physics, and never shot pool. If you're going to jump off a moving vehicle, you want the vehicle to be going straight. Why? Well, he has momentum, torque to be technical, that would spin him in the opposite direction. The cab was rounding a left hand corner, his body would want to spin to his right, and that's just what happened.
He opened the door and was going to try to run with the cab, and if it hadn't been for the spin he would have made it. I watched in the rear view mirror as he lost his footing and spun to his right. Down went his hand on the pavement, that didn't hold him, down went his seat on the pavement. 'Oooooo', I thought, 'that had to hurt!'
When we got back to State street, it was actually hard to find a cop. They'd all pretty much called it a night already. I looked at the girl, the only one of the 5 left, sitting in the front seat. She was almost ready to cry. She said, "Please don't let my parents find out about this."
The cop we did find said he was done for the night too, but he'd call us someone. About 10 minutes later, we got 2 squads with female cops. The one who was handling it asked me to give her an amount owed. She was real specific, she wanted me to itemize, and include everything. Ok. Well, let's see.......... 5 people from State street to Orchard and Regent. 1 person from Orchard and Regent to College and Brooks. 1 person from Orchard and Regent to State street. Waiting time on Regent street, 4 minutes. Waiting time on State street, 17 minutes so far. Will she be riding with me to Edgewood? She will. Ok, State street to Edgewood, 1 person. Waiting time at Edgewood will be, and I quoted the amount per minute.
The cop said ok, and talked to the girl for a while. They came back and she had the girl get in the back seat of the cab. The cop said that the girl had no money, so we would all go to Edgewood where the girl would write me a check. Would $35.00 cover it all? Sure, that will be enough. Off we went. We got to Edgewood and the girl accompanied by the 2 cops went into the first dorm on the left (I can't recall how to spell Doreachi), it took about 10 minutes more and the cop returned and gave me a check for $35.00. The check was good, it didn't bounce.
Every time I've thought about it, it amazes me how expensive it was for that moron who bailed out of the cab. He probably never got any from that girl again, and she was pretty nice. The jeans were at least $15.00, and the skin off the palm of his hand, priceless. What an idiot.