Archive for January, 2012

29
Jan
12

You Need To Pick Up More Black MEN.

But why?  Just kidding.

I just found this to be hella ironic for the fact that I had just dropped off 4 black dudes who I picked up from 103rd and Columbus and took to some joint on 30th between 7th and 8th aves.  In case you’re wondering, their fare was $13.50 and they told me to keep $15 which for my kin feels like 20% (obviously it’s not but hell I will take it).

Now I’m going down 7th avenue and I pick up another black dude (with auburn hair tho) around Chelsea.  He’s quite thankful as he explains to me that cabs have repeatedly passed him by & had been waiting for a cab for 45 minutes.  Yeah that can happen when it’s 1230am on a Saturday night to anyone, but especially us.  By now you know the deal as to the possible reasons but since I have to remember this is the first (and usually only) time that I’m meeting this person I have to break it down like I always do.

Him: Thank you sooo much for stopping I greatly appreciate it.
Me: Not a problem.
Him: You need to pick up more black MEN.
DK’s Brain: Dude, I’m black.  Why wouldn’t I to try and at least give some of us some hope out there?
Me: Actually I just did the fare before you.
DK’s Brain: Why so much emphasis on men?  Wait nevermind he is gay, let him live.
Him: Why is it so hard for black MEN to get cabs?
DK’s Brain: There he goes again.
Me: For black PEOPLE in general, cabbies feel like either we’re gonna hop out (which actually has never happened to me with a black person), take them way out of their way and not tip, or simply not tip.  Not just men, but women too.

He stopped speaking once I mentioned the tipping aspect tho.

Anyhow I was supposed to take him to 121st and Broadway so I’m attempting to shoot up 10th avenue like a boss.  One problem.  Hella traffic near the Lincoln Tunnel for some strange reason.  He tells me to take the West Side Highway, but I cannot because between 39th and 41st streets there is no entry to the “highway”.  On 40th street crawling in traffic, I’m about to make a detour.

Him: How far are we from 30th and Lexington?
Me: Hmm…maybe 10 minutes to the south and east from here.
Him: How far is it from where I live to get down there?
DK’s Brain: Why in God’s name would you pay for 3 cabs?
Me: From over there if you don’t get stuck in traffic, should be no longer than 15-20 minutes.  You’re gonna go home and go right back out?
Him: Yeah that probably doesn’t make much sense.  What about 38 West 38th street how far is that from where we are?
Me: 5 minutes.  If that.
Him: How far are the two aforementioned places?
DK’s Brain: Rockstar.
Me: Maybe 5 minutes apart from each other via cab.  You must be Mr. Popular tonight.
Him: I’m anything but popular.  I just don’t know where to go.
DK’s Brain: Way to shoot yourself down.
Him: Matter of fact, let’s go to 30th and Lexington.

Done.  We get there and it’s time to pay up.  The fare is $13.90.  Here comes the credit card.  Transmitting Information…….(drumroll)

Tip: $0.00

DK- 1.  Customer- 0.

He thanks me profusely again and I give him the thumbs up signal.  I hysterically laugh when he gets out.  I ain’t even mad, I really didn’t want to be proven right in this situation but I was.  Whatever.

And so on.

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28
Jan
12

Chester.

No this isn’t the name of a person, but rather a street name in Brooklyn.

I started off my night at JFK & got a short-haul trip to Astoria.  Seeing that it was around 715p, I had a couple of options.  I could have went straight to Manhattan which is always busy at that time.  I could try to contend with traffic to get back to JFK.  Or the third option, take my chances at an empty LGA.  I chose the third option and picked up my fare at 730p.

I picked up this older couple and they told me they were going to 71 Chester Street.  As I plug it into the GPS, I’m given three options.  Chester Street, Chester Court and Chester Avenue.  The lady is telling me something about how I need to take the Prospect Expressway to get there seeing that it’s near the Greenwood Cemetery.  Cool.  But Chester Street doesn’t take me anywhere near a cemetery.

Me: Yall sure it’s not Chester AVENUE?
Lady: No no it’s Chester STREET.
Me: Umm..Chester STREET isn’t pointing me anywhere near a cemetery tho.
Lady: You sure you typed it in right?  It should be near the Fort Hamilton Parkway.
Me: Well to get to Chester STREET I have to take the Jackie Robinson Parkway.  You probably mean AVENUE.
Lady: No it’s STREET.

