Monday, September 13, 2010

Knowing who your friends are

I want to thank an old friend who guided me in the direction of the opening chapter of the book. With the opening chapter to build on I think the material in this blog will be enough for a book. My initial thought was to make it the armed robbery, but thats dark material as they would say at Union Cab. The armed robbery is exciting, or at least I thought it was, but it's hard to build on, and I found that out when I started writing the book with that as a beginning.

I think I'm going to go for the happiest cab story. After all, few people realize that I pioneered cruising State Street and that plus the actual happiest cab story will fill out a first chapter nicely. Pioneered cruising? Yep, it were me. How did that go? I guess I can share that, I've got 15 minutes to spare.

When I first started driving nights, the dominant voices on the radio were The Hog, and Curley. Curley wanted to be everything The Hog was and more, and this particularly meant being rude, crude, and abusive over the radio, to the drivers. I resisted, and the usual retaliation came back. I'm the dispatcher, I control your income, you won't make any money, you'll quit! They were really proud of all the little tactics they employed in being unfair. Holding calls until some driver was on top of it or someone was past it for instance. Holding calls? Yes, refusing to put the call on the radio right away. Refusing to hear your bid was another favorite. What to do, I had to make some money.

It was always taken as illegal to drive up and down State Street looking for customers. In the old days nobody did it. I decided, what the hell, I'll do it until I get a ticket. In the beginning it was really great being the only cab on State Street around 10:00 pm. I well remember The Wombat once getting in my face for doing it. I also well remember keying the mike one night when it was slow, and telling Curley I'd booked $100.00 between 9:30 and 11:30 pm., when there was NOTHING on the board.

Now, many people cruise State Street. I've never heard of anybody getting a ticket for doing it. Technically there are ordinances that cover it and the cops could probably write a bunch of tickets, but they've never seemed inclined to start doing that.

Thanks David for influencing the start of the book. One of the best friends I or any other real cab driver will ever have, no matter how anything ever plays out. See, you never realize who your best friends really are.

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