Rehab Cab.

I generally don’t work Wednesday nights. This past one was fairly slow overall with the combination of bad weather and people not being as out & about as they are on other nights. Every now and then you get swindled…but you actually feel much worse for them than you feel for yourself.

I was contemplating heading into Williamsburg to go to my favorite bodega before ending my shift. On Spring Street I see a dude give me a thumbs up asking me if I was free and I tell him that I am. Suddenly he gets in the cab and is slurring his words.

Me: Where?
Him: Queenhs Parsons Boulevard. Queenhs
Me: Where on Parsons Boulevard??
Him: Parsons and Cornerstone.
Me: Never heard of that before…WHERE YOU GOING?
Him: Parsons

I let him smoke his cigarette in the cab (albeit with the windows rolled down) and then he immediately passes out. I’m hella worried because the first thing on my mind is that he’s gonna be one of those dudes I’m gonna have to call the police/EMTs on to wake his ass up. I already had a bad feeling he was gonna either attempt jumping the cab or give me some sob story about how he didn’t have any money on him. When I get off at the exit off the highway I pull up to an empty spot & make sure that he is responsive. By now yall know my style…I’m not touching a passenger to wake em up for legal reasons. After shouting at him for a good 10 minutes to wake his ass up…he finally responds and attempts to pay. It looked like it was gonna be all good…except that when he went to go swipe his credit card it wasn’t a credit card. It was a goddamn EBT Benefits Card.


He’s checking throughout his bag and can’t find a wallet or credit card. My immediate reaction is to be pissed that I got swindled but I had an odd feeling about this kid. He looked like he was in major trouble. Suddenly he snapped out of his stupor and became apologetic about not having the money to pay. Don’t know (nor care in the long term) if this was a tactic or not…but when you begin swearing to your mother et al fine I’ll believe it. He handed me 3 $1 bills which I refused to take…but he was adamant about me taking. I did. He even had me check his bag…in which all he had was an Arizona Iced Tea and a hospital band from a previous visit. No wallet, nothing. Actually, the exit of the Grand Central was close to where he needed to go so after shutting off the meter I took him to his place. He even wanted me to take his number and vowed that he would pay me back…but I really had no interest in paying him back. I did appease him by taking his number down though and got him out of the cab back to his destination. Thanks to the detective work of my girlfriend…she found out the place that I dropped him off at was a substance abuse rehabilitation center. HOOOO BOY THAT EXPLAINS EVERYTHING.

And so on.


Law Of Averages.

Here’s the thing…when you work in a service industry after a while, the things that used to phase you no longer do. That can explain the reason why I haven’t blogged as much as I used to. That’s the way shit works. With that being said though…last night at work I had a classic example of just how volatile the industry can be.

In 2015, the taxi industry has been slow. With the advancement of Uber and green cabs in the boros outside of Manhattan, business isn’t thriving as much as it used to. Also, people’s salaries are remaining stagnant whilst they are working longer hours…or they are living off of their parents’ allowance. All love, I can’t judge. But anyway.

I was driving down Eastern Parkway and reached the corner of Franklin Avenue when I saw this black kid hailing for a cab. He was vigorously shaking his hand hailing…which I always find suspect and I assumed he was looking for a livery cab; but I stopped for him. To be fair, I questioned my move cause I was seeking to go back to JFK…but I was also in need of money. The kid tells me where he needs to go and I take him in that direction (Flatbush and Tilden he says). I take Bedford straight down…then he tells me to make a left on Erasmus Street (a small street) then make another turn to drop him off on Tilden. When the fare comes up and he asks me how much it’ll cost, I tell him that it’ll be $9.80. All of a sudden, he decides he needs to get out and tells me to suck his dick and closes my door, running off laughing. All I could do was smirk and laugh at the L i took. Mainly cause I knew it was a bad idea to pick him up. Not to stereotype on my own people…but I was a victim of circumstance there. Only the 2nd time in my career that a fellow black man’s done that to me..but it still stings. This time, it’s not cause of how much the fare was…but because of the time wasted in doing so. I could have went to the airport and chilled instead of wasting time on a knucklehead. But hey, it’s a part of the business and if it helps him sleep better at night that he avoided paying $9.80 that he can use to buy a 50 piece Chicken McNuggets meal at McDonalds…then God Bless.

Anyway…my night goes on and it’s not the most encouraging but it is okay. I return to Lavo Lounge (58th street between Madison & Park Avenues) and this Italian couple (or so I thought) hails me down. After they talked and the dude insisted on taking her number…he asks me how much the fare to Brooklyn will be. I tell him it’ll be on the meter. He just hands me a $100 bill & tells me to make sure I get her home safe. Of course I will…I’m not trying to sleep with any fishes. The chick tells me that she wants the change back so just to play the safe side…I start the meter (I had no intentions on doing so tbh). Within 2 minutes, this broad kicks her shoes off and lays out on my seats in the back like it’s a bed. The ride to Bensonhurst doesn’t take long on a Sunday night…about 25 minutes. Waking her up was a chore. Blasting music, knocking on the partition, etc. I’m not touching her nor trying to shake her cause as a black man…yeah I won’t be a next Emmett Till…but it’s nothing but trouble. So I call the cops to bring assistance over to wake her ass up. They come within 10 minutes or so with EMTs and get her back inside to her house safely. The one thing that bugged me was them asking me if I rang on her house’s doorbell. Yeah..a black man ringing a doorbell in the neighborhood at 2am..brilliant idea NOT. But seriously why? I kept the $100 even though the fare wound up being $43.30

At the end of the day…even after being told to suck on a dick from a dude wearing skinny jeans that made him look like he had a masculine cameltoe most likely…I still end up on top. These are the breaks sometimes. And so on.


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.


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.


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. 
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.


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.


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.


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.


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.