Archive for June, 2011

23
Jun
11

Skippin To My Lou.

I only fucked with airport trips last night.  It wasn’t deliberate- it just so happened I had JFK trips to Bay Ridge (my favorite) and then to LaGuardia.  Then, seeing the line was hella small at LGA & with time to spare on my short-haul ticket, I took someone into the city and got back to JFK in time to go back into the city.

My last trip though, I decided to attempt a “Brooklyn-cide”.  What this means is you take the road that leads to a bridge (Delancey for Williamsburg, Canal for Manhattan, Chambers for Brooklyn for example) and don’t mind picking up a passenger from there.  Oddly enough, a good portion of those people actually hailing a cab from there DON’T go to Brooklyn nor Queens though…but usually empty cabs don’t entertain picking up passengers because they don’t wanna go out of their way.  I pick up a black dude with a Yankees cap on and he’s tellin me that he’s headin to Myrtle and Spencer.  Word.

I’m at a red light and this other chick that was a block away needs a cab.  The dude actually asks if she wants to share the cab with him and because the destinations were fairly close to each other (she ultimately ended up goin to Bushwick and Boerum), she hops in.  Only reason why she did from what I overheard was because the dude was by himself.  A bit sketch sure since I’d assume 97% of females wouldn’t have done this…but when you just wanna get home you do whatever you can.  They conversed with each other for a while but I knew he lost interest as soon as she started talkin about her boyfriend.  Talkin about how they’ve been together for 12 years, BUT SHE’S 21??  That don’t add up.  Ultimately she says that they’ve KNOWN each other for that long and had been goin out for about 6 years.  Whatever tho.

I drop her off and keep the meter running.  I don’t know why, but she wanted me to wait for her and after briefly being confused, the dude tells me to drive off.  I feel him on that one- sketch city all the way.  We converse about the chick saying that she wasn’t bad lookin but she was hella young.  I joke about those different color bracelets the elementary and junior high kids wear and how they’re definitely not “friendship bracelets”.  No, it’s a sex game.  Look up “The Snap Game” if you don’t believe me ha.

Somehow, we get to talkin about basketball because he discusses that his 16 year old son plays ball.  I know that cats who play ball mainly focus on their craft and don’t worry about chicks much because they tend to throw themselves at him.  One of my best friends’ brothers played college ball and he tells me that his little brother used to play in the NBA.  His name is Rafer Alston.

Me: Say word?  You lyin.
Him: Nah deadass, I’m his big brother (shows his ID saying he’s Ramar Alston).
Me:  Haaaa oh shit.  Dude was funny as hell in the league.
Him: Yeah, he just retired last year.
DK’s Brain: The hell you doin in a cab though?  You should be livin it up in a deluxe apartment in the sky.
Him: He’s a character for sure.

Apparently, there’s a backstory behind this.  Alston had been seeing a girl & House had an interest in her.  The two were mad cool.  House at a party ends up gettin the digits of Alston’s girl’s friend.  He never did anything with the number but one night at another party, House took a picture of Rafer with another chick and sent it to his girl’s friend.  Juvenille shit.  So I guess on the court that’s what the trash talkin was about…so that’s why Alston duffed him ha.

The more I know.  The fare was $14.70 and since the chick paid her $10 already, Alston’s bro gives me a $20 and asks for $10 back.  Very nice fare.  He was a hella chill dude, and I head back to the crib.  And so on.

22
Jun
11

ER-ring On The Side Of Caution.

After a much needed break, I went back to work last night.  Nothing special occurred…which was a good thing for me since I don’t like being put into the fire right away.  I’ll take this back to the same Saturday night from where that guy gave me the $107 though.

I just dropped off this Asian couple on Broadway and around 93rd street.  Lookin to turn off of it and head back down on Columbus, a black dude flags me down pretty hardcore and tells me to turn up the block so he can get his grandfather.  Alright that’s fine.  Then he mentions that he’s gonna take him to the emergency room.  Ummm…

I’m thinkin to myself why on earth would someone look for a CAB to be their ambulance?  I mean yeah, cabs are known to get their swerve on and the ilk but I ain’t got sirens.  Maybe he doesn’t trust 911 and the response system?  But then if that’s the case why would you spend money on a cab to get to the emergency room…unless it’s not entirely one?  I’m gettin paid waitin for this guy and his grandpops but I almost feel bad running the meter, even though that’s what you’re supposed to do (and the dude told me to do anyway).

He gets his grandpops in the cab and I roll down both of the windows in the back.  I did have the AC/defroster on because of the light rain and humidity…but since he was having difficulty breathing this is the route I had to take.  I’m goin to a hospital on 59th between Columbus and Amsterdam (the New York Hospital I think) and I’m drivin faster than I’m normally accustomed to.  I didn’t wanna take any chances because when you’re tellin me you gotta go to the ER…it must be serious.  Even around the area of Lincoln Center where a ton of cars congregate, I don’t know how I did it but I was able to avoid the cars and make all the lights.  On a Saturday night at 10pm this almost never happens, especially with a plethora of people and empty cabs essentially blocking half of the street.  The old man wasn’t wheezing or anything but still.  We get there fairly quickly and the old dude gives me a $100.  For a brief second I didn’t even wanna take the money because you can’t put a price tag on life…but whatever, he wanted back $80 and I gave it to him.  The fare was $9.50.  I hope everything turned out to be alright with them both.

