Tool of the Trade

I've taken cabs here in Seattle each of the past two nights. Good guys both times - in each instance they knew I was from out of town and didn't drive me around. The guy tonight even took an effective and not very obvious shortcut to avoid baseball game traffic, even though it was a short trip. Talking shop with both of them, they were pretty amazed by how much on it my company is compared to theirs. Both drove for the largest cab company in Seattle (imaginatively enough, it's called "Yellow Cab"), and despite being in a bigger city and paying lower leases, make significantly less than I do.

And I don't even have a family to support back in South Asia.

That's really about it so far as Seattle cab insights go - when I end up riding in a cab by myself, the driver end I always end up just talking business, and that hasn't changed now that I'm out of town. No war stories, just money. The guys up here use the same MDT as we do, but the "soon-to-clear" function seems to have either been disabled, or isn't that important, or I've had dumb drivers.

Today a good friend of mine gave me a really nice switchblade. I'd post a picture, but didn't bring the USB phone to computer connector, so you'll have to wait. I was actually pretty psyched at first, as I'd been thinking/planning on getting a knife to have around for work. Now that I do have one, the whole idea has become apparent in all its macho boyishness - if there's ever a situation where the knife would maybe come in handy, it'll also likely be a situation where the other guy already has the drop on me anyway. It's like a gun - how would introducing a knife into the situation improve things at all?

Coincidentally, from our window at the 13 Coins while eating a 3 AM meal (would you call it breakfast?), my friends and I saw two extremely drunk kids who'd just stabbed a guy get the shit beat out of them. Well, not literally, but there was literal ass-kicking involved. And heads getting slammed against cars, etc. Believe me, these two kids got fucked up . Stumbled off with blood just pouring down their faces. Then we got to watch the guy who'd been stabbed bleed all over the place and get carted off by the paramedics. The sidewalk outside was just covered in three different people's blood.

Once outside and surveying the damage, I found my reaction instructive. My first reaction was to notice the very displeased looking Nigerian janitor leaning against the wall, and to feel an instant empathy for him. The second thought was that if I ever got stabbed, very few of my friends would react by immediately unleashing a furious and effective beat-down on the perpetrators. They'd certainly be helpful in terms of calling the cops and tending to me, but they wouldn't start slamming heads into doors and leaving the victims looking like the cover of an Andrew W.K. album. Which is kind of a shame, it would probably be useful to have some friends who can crack skulls when the situation calls for it. The sad fact of the matter is that I'm probably the hardest cat I hang with, and that's not an attempt to suggest that I'm some bad-ass. My ex-marine pal up here in Seattle definitely has my back in a fisticuffs kind of way, but my experimental musician friends in Portland? Not so much.

Also tonight at the pfestival I got to see a set by Soriah (above), who's an amazing singer, friend, fellow cab driver, and just plain hell of a nice guy. I'll be on his next album, which is both exciting for me and something I feel safe in divulging given that there are a number of other collaborators on there. Buy it when it drops, supposedly early winter of '07. I'll post a link when I'm in a wi-fi zone I can use and actually have my computer on me.


Blogger MJ06 said...

I know this is unrelated to the post but I can deffinatly see why you like Jazz so much especially for driving late at night. I listen to rock music mostly but how ever Jazz flows much better while driving especially late at night like you do.

September 10, 2006 5:00 PM  
Blogger Kate Chapman said...

Another unrelated comment:
Sorry I didn't realize you were here. I do keep meaning to call...

September 10, 2006 10:30 PM  
Blogger Crabbie said...

Jazz is kind of my fall-back option. I go there (KMHD) if nothing good's on KBOO, and if I have a CD player I'm usually listening to avant-garde or underground hip-hop, experimental electronic music, noise, or psychedalia (if I have a tape player then it's Beverly Hills Cop . I'm a huge jazz fan, but the radio station doesn't often play my kind of stuff, and Mingus, Blakey, and Coltrane don't lend themselves well to cab-driving when I've got the CD option.

KMHD does tend to have fantastic blues all Friday night, whereas KBOO's schedule is very weak. They also have some great downtempo shows every once in a while early in the morning.

I'll give you a call tomorrow/today (the 12th), Katie.

September 12, 2006 4:49 AM  

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