24
Apr
14

The Mailbag.

You had questions on twitter….I have answers.

1) What’s the strangest request you’ve gotten from a passenger?
As a cabbie, on occasion you (unknowingly) pick passengers up who need a ride to drop off contraband they are selling, then drop them back off at their original spot.

2) Who’s the most famous person to ride in your cab & did they tip well?
I dropped off some lady to the W-Times Square who was supposed to be on Good Day New York the following day to promote a book. Can’t remember her name- which goes to show the lack of famous people I have dealt with. 

3) Why do I never see your taxi when I am trying to find it while drunk in SoHo after work events?
Cause driving a cab is akin to a Choose Your Own Adventure novel…except you don’t really have a choice as to where your cab ride is gonna take you. 

4) Do you get a percentage of fares as pay + tip, or just tips, or base salary?
The driver keeps everything outside of tolls & the 50 cent MTA surcharge.

5) Most annoying fare you’ve ever taken? In regards to location/distance vs money earned. Was it worth it?
Very tough one but I would say picking up a group of 3 extremely drunk dudes that I picked up from the Upper East Side. Had the meter running. They told me to shut it off and that they’d pay $35 for me to take them to Brooklyn.  My dumbass didn’t realize they said Avenue U though. So not only did I screw myself out of at least $15 but they puked inside of my cab. They only paid the $35 as well. It was my 2nd year on the job and that is a mistake I will never make again.

6) You ever have a couple try to have sex in the back?
No. You’ll have some couples have intense makeout sessions but I think because I keep my cab as fresh as possible on the inside that they are less likely to get frisky like that. If I were driving a Crown Victoria from a garage though, I am sure I would have seen it already.

7) Most obnoxious fare? Group of really drunk girls, non-English speaking tourists, snobby hipsters…
In general- I would say your Friday night/Saturday night LES (Lower East Side) crowd.

8) Do Taxi drivers get in accidents often?
No more than your regular drivers do in my opinion. It just appears to be heightened because taxi drivers log many more miles in a year than your average driver plus the media highlights them also. Accidents are generally mild though like fender-benders.  Accidents like the one I incurred in October are the exception rather than the rule, tho.

9) Do you share the cab with other drivers? Are you responsible for deductible if you put in claim for fender bender?
Yes I have a family friend who drives the cab during the day.  In regards to insurance claims, no. 

10) How easy is it to spot tourists? Do you charge tourists more?
Usually by how they try to hail a cab. If they look awkward doing it you know they are a tourist. Also depends on the location. Most likely you’re gonna pick up tourists around Times Square. And no tourists are charged the same as everyone else. Just don’t expect them to tip as much, if at all, though.

And so on.

02
Mar
14

Purdy Fuckin Hammered.

That wasn’t a typo by the way..as you’ll find out soon enough.

I get a fare to Park Slope around 4th avenue and my previous guy makes me drop him off around Dean St.  No problem with that, even with him being a part of the $1 Tip Nation.  So I go down 4th moreso to get back to 3rd avenue since the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan is shut down. I see a dude hailing a cab with 3 other chicks but he has one leaning on him like she needed to pass out/throw up…so nope. I wind up seeing some hispanic dude hailing and I say fuck it fine…lemme pick him up.

Him: I’m goin to 1722 Puajfbady street ya heard?
Me: What?
Him: I’m goin to 1615 Pasufvbs street
Me: Again?
Him: 17. 22. Purdy P-U-R-D-Y Street. In Da Bronx. Ya Heard?
Me: Fine.
Him: How much?
(First mistake)
Me: no less than $40. It’s on the meter though.
Him: (counts money): I got $23.
Me: Hell nah it’s not gonna happen.
Him: Please sir I need to get home I’m fucked up.
Me: Nah. There’s a cab spot right there and you could holla at them.
Him: Look…I got (counts his singles) $11 on me.
Me: Nah.
Him: Word to my mother I’ll pay you when I get home.
DK’s Brain: Word to Casey Anthony you won’t.
Me: I don’t know who the fuck you are.
Him: I need to get homeeee (sorta whiny)
Me: Which is cool but you don’t got the money for me…so 2 choices. You get out..or I call the cops.
Him: C’mon mannn I gotta get home.
Me: Aight then (police call initiated).

I figured he wasn’t gonna take me seriously so I had to handle my biz. Plus the partition was closed so I was fine, just in case a Bronx cat tried to step at me sideways (after checking the map it was Parkchester which is actually an okay part).