Okay.

I know damn well that they do not live in East New York yet they are adamant about this Chester Street shit.

Lady: This is definitely not the way to Chester STREET.
Me: Yes it is.
Lady: You needed to take the Prospect Expressway and it’s near Fort Hamilton Parkway.
Me: That’s why I asked if it was Chester AVENUE.

Her husband gets on the phone with whoever it was and they confirm that it was Chester AVENUE, which is a good 6 miles away from where I was (Atlantic Avenue & Eastern Parkway).

I told you so, but you don’t listen.  Now instead of a $30 fare, you now have to pay $37.  They were nice people with good intentions, just a bit stubborn.  More money in my pocket, albeit more aggravation.  It set the tone for a mainly aggravating night.  And so on.

19
Jan
12

Paintjob.

I’d like to think of myself as the best in the world at what I do.  Or at the very least, one of the best.  However even the best make some foolish mistakes out there on the road and this was no exception to that.

Saturday night I found myself heading down 2nd avenue when I pick up these two loud as fuck chicks.  It reeked of bridge & tunnelism.  It did NOT help that the radio at the time was playing Niggas in Paris which meant they were about to go nuts in the car.  The best way I can describe them to you is imagine the Rebecca Black Friday video.  One of them is trying to have a “conversation” with me or whatever she’s trying to imitate it as, and she mentions that I’m the best for picking them up.  After saying hey, I’m the best in the world at what I do, she literally goes on her phone to look up who the best cabbie in the world is.

You cannot make stupidity like this up.

Anyway, she wants to sit up front with me (presumably to annoy the fuck out of me and to play DJ in my car) but I told her she cannot get out until I’m at a red light.  She’s fighting with her friend to get out from her friend’s side to sit up front.  You DO know there are two doors in the back right?  Not just one.  So because of that they both get out for a split second and since there were other people waiting for the cab, they SCRAMBLE towards my direction.

So now with this annoying ass broad in the front seat and the radio playing Aubrey Graham & Lil Wayne, she blasts it to about a level 20 in the car (I usually have it at around 8) and her & her friend are singing the lyrics.  I tell the bitch to not touch that knob.  (If she wanted to touch my other knob that would be okay though). I turn the volume down to about a 12.  They are in a slight rush to get to Penn Station and one of the chicks talks about how she didn’t tip the last cab driver because he got them there late.  As if I’m supposed to give you a high five?  With that said I find myself on 14th heading west to 6th avenue where I ultimately make a decision.

There were a good amount of cars on the right lane & the vast majority of them do make the turn onto 6th avenue.  The left lane was a lot emptier and given that sometimes you can get away with making a crazy turn from there, I decided to give it a shot.  I don’t know if it was more a feeling of confidence, wanting these Jersey broads out ASAP or both, but I get to the left and try to make the turn.  Except…the chick that was in the right lane was in fact trying to go straight.  NIGHTMARES

Fortunately for us, all it was was we felt a small bump and I tried to make a break for it lmfao.  However the chick made the turn herself, hopped out the car and (rightfully) cursed me out.  One of the Jersey girls in the back compliments me on my smooth move.  Um, that was NOT so smooth hoe.  I inspect the “damage” and thankfully it was nothing more than trading some paint but she tells me that I am gonna have to pay for this since she doesn’t want to file a police report.  Yeah, I just got into an accident 2 months earlier I don’t need another one of these.  I tell the broads to get out and they don’t have to pay.  The lady gets on the phone to hit up a guy that she knows about the paintjob and says it’ll cost $150.

Wait?  $150???  Honestly the size of her damage was no worse than a squared slice of American cheese and there was a SLIGHT scratch.  No way will that shit cost $150 unless you plan on using the rarest paint from Bhutan or some shit.  I’m incredulous, but frankly there was nothing I could do about it, so I tell her to follow me to the bank where I withdrew the money.  She tells me her story about how her car is her baby, she’s the youngest of 4 kids and the first one to graduate college, blah blah blah.  It was a cool story sis.

In the end, sometimes you have to ground yourself and say RELAX SON, because not only did I lose a fare, but I lost money on the bank account all for naught.  Same reasons why I don’t try chancing it cutting multiple lanes just to pick up passengers unless I am 100% in the clear, etc.  The rest of the night went great and I made up for the $150, but it should have never came to that.  Shame on me.  And so on.

