Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Another First Weekend of the Month
October 1, marked the first Friday of the month, but it wasn’t really a great night. Most people went short distances, but tipped well. I ended up booking $240.00, but had nearly $70.00 in tips, so for me it was a good night. Even though I had a lot of bar runs, there were no problems. Saturday was slow, and the only way that I had a decent night, was by driving Rachel Stone to the dance for the mentally challenged, and then sitting in the East when she was scheduled to be picked up, in order to get a double run for over $30.00.
During the interim, I drove a philosophy professor, who was lecturing at the Willamette University Philosophy conference, over the weekend. He was an associate professor at Notre Dame University, where he was working on his Phd., but he didn’t give me a dime tip, when he paid with a credit card, after he shook my hand. He had a Masters of Divinity, besides working on his Phd, so we had a great conversation on the drive over about our similar paths.
The weather was beautiful on both days, and it was a pleasure to be driving around the city, but that was part of the problem. Why take a taxi, when you can enjoy the sunshine by walking, riding your bike or skateboarding, and the skateboarders keep getting older. Around 8:00 PM I got a call for the hospital psychiatric unit, where I picked up a man who appeared to be in his 50’s with wild hair and a scraggly beard, dressed in a bright Hawaiian shirt, open at the chest with gold chains and white pants. He was wearing sunglasses, even though it was dusk, and handed me a signed hospital voucher with his destination on it.
My passenger, whose name was Ed Rinkley, began talking immediately, as I tried to record the destination and call it in on the radio. Once we got underway, I began to listen to his words, that flowed out of his mouth in torrential floods alternating between a monotonous monotone, and occasional emotional inflections, that were oblivious to whether or not I was listening.
“Sometimes a hero or savior appears in history at exactly the right time to save the world from its downward spiral into oblivion,” my passenger explained and then continued. “However, as is often the case, the hero is unrecognized by the world that he is saving. Look at what happened to Buddha, Dionysus, Horus, Jesus Christ, Krishna, Mohammed, Mithra and Osiris, and now it’s happening to me. Do you understand what I’m saying?” He emotionally articulated his story, or at least what he believed to be his story.
“Listen buddy,” he said as he turned towards me,” I gotta take a piss really bad, but I can just go in my pants if you don’t want to stop.” I immediately pulled into a an Arco gas station that we were passing and let my passenger get out. The last time a passenger urinated in my cab, it took me over an hour to clean it up and the hospital would freak out if I charged them the $40.00 cleaning fee.
When Mr. Rinkley got back in the cab he began talking again, about how the government was funding experiments on homeless people, who were being captured and put in special internment camps, where Nazi doctors, who were descendents of Hitler’s henchmen in the death camps. The Nazi’s really won WWII he said, the whole defeat thing was really a ruse, since the European war was really won by the time that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The Nazi’s had perfected cloning and were cloning soldier who were fearless, and soon they completely swarmed over Europe, Russia and Africa and killed everyone and then took their place before the US and its allies ever arrived. So the Nazi’s actually sacrificed millions of its own to create this ruse, and now we are controlled by them without knowing it.
After I dropped him off I picked up a woman who was freaking out because of how fast the meter was clicking. Every time that it clicked a dime, she would explain, “my God that thing moves so fast that I’m going to have to pay a fortune by the time that we get there. Can’t you slow it down? I’m a poor woman who has to support her 5 children after her worthless husband ran out on her.”
When we arrived at her apartment, there were three little kids running up to the car, and she told them to get up to the apartment before she whipped them, as they ran away. The meter was at $12.30, but I told her to just give me $10.00. She only had $6.72 so I called it in as a partial no money.
I picked up a guy at the emergency room around Midnight who told me that he was part of covert activities in Viet Nam with the Special Forces, as a Green Beret. He said that he was a Master Sergeant, but when I asked him how long he was in the military for, he said 2 years. There is no way that someone could attain the rank of E-8 in Special forces in that short a time period, but I never contradict, correct or criticize a passenger, even if I know that they are a blatant liar, or express an opinion that is counter to my personal beliefs or even offend me.
During bar rush at 2:00 AM, I picked up a couple of guys at Copper John’s downtown, who were going to Bush park, somewhere they said, and would direct me. I asked them if they were runners since it fit the case scenario, even though they didn’t totally fit the profile.
“I’m a doctor and he’s a lawyer,” one of them told me, and then continued, “besides, we’re too drunk to run anywhere.” When I dropped them off, they gave me a $5.00 tip.
My last run of the night was out to Spirit Mountain, for a $70.00 flat rate. The guy was there, and I took a chance that he had the money, and he did. So I ended up booking $239.50 for the night, but only totaled $27.00 in tips.