Archive for August, 2011

29
Aug
11

Come on Irene.

Hurricane Irene wrecked havoc on my work schedule this weekend.  Even Friday night the streets weren’t bustling as much as they typically do and it had an ominous feeling to it.  While people were trying to take the media blitzing in stride, they also felt uneasy because they weren’t so sure whether to believe the hype or not.  Monarch Bloomberg didn’t wanna get shitted on by another mother nature fiasco and have people stuck on the rails/streets…so he completely shut down the MTA this weekend for the first time in history for anything weather-related.  I can’t blame him, even though this got a lot of New Yorkers upset.  This meant that cabbies would have a field day since we were the only method of transportation for those without cars or bikes.

Everything comes with a catch, however.

For one, the streets on Saturday were deserted.  I didn’t even bother going out on the streets that night but based on all the imagery, it appeared people were content in drinking their faces off at home.  Hell, I don’t know anyone who DIDN’T have some alcoholic beverage in hand.  Guess alcohol is now a requirement with any disaster kit.  On top of that, you now had livery/gypsy cabs and limos legally able to pick up street hails to accomodate people.  And then, you had zone pricing which worked in a unique way.  For each person to get in a cab, it was a $10 flat rate, and each additional zone you traveled through, you added $5.  The zones were Manhattan south of 60th street, north of 60th, and the 4 outer boros regardless of distance.  This would be more advantageous for some people than others.  You could technically hail a cab to Coney Island from Penn Station for the same price it would cost to go to Lincoln Center.

The zone pricing would be very advantageous during the weekdays…but since it was really only in effect on the weekend, and Sundays being the slowest day of the week for business it certainly wasn’t as solid as I anticipated.  With the airports closed, you had to drive into the city and the winds were whippin out there.  It felt worse Sunday than it did on Saturday and there were moments that I was a bit concerned about random objects possibly hitting me.  The tourists were out, but you know them…they love walkin around.  I wound up working from 4-6pm and picked up a mere three passengers:
1) Muberry & Kenmare to Kent & North 4th in BK- $15 each person= $30 (with $6 tip).
2) Church & Chambers to 9th ave & 30th street- $10 (with $2 tip).
3) 58th street btw Broadway & 7th ave to Battery Park City- $10 each person= $20 (with $5 tip).

Not a bad haul, but there were a ton of cabs trying to take advantage…but not enough people to take advantage of.  And then on top of that, my coolant light began flashing.  Really turned out that I had no coolant in the car…but I heeded that as a signal to call it a day anyway.  Since there still was a Tropical Storm Warning in effect while I was out there…I guess you can say I rode out my first ever storm.  And so on.

22
Aug
11

Brainfreeze.

Friday nights typically wear me out because that’s my “all hands on deck” day.  Saturday nights don’t get intense until around 10pm anyhow so I tend to start later.  This also means that you’ll have passengers who do much dumber things.  You bear with them and in most cases they don’t really have anything to apologize about.  As long as they catch it on time.  Like this chick.

I just dropped off these people over in Chelsea…where a chick rockin a blazer as bright pink as her lipstick was waiting for a cab.  Pleading that I was free, I nod yes and she clasps her hands like I’m a black Jesus statue.  In a rare 330am moment, she did NOT smell of alcohol at all and in fact still smelled like strawberries.  Who needs car freshener?  We’re headin to 74th and 1st and I’m gonna gun it down 8th avenue before cutting over at 59th street.  We make some small talk about how she can’t wait to go home & that she’s over going out on weekends.  I concur with that- they just don’t feel the same anymore…same old stumblin and bumblin shit.  Around 23rd street, she realizes that she cannot find the card she was gonna pay me with.