14
Jan
12

The Breaks.

One thing I know is that every time I am well on my way to having a good night out there on the roads, something bad ends up happening.

After dropping off a guy on 97th street and Columbus Avenue, I notice my battery light was on on the dashboard.  The light must have just came on and I was thinking to myself “oh no not again…not on a night like this…”  So I pull over to a parking spot, turn my engine off and take a look to see what could be the heart of the issue.  The owner’s manual tells me that there is likely an issue with the alternator not charging my battery.  Uh oh.

Nevertheless after talking to my dad about it, I take it to a taxi shop on the west side to get it checked out.  He thinks that maybe I need a new battery, I didn’t think so but you gotta (discount) double-check.  The fellas at the shop take a look at my car and tell me what I feared- that my alternator belt broke.  Fuck.  There’s no way I can continue working because I don’t want the car to stall out on me in the middle of a fare and so I’m praying that I have enough juice to make it back home.  A risky proposition for sure living near JFK airport…had I lived in Astoria for example, I’d have no problem.

I turn my GPS and radio off to maximize my battery life and I’m off to the races.  No problems as I head onto the Long Island Expressway and I’m on my way heading towards the Grand Central Parkway when I get hit with a flashback. 7 years ago, I had a similar issue with a private car- a Toyota 4Runner.  Against my dad’s wishes, I took the car into the city to watch a girl friend of mine play.  Afterwards, on my way back the transmission gave up on me as I was on the ramp getting on the eastbound GCP.  As that image hits me, I start noticing that my ABS lights are coming on.  I feel my car beginning to malfunction as I’m getting on the aforementioned ramp.  ARE YOU A FAN OF DEJA VU???

The hazards gotta come on and I pull safely over onto the shoulder.  The worst part about this was that since I’m now on a parkway and not an expressway, it will take longer for a tow truck to be able to successfully take me home.  Not to mention, since I’m driving a cab, I require a flatbed.  I holla at AAA to see if they can get me an available tow truck but they tell me they’ll only be able to get me off the highway…and afterwards I’d have to call for ANOTHER truck.  Really tho?  The frustrating thing too was that I was about 1000 feet from the next exit.  A tow truck does come within 15 minutes and offers to take me off the road, but he can’t since it’s not a flatbed.  After waiting about 90 minutes in the cold (thank God I had my big coat on), one finally arrives.  He loads it up…and takes 2 minutes to get me off the exit and to a safe spot.

THAT SHIT COST ME $135….

But that’s fine, AAA will cover that cost.  Or so I thought.

I call them back to tell them that I’m off the highway and to bring another truck.  I forget to tell them though that I need a flatbed.  An hour or so passes when the truck arrives (it’s not a flatbed) and I tell the driver that I need one.  He also was on the phone with AAA and when they find out that my car is a taxi, they tell me that they don’t service taxis & limos.

…………………………………………………………….

WTF is the point then of me having an AAA membership then?!

Anyhow, after waiting another hour (my car mind you had been broken down since 1120pm and it was now 3am when the flatbed came), he finally arrives, loads the car up and away we go.  Tell me how this “only” cost $110?  He tried saying that it would cost $140 but math certainly isn’t his strong suit.  $65 to load it up, then $5 per mile (9 miles, so $45).  That’s $110 buddy.  I give him $120.

Fortunately, the problem has now been rectified and we’ll be good to go for tonight.  And so on.

10
Jan
12

The “I’m A Good Tipper” Brooklyn Swindle.

With a GPS, I will venture anywhere, anywhere at anytime.  I don’t really give a fuck, although yes if I’m goin to the South Bronx or Brownsville at 330am I’m not fully comfortable with that.  Anyhow, I had just dropped someone off when this tall blonde chick hops in the car.  Jogging with her heels on she gets in and asks if I can take her to Brooklyn.