(post police call) now mind you they asked me about his description. A spanish dude rockin a red cap, black jacket and black jeans (and he actually tells me the black jacket & jeans he was wearing too…which shows how fucked up he is).

Him: Yo that’s some foul shit..how I open this door??
Me: (points)
Him: Yo suck my dick nigga!  SUCK MY WHOLE DICK NIGGA! YA HEARD??
Me: Nah I’ll pass on that.
Him: Yo you wanna fight nigga? Let’s go! You wanna fight??
Me: Umm nah, that’s all you bro.
Him: Suck my whole dick nigga ya heard? YA HEARD? (slams door)

The amount of smart-alec remarks I had would’ve been epic.  Such as:
1) Just the tip or nah? (would make me sound gay tho)
2) Are you promoting yourself as being gay, no Jason Collins?
3) Your whole dick…aka 2 inch prick (again would make me sound gay)
4) Wepa!

There’s probably more but having the itis and not feeling like wasting energy on a Grade A Jackass..why bother? He ultimately got out. I ultimately continued to dominate.  And so on.

09
Jan
14

Showdown on the FDR Drive.

As yall may know by now, New Years’ Eve is by far the most hectic night of the year for cab drivers. It is pretty much all hands on deck from 8p-8a.  You have people hailing cabs from places you’d never expect & you might not even have to work in Manhattan. For instance, I spent a good hour working in the cabbie wasteland of the Bronx taking fares that I otherwise would never do…and truth be told had I not gone off-duty I might’ve spent another hour or 2. But people in the Bronx generally pay exact fare…hence it is a cabbie wasteland.  I digress however.

I dropped off some bitch I picked up by Lavo. Man was she annoying, she made me pull over at one point where she essentially dry heaved out of my cab and then said sorry about 29173 times. After her 4th time saying sorry I screamed at her telling her that it was fine; in response she began crying and continued to apologize.  She cited that it was her first time ever throwing up.  At times like this I wish I had award ribbons. I thought that I’d be taking her to the Waterside apartments by 23rd and FDR but she just told me to go straight & drop her (a member of the $1 Tip Nation) off on the corner.  I do so and immediately I see two dudes on my driver’s side and two chicks on the sidewalk side wait for her to get out.  One of the dudes (whom I’d later find out is a DJ) asked me if they could take the cab and I said that’s fine, but you gotta wait for this girl to get out.  I then realized that the chicks weren’t with him and that they’d be ready to hop the cab & steal it.  Finally in her drunken stupor she gets out on the sidewalk side, the DJ’s boy gets in on one side while the other 2 chicks get in on the other.  Here we go.

I was going wherever the DJ wanted to- he told me to park by the gas station as he was going to put his equipment in and we’d be out.  I make a U-Turn and head that way.  At first everything is cool- everyone is cordial and whatnot. That is of course, until the DJ puts his equipment in the cab. Then the 2 chicks that had hopped in are wondering what’s going on.  The DJ’s boy tells them that they’re heading out to Brooklyn (Bay Ridge)…the chicks though were staying within Manhattan.  I knew the situation was about to deteriorate rapidly but in situations like these I am powerless because who knows what the passengers of whomever I kick out will do to ME. The DJ is trying to tell me to get them out of the cab which is what I really wanted to do anyway but again, I couldn’t do shit.  Suddenly one of the chicks gets into (insert whatever ratchet reality TV show here) mode and starts screaming that she’s not gettin out of the cab. 
“I’M NOT LEAVING I AIN’T GETTIN OUT NAH NAH NAH FUCK THAT”
Oh boy. Her other friend tells me about how her husband is waiting for her at home.  This is none my problem.  The DJ is the coolest customer of the bunch saying that if they really want the cab he’ll take his stuff out…but his boy now is having none of it because of the hoodrat beginning to act disrespectful.  She threatens to call her brother who is a police officer and to bring his cops over to the scene.

All over a cab?  Seriously?  I understand it is freezing out here and finding a cab is rough but c’mon now.

The plot thickens as this dude who knows the two chicks comes over and attempts to diffuse the situation.  He also knows the DJ.  Welp. He paid for them to come to the party and to be up on stage with them but apparently the one who is actin the fool was painting her toenails BY THE BOOTH earlier in the night and in general wasn’t even acting right.  No wonder this is all coming full circle and this standoff is taking as long as it is.  Mind you, the meter has been running the entire time and it is now up to $11.  The hoodrat continues poppin off shit saying suck my dick blah blah blah.  Loved one of the comebacks tho- homeboy said “lemme see your dick then”.  At this point he was damn near about to swing at her bc she was actin like a man.  In his words “raised by a single mother she told me any chick that wanna act like a man you treat em like such”.  Also loved the DJ’s response by closing the partition and saying “let the babies have their bottles”. 