Her: oh my god oh my god oh my GOD!!
Me: What happened?
Her: Where is my card?? Don’t tell me I left it at the hotel bar?! Aghhhh FUCK stop the cab stop the cab!
DK’s Brain: Here we go.
Her (frantically searching): I don’t want you to think that I’m taking you for a ride, that is NOT the type of person I am at all.  I would never do that.  That’s why I’m looking for my card right now.
Me: I would hope not.  At least you’re making an honest effort.
DK’s Brain: Watch her be playin games man.
Her: I don’t want you to think that I want a free ride.  Man, and I was just talking about how cool you are and now you probably hate me…
Me: Umm…no why would I hate you?
DK’s Brain: $$$$
Her: FUCK!! HOW CAN I BE SOO STUPID-DAH??  We have to go back and get it I’m soooo sorry right now.
Me: I believe you, relax.
DK’s Brain: Yeah yo relax.
Her: Do you know where the Dream Hotel is by any chance?
Me: Nope.  (looks it up on my phone).  Nevermind yeah I do now.  Let’s do this shit.
Her: You better know because I don’t want YOU taking me for a ride getting lost.
Me: Don’t worry you’re good.
(In actuality I made one wrong turn because I thought it was between 9th and 10th avenues but it is between 8th and 9th avenue but no big deal).
Her: Okay, okay, okay…I’m gonna get out, do NOT leave me.  Besides, I really like you as my driver.
Me: I can’t just stay in front of the spot though, so I’m gonna pull off to the side.  I’ll wave at you when you get out.  The meter will still be running so don’t worry about anyone getting in.
DK’s Brain: DO NOT BLOW THIS.  She would probably blow you, though.
(She does the cheek-kiss thing.  I’ve never had a passenger kiss me before in any fashion).

As she gets out, this couple tries to get in even though I have my off-duty lights on.  The guy tries to front that the card is gone and there’s no way she’s gonna get it back.  One of the worst lies I’ve ever heard ha.  Sara (her name) isn’t that dumb nor was she even drunk so that wasn’t happening and I pull over to a hydrant and wait a few minutes.  Several people ask me if I’m free, which I’m clearly not but hey, like I said a while back, I’m one of the only cars in which I can actually post up outside a spot and actually have chicks come up to me wantin a ride.  Fuck your Maybach.

After waiting a few minutes, she emerges and initially she can’t find me.  I yell her name out and she finds me.  Flustered yet relieved, she gets in and we are off to the races.  I have my homegirl whom I’m supposed to take to the airport around 4ish so I’m in a bit of a rush…but this scenario actually helped me out in terms of killing time.  Besides, the meter was running the whole time.  Sara continues apologizing in which she has absolutely no reason to.  She promises a big tip and all that stuff.  We end up having a conversation, yet it was nothing special so I won’t post it on here.  I did find it funny though that she asked the EXACT SAME QUESTIONS in the EXACT SAME ORDER twice in a row ha (before coming back to the hotel and now heading home).  “Where do you live?” “I worked in Park Slope as a teacher for 4 years.” and there was something else I forget.

After the run-around and dropping her off at 74th and 2nd because she wants to get pizza, she pays.  $21.80 total.  $11 tip.  It pays to be patient sometimes.  And so on.

20
Aug
11

DK Back.

 

I didn’t know why this was…but I had my initial butterflies that I get when dropping off my first few passengers.  It sure didn’t help that I was driving in a friggin downpour when I had to drop off my first passenger from the airport.  She had it rough, staying in the city for the night and then heading back to LGA at 6am for an 845am flight.  Which isn’t even direct.  LGA-BWI-PIT it sounded like.  Sucks to be you.

I take some dude to Lenox Hill Hospital right afterwards.  It’s not a big deal except for the fact that he nearly severed his fingertip trying to get out of another cab just moments earlier and he was afraid that he was gonna pass out if he lost enough blood.  Wouldn’t you have a little more urgency ha?  At least he didn’t try to show me this shit nor the blood got in my cab.

One thing I’ll say about the rain is that it will expose those who are lazy with hygeine.  These chicks get in my cab and they are wet (the G-rated version)…but it smells like dog initially.  Fortunately the smell was fleeting but a bit of shampoo and/or hair spray would have went a long way.

