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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Taxi 12

Hello readers of the Yellow Sage.

Thursday was a beautiful day.  High around fifty and clear skies, unlike the previous couple of weeks with overcast skies, rain, snow, and cold, cold, cold. Give me warm days, sunny skies, a clean beach, and keep the Pina Coladas coming.

Before being faced with college tuition, we used to take family vacations to the beach every year.  The first year we went to the Boca Raton Beach Club and Resort.  At the time, I was addicted to golf, so I would play eighteen holes each morning then join my wife and daughter at the pool or beach.

I had my best game of golf near the end of our stay.  I had just finished a round and decided to play nine more holes.  The starter had me join a group of three on the tenth tee.  The threesome consisted of two middle-age men and one’s nineteen year old son who turned out to be their precocious golf protege.  The two guys were his personal cheering squad.  I could tell by their clothes, expensive clubs, and Rolexes that these guys were wealthy, and I could tell by their attitude they didn’t want me intruding, but they had no choice.

I parred the first two holes.  The third hole was a par three, and I flubbed my tee shot–it just rolled a few feet.  Well the “guys” laughed their asses off and I don’t like to be laughed at, so I took out my wedge and laid the ball six inches from the hole and shot par.  They got noticeably quiet.

The next hole was a long par five, dogleg right with water and two bunkers in front.  All week long I never got on the green in less than four shots.  I hit a pretty decent tee shot.  For my second shot, I decided to go for broke so I took out my driver.  Usually when I hit a wood in the fairway I slice it, so I aimed far to the left of the fairway, swung, and the ball curved to the right and landed about ten feet from the hole.  They were flabbergasted, and I went to the green to wait for their silly asses.  I shot a birdie.  The kid must have been rattled because he shot an eight.  The other two Rolexes bogied.  I ended up with two over par for the round, and walked off laughing.  It doesn’t pay to laugh at Fast Eddie.

But this has nothing to do with driving a cab.

It was a normal day for business, not too slow or too busy, but I did get a couple of good vouchers.  The hospitals pay for patients who take a cab home.  My first voucher was for forty one bucks.  I picked up a guy at Methodist North and drove him nineteen miles to his home almost near the state line.  He had been a patient for four days and said he was going nuts staring at the same four walls.  “Well, I know you’ll be glad to get home,” I said.  “Yep.  Got a nice four-bedroom house I bought forty years ago,” he replied.  “I work sometimes for a man at his home, and my house is bigger than his.  But I can’t tell him that or he won’t pay me as much.”  When we arrived on his street, he had a little trouble at first finding his home, but he found it and we rolled onto the driveway.  I offered to help him to the door, but he declined so I waited for him to go inside.  Nice guy.

My other voucher was for thirty-one one dollars for picking up a woman at Methodist Midtown and driving her to Raleigh.  She was a sweet lady who looked to be in her eighties.  She rode in the front seat because the back seat makes her car sick.  Along the way she noticed my Tom Tom GPS speaking directions.  I said, “It’s a pretty amazing device.”  She replied with, “You know, the bible predicted that.”   “Oh?” I asked.  “Yes, the bible said people will get smarter,” she said.  “Well, you can’t argue with that,” I told her.  “I just can’t imagine the kind of brain that thinks up these things,” she said.  As we drove toward her home she told me that she and her husband used to own a carpet store, and one evening as her husband was leaving, someone shot him to death.  He was only fifty.  She said the police caught the guy and he was convicted but later released after only four years because of jail overcrowding.  I told her that just wasn’t right.  She said “God takes care of me, though.”  When we arrived, I helped her into the house where she lives alone.  I wished her good luck, and left thinking that I hoped she would be safe.

The next day was back to overcast sky and more cold, but a good day for business.

Among my trips was one to Mud Island where I picked up a man and a young woman.  I took them to the bank to withdraw some cash, then to the bail bondsman where she paid her bail, then dropped her off at the Criminal Justice Center, commonly referred to as “201” because its at 201 Poplar.  She was due in court.  I then took him back to his house  Total of twenty-six bucks and a five buck tip.   Never asked what she was charged with, but judging by her tattoos and pierced nose, it’s a safe bet it wasn’t insider trading..

You have to hustle to make any money driving a cab. I drove around town waiting for the magic “ding, ding, ding, trip available” on the computer.  I checked the computer and saw a trip available in zone 217 which is in Whitehaven, about eight miles form my position, so I raced out there and got the “ding.”  It was a woman and two little kids who needed a ride home from Walmart.  They had walked there without realizing how far it was.  After dropping them off, I got another “ding” to head to Southaven, MS to pick up a prescription at CVS Pharmacy at 55 Goodman Road.  Well, my Tom Tom said there was no 55 Goodman Road, and I went seven miles in the wrong direction.  I then selected Points of Interest on the Tom Tom and entered CVS.  Three appeared on the screen.  The first one was the wrong address.  The second was the charm, and I carried the prescription to a nursing home a few blocks away.

© 2010,  Eddie Tucker.  All rights reserved.

(Disclaimer:  The views expressed on this post are mine, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Yellow Cab, Checker Cab, or Premier Transportation Services.)

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