FINALLY, the standoff ends with the mutual friend of everyone getting the chicks out and holding them back.  They are strugglin to get from his grasp..which is understandable as he’s gotta be like 6’4 and 220. The chick talking about how she needed to get home to see her husband then sends me an empty threat saying if I pull off that she’s gonna have the cops come after me.  Fuck that, I back out and peel out onto the FDR.  We finally have time to laugh about the entire situation but man that was exhausting as a spectator.  Couldn’t even enjoy bullshitting playing Candy Crush smh.

For the record, I am glad that I picked up the DJ and his people as opposed to those chicks bc I am certain they would’ve been cheapskates anyway.

And so on.

27
Oct
13

T-Bone Steaks.

Not the food.  Yall can stop salivating now.  

So this past Friday night, I just finished dropping a couple of passengers off in Greenpoint.  Up to this point it had been a relatively uneventful night (save for another story in which I shall share with you soon). Being that I was deep in Greenpoint and that it was 2 in the morning, it was time to take a quick break and grab a bite to eat at one of my favorite delis over there (Greenpoint Deli Market).  I’m cruising down Manhattan Avenue when suddenly I see some car decide to blow past a Stop Sign.

BAM!

You are on high alert when it comes to cars doing crazy shit and 95% of the time you can see well in advance.  Welcome to the 5% folks. I have the right of way the entire time, yet for some reason whether he didn’t see me or he felt like he could just go through, he did it. Of course your first reaction when you’re about to crash is that you tense up and brace yourself for the worst.  

In one of the odder circumstances I’ve ever seen, after the crash occurred and I was able to get my bearings…the people whom blew past the stop sign didn’t even bother to come up to talk to me and ask if I was okay.  In just about any accident, no matter the severity, you’d figure both parties would get up and talk amongst each other.  Nope…no such thing here.  I even walked up and asked if everything was okay; only to be ignored.  Okay fine.  Time to simply take pictures, call the cops to file the police report and go from there.  The driver of the other vehicle after a good 10-15 minutes finally decides to talk to me and say that he stopped, looked both ways and proceeded to go…insinuating that i was speeding.  Nah bro, you are full of shit.

Strangest aspect of it all was that the dude had 4 other people in the car with him…yet only one person stayed with him to be a witness to the accident.  The other 3 people with him walked home.  SHADY.  Lord knows if he was even driving sober. Unlikely if you’re gonna do something as dumb as blow past a stop sign on a 2-way street. Thank God it was late or else it may have potentially been worse.  Cops came, filed the police report and it was a wrap.  

In my job you typically will have some minor scrapes to the car or fender-benders.  You don’t anticipate accidents like these even tho you know it’s one of the highest-risk jobs in the nation.  Yeah my cab is fucked up and I’ll be out of commission & cash for a few days…but that’s okay.  Being alive and healthy supersedes all.

And so on.

17
Jan
13

A Bronx Tale.

Sorry for the wait…I hadn’t felt like blogging…plus I have tried extra hard to keep my tales as unentertaining as possible.  It comes with experience.  Don’t get mad yo.  But hey, every now and then some shit like this will happen:

A Friday night in December, my night has been chill up to this point.  Almost too chill.  There’s a catch to everything, as you’ve been taught to think about.  I wasn’t buying it and 99% of the time that I go across 13rh street from 2nd avenue & make the left on 3rd avenue, there is no one waiting at Bar None.  I love Bar None as my personal bar but picking people up there can be a hot mess.  This dude hails me down so I figure why not.  He tells me he needs the cab but to wait a minute.  Aight cool, I’m expecting that he’s just waiting for his friends to come through and hop in with him.

NO.

