Taxi Tales From the Backseat
In and Out
It was a very nice day weather wise as I was sitting and resting for a minute at 6th and Market, heading outbound. When all of a sudden, the right rear passenger door of my cab opened, and a brunette haired lady walked in with a man following close behind her. The man was talking out-loud so fast I couldn't catch what it was he was saying. Before I could turn in my seat and begin to ask where it was they wanted to go, the lady kept walking in a half-crouch position and out the other side of the cab, with the man still following her and talking as he went. I sat there dumb-founded as the couple disappeared, leaving both doors wide open to the traffic of pedistrians and cars. She had obviously used the taxi as a temporary "get-away" from her husband, but it didn't work.
Things aren't always what they seem to be
I've always associated a certain perfume called "Shalimar" with very beautiful women. If you've ever had a whiff of the fragrance to delight your nose, you'd know what I mean. In ancient India it's called the "ode of love" for a very good reason. It has a very musky aroma that is very pleasing to the male nose; especially mine. Anyway, after years of smelling and identifying this perfume on pretty ladies, one day I was sitting at a red light, and the rear door opened and immediately the air was filled with the shalimar fragrance. I turned and expected to cast my eyes on a vision of loveliness, and my face soon turned to a frown when my eyes fell upon a woman who must've been at least 82 years old sitting where my vision was supposed to be.
Something that will last
One evening about 15 years ago, I picked up two guys and a young woman and drove them to Noe valley. When I got to their destination, and I read off the fare; "That'll be $4.00" One of the guys said; "Look, we don't have any money, but if you want, I can give you either this pocket radio, or you can go upstairs with lisa here, and;" His voice stopped as he saw me looking at "lisa." It was obvious what he meant about lisa. She was a small cute brunette, and my mind made a decision very quickly. "I think I'll take the radio, cause it'll last longer. Sorry lisa." He gave me the radio which I have to this day.
A slip of the lip
I always did look for opportunities in this business. As I usually did, I made it a point to pick up this beautiful secretary on Sacramento street every morning and take her to work. After about a week of getting her, I wouldn't charge her any fare. One day she invited me to her apartment. At the time I was married, but failed to mention this fact to her. Anyway, while I sat on a couch, she took a shower. When she returned, she came and sat beside me. Slowly rubbing her hands with some lotion, she reached over to me and grabbing one of my hands said: "Here, have your wife try some of this." Well, by not saying anything at all was her signal that I must've been married which was one of her "taboos" in life. I was on my way out the door before I knew what hit me. I never saw her after that. Embarrassment and guilt plays an awful game with the mind.
The John Wayne syndrome
This story has to do with being "wronged." John wayne in his last movie "The shootist" said that he would never be wronged, lied to, or laid a hand on." This tale begins with an episode of another driver who was constantly "stealing" my radio calls by lying of where he was to the dispatcher in order to get them. One day I figured that it was the last straw for this guy. Laying in wait for his number to be heard on the radio, I pounced. My cab's engine roared for the corner of carl and stanyan trip that he just checked in on. I was at 8th and market streets which was about two miles away. I must've been going at an average speed of 35 through the lower haight as I finally reached the address that the dispatcher had given to the "order thief." To my dismay, the passenger wasn't even at the address. I had a "NO-GO." Then to my surprise, the dispatcher told me over the radio that he wanted me to call him immediately. "Hey Joe." He began. "I don't know if it was your cab or what, but you'd better dummy-up your waybill or something 'cause two detectives from the police were just here at the garage, and they were hopping mad. They want to get their hands on the maniac they were chasing through the city streets passing buses and running stop signs, and all they got was two of the taxis three numbers."
My Favorite Joke
This woman goes into a lawyers office and says; "I've gotta divorce my husband." The lawyer says; "What grounds have you?" The woman answers; "About a quarter acre." The lawyer is getting a little angry. "Does he have a grudge?" "No, I think he's got a carport." The woman says. "Look." The lawyer says. "Does he beat you up?" The woman snaps back with, "No I get up before he does." "Why do you want a divorce?" The lawyer asks. "I just can't communicate with the guy." She says.
Crime doesn't Pay
I once dispatched for Veterans Cab company from 1972 to 1982. One afternoon I got a telephone call from one of the drivers that his cab was "stolen." After I found out where the theft occurred(turk and mason streets)and also found out that the driver had left the key in the ignition while he went on a break(which used to be a dismissal offense in the cab industry)I called the Police. Then about 15 minutes later, a voice I hadn't recognized came over the speaker; "Ah, excuse me;" the strange voice began. "Can you tell me how to get to the Mt Zion hospital?" I asked what cab number this was speaking, and the location of the cab. The anonymous driver told me he was going out turk street at franklin, and he identified the cab number that I knew had been taken earlier. After I directed him to the Mt zion, I notified the Police to "head-off" our "borrowed" cab adn the rest was history.
Where's my Spellchecker?
Seen over the "toilet" in the restroom at the Shell Gas station at 19th and Taraval in the city, was this sign; "Please don't put paper towels and napins in the toilet." Scribbled in red below that sign was: "What in the hell is a "napin?"