So she goes on this whole spiel about how she always feels the need to ask cabbies to take her to BK because most people hate doing so (what else is new) and that she promises that she’s a good tipper.  I’m thinking in my head “cool story sis” and we carry on.  I tell her that I’m from Queens and she eats that up, saying that Queens is her favorite borough.  I haven’t heard that one in a while actually…most people love BK the most; but she doesn’t like how gentrified Brooklyn has become in most areas.  We all know it.
(Segue: It’s always a struggle telling people where I’m from because it ALWAYS goes like this:
Them- Where you from?
Me- Queens.
Them (inquisitive)- What part?
Me- Rosedale.
Their Brains- o_O
NO ONE KNOWS WHAT IT MEANS!  CAUSE IT’S SO PROVOCATIVE!  IT GETS THE PEOPLE GOING!!!
Me- outside of JFK airport.
AHH FUCK IT
Me- near Jamaica.
Them- ohhhhhhh okay.)
Tellin me about how her ex-boyfriend used to live in Queens and she loved the fact that they had a backyard space, even though he was a “douchebag”.  Then I mention the dating game and how difficult it  is in NYC to find “that one” because there are so many options out there and I feel that it’s an eBay jungle.  She disagrees, saying that it’s hard for her to find someone who allows her to be great (aka allows her to be driven/motivated) since she thinks guys are intimidated by that.  Hmm.  Personally I don’t because as yall can see I’m self-employed but whatever.  I do admit however that I psych myself out of meeting girls because I always feel like every time I meet one here the conversation becomes an interview.  That and a variety of other factors.  Only in NYC does this happen.  That’s probably why I won’t find myself dating anyone from the city…it has yet to happen.

Anyway, we cross over the bridge and she asks me what the craziest thing that ever happened in my cab.  My loyal readers know what that one is but her worst experience in public transportation was well…interesting.  She mentions that she was on a flight back from Lebanon & she sat next to this couple.  The wife fell asleep and the guy also had his blanket over him…except she noticed it was moving.  Lo and behold she caught the husband masturbating on the plane.  The way she was describing it though had me rolling “he was furiously rubbing it” TOO MUCH INFORMATION FOR ME HA.  She probably was slightly turned on that’s why she kept looking. He was looking at her too, btw.  Anyway, she says that she was really tempted to tell the wife what he did when the plane landed and everyone got off (the plane that is) but she bit her tongue.

By the way, I am not joking either, if a girl EVER masturbates in my cab I will offer her a free cab ride.

With that said, I dropped her off and the fare was $20.70.  Tip: $2.00.  I just got swindled.  All good though, I picked up another fare in Park Slope shortly thereafter and she tipped $3 on a $7.30 fare.  Go figure.  And so on.

08
Jan
12

Holiday Blues.

Friday and Saturday nights always leave me exhausted and a waste of space the following day.  It’s worth the money though.

After dropping off some cheap bastards over on 6th avenue and 30th street…I decided to continue east.  I was planning on turning right on 5th avenue and taking it from there…when I see this chick hailing a cab and sobbing.

Her: Can you take…sniff…sob..take me to..sniff..Brooklyn?
Me: Where?
Her: Bushwick?
DK’s Brain: God damnit!
Me: Where??
Her: Irving and Halsey.

I always prefer putting the address or intersection into my GPS because you’ll have some people who will claim to direct you start blabbing on about bullshit to their friends and then blame you for missing where I was supposed to turn (like the last passenger I had).  Plus, you’re already inside of my cab and I’m not gonna be an asshole and kick you out just because you may take me somewhere where I really don’t wanna go to.

That’s besides the point though, I hear all this sobbing and shit and it’s beginning to get on my nerves so I have to make a decision.  Either hear my music being remixed by cries, or turn down the volume and get to the bottom of this situation.  My first guess was that she got dumped by her boyfriend.  Close, though:

Me: What’s wrong tho?
(20 second pause)
Her (still sobbing): My boyfriend went to this holiday party, while I went out with my girls.  He told me that he was leaving in a half-hour so I texted him back to remind me when you’re leaving so I can meet up with you so we can go home together.  He never texted me back and I find out an hour and a half later after I texted one of his co-workers that he went home…
DK’s Brain: Oh.
Me: He probably had too many drinks then…
Her: He doesn’t even drink!
DK’s Brain: o_O
Her: Do you think I’m over-reacting?
Me & DK’s Brain: Yes.  Crying though?
Her: We went to the movies earlier in the day and we went our separate ways…but then I found out that other people who were at the party brought their significant others and he never bothered to invite me (sobs).
DK’s Brain: Oh he don’t like you girllll.
Me: Well shit.  I stand corrected then, you should be pissed.
Her: Fucking right I’m pissed.
DK’s Brain: Now this…is a situation (no Jersey Shore).
Her: We’ve been together for 3 years and he’s always had communication issues.
Me: 3 years?  Shit I don’t even remember what being in a relationship for 3 months feels like.
DK’s Brain: SYMPATHY BANG!  Only kidding.