I see that 3 people are trying to carry one of their female friends up (she’d been puking I’m sure) and trying to drag her into my cab.  So I speed off because I don’t have to take home anyone incapacitated in my cab.  Or at least tried to.  The dude though opened one of my doors (since I wasn’t smart enough to lock my doors after the fact) so I had to put the breaks on.  He immediately hops in…then to add insult to injury, FIVE of them hop in my cab and he is barking at me to take them all to the Bronx.  I am beyond livid barking back at him.  He’s not giving in and neither am I.  I didn’t want to take 5 NOR did I want a drunk passenger in my cab.  He said she could throw up on his jacket he didn’t care.  Granted, I’m not getting Catfished…but cot damn man.  Anyhow…

I’m speeding towards the BX and I am not comfortable with any of this.  It was the most awkward situation because there was still hella tension in the cab.  Going up to Grand Concourse is a journey, especially north of Yankee Stadium.  So I drop off the hella drunk chick off.  She surprisingly didn’t puke or anything.  The dude that argued with me paid up and actually tipped 25%.  Whilst he was paying, I decided to make peace with him & that was the first thing on his mind as well.  Nothing was personal, we were both looking out for each other’s best interests.  He wanted to take the girl home by any means (which I totally understand) but for me I told him I didn’t want to compromise my business not only by illegally having 5 in my cab, but a sick passenger fucks up the night.  To be fair, it’s not often that two brothas can quell peace in such a manner and I’m glad we did.

He helps drop her off with some of their other female friends…but out of nowhere, this dude runs up behind him and jumps him.  Punches him from behind which drops him and kicks him a little bit before the dude recovers.  The dude that jumps him scurries off.  I am NOT digging this, as I have someone up front whom I also gotta drop off.  I wanted to get out of that bitch in 2.2 seconds but this chick really wants to call the police in this situation.  Quite frankly, I hear ya but nothing is gonna happen in that kinda situation.  The dude runs up to the cab and tells me to take her home (which is my initial reaction anyway, as I don’t trust the Bronx one iota)…but the chick is being stubborn and wants to wait for the cops to come.  A back and forth of “I’M AIGHT I’M AIGHT!!!” vs. “NO U NOTTTT THAT WAS FUCKED UP!” occurs. SMFH.  The cops come and really all they can do is take some information.

Ultimately I drop both of them off and even though I made a combined $75 (including tips) in that full hour…that was THE most stressful situation I can recall being in for 2012.  And so on.

18
Sep
12

Beg to DK. BEG!

Driving a cab, you are obvious prey.  These beggars know that you have money in your hand and they will make a concerted effort to try and coerce you to give them some of it.  It’s to the point where even though a piece of me feels bad, another piece knows that this can also be for show.  Hard to tell who is faking the funk these days versus the authentic ones.

The typical beggars aren’t too bad, I’ll just roll up my window and act hella oblivious.  The squeegee men though are a bit more aggressive, you gotta wave them off real quick or they’ll start working right away.  A few months ago I was driving down Nostrand Avenue and at a red light when suddenly I see a dude walk up to my car.  Then he starts wiping down my window and I tell him to stop, but he ain’t listening.  You’re in no-mans land now and you’re gonna feel like an ass if you don’t give them something…so begrugedly  I gave him a dollar.  But this one takes the cake:

Ending my shift, I’m at a Mobil station near my house and about to fill up my tank for the night.  I typically use my debit card to purchase gas, but for whatever reason it was telling me to see the attendant.  The attendant wasn’t there and I see some dude walking up with a bag (presumably on lunch break) so I’m thinking maybe it’s him?  Nope not at all.

Him: Are you Muslim?
Me: Um…nah why?
Him: You African?
Me: No.
Him: *shakes hand* how are you brother?
Me: Well…I’m good, do you work here or no?
Him: No, but is that your car right there (points to my cab)
Me: Yeah it is.
Him: I need a ride to Jersey…I need to get there because I am having surgery tomorrow
Me: Nah that’s not happening at all.
DK’s Brain: Are you outta your frickin mind bruh?  
Him: I only have sixty-three dollars.
(honestly that’s what I THINK he said but lord knows, no way I was taking any random fuck anywhere anyway…much less to Jersey and not for $63)
Him: I’m getting surgery on my pancreas tomorrow please brother can you help me?  I don’t know where I am and I need to get to Jersey.
Me: Umm.
DK’s Brain: Then how on Earth did you find this gas station and then actually find something to drink (presumably).  Plus, if you got surgery tomorrow, I wouldn’t be walking around like an imbecile.
Him: I’m from Nigeria.
DK’s Brain: No you ain’t “bruddah” you got the ill Indian accent AND that’s a cool story bro.
Him: Please brother I need about $8 to get to Jersey help me please, please. (sad puffy face)
(I am feeling bad at this point and he’s being uber-aggressive, pissing me the fuck off)