Man.  I’ll tell you one thing about some women, they have NO shame airing out their laundry to each other.  Three blonde chicks heading uptown to 83rd and York just airing out some of their sexcapades and “hooking up”.  “Yeah, Jack, that guy I made out with at the bar.” “I had sex with Bobby and it was soooo lame.” “Sex with Jim was amazing, he’s away this weekend though.”  Oh ok.  It’s funny how these same women will try to play innocent but they got their lists down.  One of them was even talkin about how she has 48 hour boyfriends.  But why?  I’ll be lovey-dovey with them and be girlfriend material…then just say fuck it, leave em and go on.  Fuckin man-eater.  She had the quote of the night though:
“Always accept free drugs from strangers.  If someone gets in your cab and offers you drugs, take it.”

Except for the fact that I’m a black dude and much more likely to go to jail then you and these people are probably trying to kill me as opposed to sleep with you whoremonally charged chicks, sure.

“I have a thong vagina.”
“If it wasn’t for weed okay, half the music and TV shows you see now wouldn’t even be here okay?”
Man, artsy chicks have no shame either in their game.  What is a thong vagina anyway?  Any ladies wanna help me out here?
“If I don’t feel comfortable wearing underwear I’m just not gonna wear any fuck it.”
DK’s Brain: Nice breeze tonight isn’t it?

This Marine dude tipped me 5 cents on his card.  I know he didn’t mean to do it, but if he meant to give me 50 cents that’s still mad disrespectful.  You take all the women and now you wanna take my soul along with it?  I got submarined.

For the record, anytime someone asks me what’s the craziest cab story that I’ve ever had…I refer them to the fag who tried fondling me with his foot.   Also for the record, no one has had sex in my cab.  Yet.  I feel like I have to repeat these things at least once a week to people.

Dude outside as I pass him: “Why would you have a Volkswagen cab?”
I was so tempted to ask him if he had a problem with that but I like to make moves.

Fellow Jets fans always tip me well.  These two dudes tell me a story about how they bought tickets for the AFC Championship game at 5am that morning off of Stubhub; then hop in a car at 7am to drive the 7 hours to Pittsburgh for the game.  If that ain’t random as fuck then I don’t know what is.  I would love to do somethin THAT spontaneous one of these days.

My next to last passengers in Brooklyn…you wanna talk about losing cool points in 3.8 seconds.  They’re cuddled up in the back (but they’re just friends) and everything is cool.  The chick is talkin about how he’s one of the coolest dudes she knows here and she wants grilled cheese for breakfast after their platonic sleepover.  Platonic ha.  Everything is cool…then:
Guy- This girl right here…she’s a stripper.
DK’s Brain- Go on.
Guy- She works out on Long Island City.  Yeeeah.
Me- Oh word?  Which one, do you know and for how long?
(I can tell the girl is beginning to feel upset but you know how that passive anger works.  She is NOT responding to this.)
Guy- For like 5 years.
Me- Oh damn.
(This is cold man ha.)
Guy (to her)- What’s the name of the place?  Like Scores or something?
Girl- I dunno.
(She knows, but man you wanna talk about blowing someone’s spot up.)
Guy- It’s on Northern Blvd and Steinway Street I think.  Mondays & Tuesdays she works.

