Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The most

The company is real picky about overloading these days, but it wasn't always that way. Years ago, the dispatcher would over load a cab, and the way that worked was you went to the address with 4 or 5 people in the cab who would agree to scrunch up, and ask the other folks if they wanted to scrunch or wait. They would usually, but not always, say they wanted to go now and they'd scrunch. Thus, most of us have personal records for most people in the cab. My records come in categories.

My record for most adults in a cab at one time was Perkins on U to the SAE house. The abbreviation for Perkins on University for the dispatch staff is P on U, I'm told. I went out there at about 4 am and the guys were all still drunk and they'd just gotten done pigging out after closing the bars at 2:30 am. One guy said when's the next cab coming? I said it would probably be me because not too many people were working at the moment. It was Sunday morning and most of the night guys check it in at 3:00 or so after the bar rush.

They'd planned on 2 cabs, 6 in one, and 7 in the other. We had bench seats in those days, 5 was a load, 6 was a heavy load, and 7 was a real heavy load, but dispatchers would do it back then. About the 3rd kid asked how many I'd take at once. I told him I didn't care, as many as wanted to go in this group. He looked at the kid behind him and said, "We can do this!!!" The other kid said, "Yeah!!!!!" With that they started piling in. All of them piled in. About a mile down the road the guys on the bottom started groaning and whining. The guys on the top were laughing their ass's off. When we got to the SAE house (Lake st. and the lake), they all piled out and paid me.

The most I ever had who weren't all in the same group came during the spring tournaments, the wrestling tournment to be precise. There were 2 groups of 5 at Jingles, if memory serves. It's not called Jingles anymore. Jingles O'Brian retired, I think. Anyhow, I pulled up front and they started arguing back and forth that group A called the cab, no group B called the cab, no group A, get the idea? So I asked if they wanted to scrunch, they said they did, and they piled in. 10 mom's and dad's of high school wrestlers who didn't have their spouse along with. You want to talk about a lot of giggling, and other little woopie kind of comments, they were all goosing each other until the first group got out at the Inn Towner. I wish everybody was that happy and fun to chauffer around.

The most I ever had in more than 2 groups was 3 groups of 3 but I don't recall the details.

The most the dispatcher ever gave me was 2 groups of 5 coming from the skirts to down town on a new years eve, the details I don't recall.

And finally (drum roll.....), the most I ever almost got caught with. 11 going from the Essen Haus to what is now Rams Head. It was warm weather, and the dodge diplomats usually had crank windows, so all the windows were cranked down. The last 2 laid across the rest of the people in the back seat and let their feet hang out the window. I'd gotten someone in the front seat to pay me durring the ride, so when we passed a cop going in the opposite direction in front of the Orphiem, the only thing I needed to do was get around the next corner on to Henry st., and get them out of the cab. I watched the cop make a U turn in the rear view window, and the cab driving gods were looking over me that night, the light at my end of the block was green. I whipped around the corner, jumped out the door, ran around the cab opening the doors and pulling people out. The cab was empty, the doors were closed, and the last guy was going through the door into the bar when the squad car pulled up behind me with his cherries on. The cop jumped out of the squad and rushed up to me, ticket book in hand, and demanded, "How many people did you have in that cab?"

"A few", I answered. He demanded that I tell him how many numerous times, and each time I told him I wasn't sure, a few was as specific as I'd be. I've never had a cop madder at me while driving cab. After about 10 minutes of yelling at me he finally gave up, got back in the squad, and pulled away. To my utter amazement, he didn't write me a ticket.

These days, per company policy, I only take as many as I have seat belts for, which is 4 passengers, 3 in the back, and 1 in the front. The old days were more fun, for a lot of reasons.

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