I pull out what I presume is a $1 bill and I’m about to hand it to him, but it actually is a $5 and in my head I go “noooo way am I giving this dude that much money”.  Now mind you, it’s one thing to beg for money but then to target a specific person and them try to use some type of race card thinking it’ll automatically give you pity…nothing agitates me more.  I don’t know you, B.  Plus, your whole “pancreas surgery” thing sounds like a bunch of BS.  How on earth are you standing, much less walking around?  I pull back and he looks upset and I literally tell him “nah that’s too much”.  So I give him a $1.  He reluctantly takes it and goes “please, brotha please help?”  I tell him that this is all I will do and best of luck to you.  He says nothing and walks off somewhere.  Who knows?  Literally just disappeared from my view.

Welcome to…the Twilight Zone.  And so on.

01
Sep
12

DK’s Rare Geography Fail.

As the self-proclaimed “Best Cab Driver in the World”, I take pride in knowing that I am getting someone to their destination as quickly & efficiently as possible.  But man…I tried to outsmart my GPS on this one and that is never a good idea.

Last night was a fairly slow night (particularly for a Friday) so I spent a majority of the time at JFK.  I picked up an Asian girl at Terminal 4 and she asked me if I had GPS to take her to her location out in Rego Park.  I did, so I typed the address onto my iPhone (like I always do these days when I’m not 100% sure where I’m going) and took off.  I trust my iPhone GPS as much if not more than my regular Garmin one but there are times in which I feel like the GPS takes a longer route…so thinking I knew my way better, I got out an exit early.

NOT A GOOD MOVE DK.  I ended up going north of my destination as opposed to south so there goes U-Turn #1.  I wasn’t far at all from where I had to go, but why I did that was beyond me.  My GPS told me to get out at Woodhaven Blvd but I got out at Queens Blvd because she did say she was behind Queens Center Mall.  She actually wasn’t though but I thought getting off at Queens Blvd would get me closer.  FOR WHATEVER REASON.  Maybe I spent a few seconds too long smelling fumes that fucked with my head, I dunno.

I rectify the situation though and I’m on Woodhaven.  It tells me to not stay there too long and to make a U-Turn at Eliot Avenue.  Alright cool, make the U-Turn, make a quick right and then you’re basically there.  What does DK do?  Makes the U-Turn and misses the avenue that he was supposed to turn on.  Now to be fair, my GPS told me I was supposed to make the U-Turn sooner…but you can’t make it from there.  Hence the confusion.  But damn it, as a former Geography Bee champion I should be able to read a map!

“U missed de avenue”
AGHHHHH.

Lemme make this U-Turn and get back to making that U-Turn.  Makes sense?  No?  Yeah that’s what I thought.  It’s bad enough when you get lost somewhere but it’s even more embarrassing when you’re lost but you know how close you are to where you’re actually supposed to be.  I think what had me even more flustered though was that I KNEW I wasn’t lost, but in fact driving incompetent in my own borough.  Not in Las Vegas or in Dallas or in Shanghai…but in QUEENS!  DAMN IT DK GET IT TOGETHER!

Alright, so in take 2 in fear of fucking up again, I actually make a left instead of a U-Turn.  FAIL AGAIN!  Now I have to go around to 63rd road, make a left, make another left 2 lights later, make a right and then another right.  WHAT IN GOD’S NAME AM I DOING?  Man, if this chick had any sense of direction I would’ve been chewed and spat out.  She didn’t really though.  I still feel bad but it’s primarily because if I just knew my role, I would’ve dropped her off already and been on my way back to JFK.  Now I’m just wasting time doing my faux Carmen SanDiego bullshit.  After my forearms worked themselves out more than they should have (turning the wheel you potential sickos), I got to the house.  She tipped me $3.33.  I honestly deserved $0.00 ha.  My personal pride took a hit.

The Struggle Part 2: My next fare finally took me into the city…and this chick gave me $52.
Her- The fare’s $45 right?
Me- Yep.  I had to take a toll though (because she was staying at 45th street btw 5th and 6th.  Took the Midtown Tunnel).
Her- Oh…well I was gonna give you a $7 tip but this is all I have cash-wise.
Me- I see.  Okay then.
DK’s Brain (mocking voice)- Oh…well I was gonna be cheap but at least now I can be cheaper HOLLA!
Her- Well thank you.
Me- (looks more defeated than in a best abs competition).

And so on.




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