Aight he pays…but then the chick begins whisper arguing at him “Are you fucking serious right now, how are you gonna do something like that…you know how fucked up you are for that?  Seriously.”  Along those lines.  The dude thinks it’s funny, but she is NOT laughing.  She ain’t wanna get out of the cab, even though he already paid for it.  I don’t know what’s going on now because she’s looking at me hella despondent.  He gets out but she refuses to for a good 3-4 minutes.  Still pissed off, she tells him to apologize to me for saying what he said to me.  What?  She was under the pretense that I felt embarrassed too.  Don’t drag me into this ha, I play along with shit a lot and if you’re not gonna deny it then I don’t know what to do.
Guy (to Girl)- He knows that you don’t strip, he’s a smart dude.
DK’s Brain- LMFAO
Guy- I’m sorry for all that man, she’s not a stripper I was just fucking around.  None of that stuff is true.
Me- Hey it’s whatever, don’t worry about it.  I’m sure she’s not.
DK’s Brain- Yeah right DK YOU stop lying.
(begin to pull off and he knocks my window)
Guy- She works Tuesdays and Wednesdays (thumbs up).
(background her arms are flailing and she’s giving him the business.  In a bad way.)

I hadn’t laughed that hard in a minute.

Otherwise, it was pretty boring.  And so on.

18
Aug
11

Why I’ve Been Gone.

Not to sound like Weezy, but sorry for the wait.

Yall haven’t seen any chronicles here in a while and the reason for that is because my cab has been in the shop for the past month.  On a muggy Thursday night (July 21st to be exact)- I happened to be dropping off a passenger in Jackson Heights when the diesel fuel injector light went on.  Didn’t think too much of it for a while, although my cab began driving a bit iffy.  Next thing I know, the check engine light is also on.  The message on my dashboard told me that I needed to take it to the shop immediately.  Obviously, I wasn’t gonna be taking it to the shop at 10pm but I stopped the car for a bit after dropping off this cheapskate and turned the engine off.

It hadn’t been the best work day (3 straight short-haul trips in Queens with cheap tippers) and this was the icing on the cake.  I told myself that I was gonna try driving towards JFK one last time and if the lights came back on that I would just hightail it home (JFK is on the way to my house anyway).  On the Van Wyck Crawlway, the lights came back on and it was a wrap for the night.  It also didn’t help matters that my AC already was acting iffy, now this issue.  I had no idea why this would be the case.

It just so happened the next day was the hottest day of the year (and 2nd hottest on record).  If that’s how life was like under Precious’ armpit, I don’t ever wanna revisit it.  With my AC not at 100% there was no way I was working that day or the following day.  So I took that time to go hang out and chill.  No problem, I thought, and I would just try resuming work Sunday.

I hop in my cab Sunday evening and attempt driving to the airport.  It only takes 3 minutes this time for the light to come on.  Conveinently, this happens to me right as I’m GETTING on the highway so I break out the emergency lights.  My car is struggling to accelerate and I know this ain’t a good thing so I get off at the next exit.  When my car stops at a crawl, the engine shuts off.  FUUUUUCK.  I try starting up the car twice but to no avail.  I don’t want to flood the engine so I give it a break for a couple of minutes.  I restart the engine and crawl back home.  Disappointed I just plop into my couch and watch TV the rest of the night.

We take it into the shop and find out what I had suspected could have been the issue- somehow, gasoline was put into the car at some point which caused damage to the fuel tank and the engine.  BIG-TIME JOB.  Now, I hadn’t been to a gas station that week since my partner had gone on vacation so I was just gonna fill up the tank when the time was right.  The confusing aspect about it to me was if the car hadn’t been to a station since Monday night, why would the problem not arise until three days later?  Did I or my partner accidentally put gas when it was diesel?  Highly doubtful, because the gas stations I fill up at have distinct diesel-fueling areas.  They did also say it was possible that particles could have came in the car also, causing damage to the aforementioned items.  I don’t know.

So yeah, I’ve been MIA from work about a month and while “forced vacation” started out fine…just like with everything, you get over it quickly.  I appreciate my days off more when it’s on my terms vs. things being out of control.  Now, I have a lot of catching up to do and have to reshuffle my schedule accordingly until further notice.  Had I been working from a garage, I simply would have gotten another cab the next day and the day after, etc.  But, that’s the life of a medallion owner.  We’ll be back tomorrow, if these dealers ain’t bullshitting me.  And so on.