A Good Story

Tonight I had a trip that exemplified the kind of boring story that's fantastic to other cabbies:

"I pick up an incredibly drunk Hispanic man at Exotica around 7:45, and he wanted to go to Beaverton. "Nice," I think. Then we get there, and he only has a hundred and a twenty, and it's $36 on the meter. I can't change that this early in the night, so he goes up to get his friend. The friend offers me a $50, but then they decide that they want to go back to Columbia Blvd to get the first guy's truck. "Hell yeah," I think, and get on the freeway. Then no, it's 82nd & Columbia - even better. Then it's 82nd & Division. Ends up being $73 on the meter, no tip, but who even cares at that point? I gave them my card, but when they called back I was driving some douche who told me he was going to Tualatin, so I told them to call dispatch. Then the douche tells me to go to the Holiday Inn by the Airport, and we're at 82nd and Stark already, so it only ends up being a $18 with the tip."

This is almost a word-for-word account of what I told E. at the end of my shift after I bummed a cigarette from him (I have decided that a single cigarette at the end of a Saturday night shift is permissible - I know, it's a slippery slope). Mind you, neither of the Hispanic guys said much of anything or did anything crazy, and the Holiday Inn guy was also quite boring. Yet E. was rightly riveted, as this brief and unelaborate story covers almost all of the genres of shop-talk-at-the-garage stories: a good trip coming out of a place with a reputation for lousy ones, drunk people making unexplainable decisions, lots of money, not getting tipped, and a missed opportunity. This would have been the cabbie ur-story if one of the Hispanic guys had puked, the other had taken his pants off, and the guy who went to the Holiday Inn had run out of the cab without paying.


Blogger Joann said...

Some might call it luck, I call it timing. Getting that customer that pays or tips big at just the right time.

June 25, 2006 4:55 PM  
Blogger Crabbie said...

A lot of the reason I think I tend to get more trips like this is because I take more calls than other cabbies. Most people won't take orders at some addresses, but I'll check-out just about anything. "You never know what you're going to get" is a truism, but too many other drivers make less money than they could because they'd rather sit around trying to cherry-pick. The more I go with the flow and the less I try to force things, the more money I seem to make.

June 26, 2006 7:15 AM  

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