Ouch.  Unless she’s that super-clingy type (in which I wouldn’t be surprised if she was), then yeah your mans just played you.  He could have also thought maybe you weren’t down to hit up a function of his where you wouldn’t know people like that (aside from one or two people) and didn’t want you to feel uncomfortable.  The fact that he did that sober though?  Hmm.

She actually stopped crying when we pulled over at a gas station since she really had to pee.  I dropped her off, got a fat $10 tip on a $25 ride since she was so grateful and I was on my way.

And so on.

02
Jan
12

Bounced.

I decided this year to actually work on New Year’s Eve.  I had always vowed to myself that I’d avoid working this day because of my fear that it’d be too intense for my liking with drunken idiots.  I lucked out however as no one threw up in my cab and traffic was for the most part (except around Times Square of course) light.  I even took the time out to spend a couple of hours drivin around Brooklyn as a reprieve.

I picked up my final passenger of the night on 7th avenue and 15th street after I dropped off someone on 6th and 14th.  He wants me to go to Bay Ridge, and at 530am you will not hear a complaint come from me on that one.  He begins telling me his New Year’s Eve tale:

He works for the New York Times and was working at this concert where he met this chick.  She’s from Pennsylvania, about a good 4 hour drive from NYC and they hit it off (seemingly).  They were talking for a good month or so and they agreed that they were gonna go out together on New Year’s Eve.  Cool.  So she drives all that way to meet up with him and she even packed for the overnight.  Shit should be getting real for my mans, or so you’d think.  Anyway, the two of them are pregaming, shooting the shit getting all cozy with each other before it was time for them to hit up Club Marquee.
(segue: what I’ve come to find out with NYE is that when you go to a place that has a 5 hour top shelf open bar, it’s all good from 9-12.  The ball drops and it’s still all love for about 20 minutes…but after that, if you’re planning on gettin some action you better get the fuck up outta dodge before one or both of yall get too drunk to function.)
So they get into the club and they’re having a good time.  Apparently he doesn’t have an issue with her going around dancing with other dudes since he was doing the same with the ladies.  That was his first mistake.  Granted, you may feel comfortable with her doing her thing but then she makes out with one of the dudes she’s dancing with?  Womp.  He tells me though that he didn’t mind that she made out with the guy.  What in God’s name???  You need to have some sort of backbone with that man…if I brought a date with me somewhere I don’t want her going wandering off sauntering with some other dudes, especially if I’m spending that much money.  Then he tells me later on as they were getting ready to leave the club that she makes out with ANOTHER dude?!  Weak!  Here this guy is, trying to play the role of the good dude (he frankly wasn’t even that twisted) while this chick from PA seems to have other ideas.  I explained to him that there tends to be two type of drunks.  The NYC drunk is the one who gets hammered but still has a general idea of what they’re doing & where they are. The small-town drunk however just has no regard for human life and is a walking ping-pong ball.

Anyhow, he wanted to leave the club but she seemed to have other ideas.  She actually gets mad at him because he wasn’t watching over her enough (which makes no sense but then again nothing does when you’re that intoxicated) but she’s the one bouncing all over the damn place.  They stay at the club when she meets up with these two lesbian chicks and they begin hanging out with her, talking to her, etc.  The guy is with them as well, talking to one of the lesbians while the other (who was attracted to the chick) begins talking to that girl. I find out that his date is bi-curious.  Interesting.  Next thing I know, he tells me that she left WITH the two girls.  Wait, what?  He tries calling her phone to find out where she was but they had dipped.  Somewhere.  He has no idea where they went.  They claimed that they were gonna take her to their place to get her bearings, then drive her back in the morning to his place.  Ummmm….

Mind you, her car is parked at his house and all of her stuff is still there as well.  He’s pissed, yet he’s worried about her because he knows that he was responsible for her.  I tell him that he did all he could and she was just being an idiot.  She’ll have one of those “omg what happened last nightttt” moments and she’ll call you, but YOU don’t pick up until a couple of hours later.  Then leave her a text and say that you need to talk or some shit.  Leave it at that.  He’s kicking himself for being passive, as he should have, but hey she was the one who made the 4 hour trek to come into the city.  She may have felt that she just wanted to have a bomb ass time, whether with the guy or with whomever else she desired.

I wonder what came of it.  And so on.