And so on.

14
Jun
11

Donation.

I drop these broads off at the Chelsea Hotel.  Now I for one ain’t a stickler for hotel parties because I don’t consider myself a “socialite”.  I’m hella low-key, I’d rather go to a warehouse party or a bar.  If a place has a dress code, it typically ain’t shit.  To me at least.

I wait because these people are helping this drunk as a skunk dumb fuck get in the cab.  I always hate that because it ain’t gonna end well.  These people actually are unlikely to puke because they’ve drank so much to the point of passing out, not because their stomachs can’t handle it.  People who typically puke have been mixin drinks all night (clear liquor with dark liquor or been drinking fruity shit).  But I digress.  This moron keeps lookin at me when I ask him twice where he wants to go.

Guy: Umm.
DK’s Brain: There’s no street named Umm.
Me: (Italian Hand Gestures)
Guy: Umm.
Guy: Spring and West Broadway.

Yo, if you can’t remember the address to your own intersection you need an immediate detox dawg.  My fear is that he’s gonna pass out and then I’m gonna have to scream “SIR” a good 4-5x before knockin on somethin.  Then they’ll do the “oh oh OH wha WHA so sorry schumbububh how much?” schlep.  If they pay with credit card, it’s like watchin a grandmother at the Apple Store tryin to figure out sending an email for the first time.  Shit is ugly.  The ride anyhow was relatively quick and the fare comes out to $7.50.  He pays me $8…or so he thinks (and honestly I had thought too) then sees me count it.  When I finish counting and tell him it’s all good, he leaves.

Little did he know, 7 of the bills were $1.  One of them though..was the old $100 bill.  I sorta noticed it, I’m not gonna front…but I had to do a double take (when he got out the cab of course) & low and behold STRAIGHT CASH HOMIE.  Usually I would feel bad but two things were in play.  One, his intent was to only tip me 50 cents.  Two, I didn’t work the previous week so I had to make up for my weekly payments…so this unexpected $107 fare was needed.  Oh yeah, and I’m goin on vacation tomorrow too.  Hell, even my dad agreed that I did the right thing by not tellin him that he gave me the $100 because he woulda been too drunk to appreciate me handing him back the money.

I believe in karma.  Maybe this was good karma to me or maybe not because of my intentions, we’ll have to wait and see.  But fuck it, the gods let me be great this instance.  And that’s why even though I do complain about the bad tippers…it can even itself out in a HURRY.  And so on.

06
Jun
11

Breakdown.

Being a medallion owner definitely has its perks.  I call my own shots in regards to the hours I work- hence controlling the income that flows into the business on a weekly basis.  I don’t have to worry about what car I have to drive daily and having to worry about how a certain car is gonna handle itself on the road.  Let’s face it, the cars from those garages you never know what you’re gonna get from them.  However, you know accidents and car problems are gonna rear their ugly heads inevitably when you are expected to have a car for a five-year duration (6 in the case of my VW Jetta Sportswagen because it’s a diesel-fuel clean car).

We purchased the aforementioned VW back in November 2010 and even though it had to go in the garage during the medallion transfer (where I went from being a driver to an owner/driver), we have still put just under 36,000 miles on it in an 8 month span.  To put this all into perspective- the Toyota Sienna minivan I used to drive ended up with well over 300,000 miles put on it & that was over five years.  I don’t fuck with American cars because usually imports are far superior in durability and besides, I don’t buy into the whole nationalistic bullshit.

People who bitch about the lack of space in the back of my cab don’t realize that we had no idea at the time how small it would be with the partition setup.  We chose it over the regular Jetta because not only would we be getting a 2011 model as opposed to a 2010 model, but there was more trunk space for airport trips.  They have just approved of the Sportswagen around August of last year.  Also, unless you are the sole driver of your cab you MUST have a partition set up in your car with no exception.  That prevents any possibility of a lawsuit in case a driver who leases a cab of yours gets attacked by a crazy passenger per example.  Besides, in most cases you’re gonna be in the cab for no more than 20 minutes so shut the hell up.

Anyhow, we had our first heat wave of the season this past week.  I don’t believe that this was the cause of the coolant system screwing up- but all I know is that my partner was driving it on Thursday morning and noticed the coolant light flashing.  When it flashes according to the manual that means it needs to go to the shop immediately.  He dropped it back off to my house and explained the situation.  Apparently the antifreeze level dropped to empty & even though he had tried filling it up again, it kept leaking internally.  Not cool.  The car has been in the shop since Friday but we’re expected to get the cab back tomorrow or no later than Wednesday.

Of course, this is a double-edged sword.  Not having the cab this past weekend was devastating in regards to business.  Regardless of what happens, you’re still responsible for paying the bills (insurance and the medallion loan) so it’s very important that you don’t stay on the sidelines for too long.  This means that whenever I get the cab back, I’m gonna have to work harder than I otherwise would have to catch up.  In other words, I’ll be working every day until my vacation June 15-20th.  Then I’m gonna likely work another 7 straight days from the 21st-27th to make sure everything is up to par.  On the flip side of the equation this was a great weekend for my social life.  Normally working on weekends, I got to hang out with people I rarely see anymore due to my schedule.  It was some chill shit.

So yeah, that’s why I haven’t been updating.  And so on.