Thursday, March 5, 2009

March madness

It happens every spring. First there is wrestling, then hockey, then girls basket ball, then boys basketball. The spring tournments in Madison. Wrestling was last weekend, hockey starts today, and I should be biting the bullet and driving tonight, but I'm not, I'm sitting here goofing off, writing, and trying to figgure out how I'm going to beat the stock market.

March is a good time to get hurt real bad driving cab. How so? Drunk drivers. Why March? Well, all these bozo's from up norte come down to Madison to cheer for their favorite high school jocks, and get drunk, and basicly act out. Then after they get a good snoot full, they get in their car in a strange city full of one way streets and poof, they're going the wrong way on a one way street. It's not driving on the one way street that is the most dangerous part of all this, it's when they realize they're doing it and whip on to a side street. Imagine you're sitting at the intersection of a 2 way street and a one way street, the light changes, you start through the intersection, and some drunk moron coming down that one way street from the wrong direction t-bones you because there's on red light on that side of the intersection. Just such a moron almost got me at the intersection of Fairchild and W. Washington. Just as I'm entering the 200 block of W. Washington, this idiot comes flying past my drivers window, and goes off weaving down West Wash. Where did he come from? I knew where he came from, of course, but I never even saw him. How fast did he have to be going for me to not have seen him coming? It's not a comfortable thought, that collision would have been on the drivers side.

How many cars did I see last weekend driving the wrong way on a one way street? 5.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Is your pet peeve being told what route to take? Perhaps having someone fire up a cigarette. Someone using the cab as a phone booth and insisting you turn the cab radio down because it's interfering with their phone call?

I don't like being touched. Imagine some random member of the public reaching out and touching you, literally. Sound like fun? Passengers wonder why they're supposed to sit in the back seat on the passenger side, well it's polite. However, we have many impolite passengers. The most common circumstances of being touched by a passenger are sex and pure obnoxiousness, it's usually just something that will simply make your day, the actually dangerous times are pretty rare.

On Tuesday, I was picking up someone at Method One, a great ride, great money. No, you can't smoke in the cab, no you can't smoke in the cab after we clear the city limits, NO I'm not another cab driver, and no I don't care what other cab drivers have let you do in the past.

While we're at it, my name isn't Kansas. On occasion people call me that, thinking that's what they heard, when they asked me what my name was, and I'd taken this passenger to Method One once before in the past. This particular passenger wanted to sit in the front seat, so I allowed it, I didn't have a good reason to refuse. However this reaching out and running your fingers through my hair, is NOT appreciated. That is how the ride began.

I haven't been propositioned by a passenger in a while, and it doesn't happen very often, but it is one of the occupational hazards of the job. Ah, I'm very involved with my dog and he's very jealous thank you very much. (As a former smoker I'd NEVER consider getting involved with a smoker anyhow, it's the kiss of death for remaining a non smoker.) Am I like Ru Paul? Ah, no, absolutely not. Jesus, am I glad I get rid of this squirrel in 10 more minutes! And it went like that for the rest of the ride.

The upside of it is, I got a line on when this person goes, and as Chas would say, information is the name of the game on the day shift. I drive a few day shifts, I'll spend 4 or 5 months driving days this spring and summer. I got a line on another really good ride too, but otherwise, that shift sucked the fat off dead bears butts.

Upside? Yeah. The money for the ride is good enough, that I've got to simply ignore the rest of the BS. I will take that passenger again, many times.