I got subpeonaed.

And I'm not happy about it. I have to go to court at 8 in the gdamned morning. Can ya'll guess how excited I am about this? Pssht. It's about the kid that was jumping on trees that one morning downtown. I think I put a msg on here about the DA calling and asking for me to leave her a msg on vmb letting her know what I had seen. Arrrrgh.


"But we haven't GONE anywhere"

I picked up a middle-aged fella t'other night from the Hilton downtown. Nice enough guy, just talking on the phone the entire time so hard to get any info out of. He gets in and is so busy talking that he doesn't have time to talk to me I try to get info out of him but he keeps giving me the finger (you know - the hold one finger), after about 5 minutes of this (patience level: 4) I finally just start the meter. I'm nice, but I'm not that nice. Our meters make a noise when they start so he heard that.

He: to caller Hold on a second. to me Did you just start the meter? Why? We haven't gone anywhere.

Me: You've been sitting in my cab for 5 minutes. Technically I was to start it when you got in, but since I'm a nice person, up to a point, I waited.

He: But we haven't GONE anywhere. to caller Are you hearing this? She wants to charge me for sitting in her car. No. No. No, we haven't gone anywhere.

Me: Sir, (level 3) you flagged down my cab as if you wanted to go somewhere. If you'd like to give me the address we can be off and you can continue your phone conversation. If you want to just sit here it's $30/hr.

He: to caller Oh. My. Gawd. the whole time he's talking to his friend he's staring me in the eye Are you hearing this? Tell me you are hearing this. I KNOW. I can't believe it either.

Me: (Defcon 2) Sir, AGAIN. If you want to just sit here while talking to your friend on the phone it's $30/hr. I WORK for a living, driving this cab, if you want to sit in it, it's going to cost you... Thirty. Dollars. An hour. If you would just give me the address you can insult me all you like while talking to your friend on the phone AND getting to your destination. If not, kindly get out of my car.

He: I can't BELIEVE you think THIS is work. to caller Can you believe she's talking to me this way? I wonder if she knows who I am. She should feel privileged to have me in her car. I can't believe this. No wonder people think badly of cab drivers.

Me: (Defcon 1) SIR. I don't KNOW who you are, nor do I CARE who you are other than some snob that thinks the world needs to wait on him. YOU are in my cab because YOU flagged me down because YOU wanted to go somewhere. I did not solicite you to ride in my cab. You know what, just because of your self-important celebrity status I'm going to go ahead and turn off the meter for you because ...

He: to caller, while looking at me I KNEW she would change her mind. People always do when they're confronted with superior skills.

Me: If you and your superior skills of interruption would be calm for just one minute, what I was trying to say was I going to turn off the meter for you BECAUSE I no longer want you in my cab. Have the valet call you another cab.

He: ... Can you ...

Me: And before we have another round of "can you believe it's" would you just get out of the car because really, you're wasting your "superior skills" on this ignorant cab driver.

He sputtered a bit, but got out talking about how he wouldn't want to ride in the car with such a rude person to begin with, etc.


Wouldn't wanna work on this farm ...

It's the shearing process that has me worried.

Here's my latest ... also drew another but am mailing it off to someone that I'm sure will be putting it on his blog so ya'll'll getta see it when/if that happens.


I had a bad night tonight ...

So when I pulled up to an order and the guy sitting on the porch started yelling "Your cab company sucks! All of you drivers are the same, you all SUCK!" I felt completely justified in saying "Well now, that's kinda like saying 'all drunken white boys take it in the ass, right?' "

Irritating ... damned ...

Edited to add 8-27: All right, I guess I should say that the guy was with the girl that called the cab, she just walked up to me when I got there and told me she had changed her mind about needing the cab. "Sorry, I just forgot to call and cancel."


Nothing exciting, but ...

My cab is down for maintenance (has been since Saturday evening actually) and so is my apartment (long story there) so I have no new stories, yet and am stuck in a hotel for a week.

BUT, I have an update on one story from a few days ago ... my 13 yr. old foster child; the company refused to pay me. Pssht.

AND, just 'cuz I finally figured out - sorta - how to do this, this link is to my pics on WebShots. A very few of the ones I draw. (Can't tell I'm a little proud eh?! :o)


And if any of ya'll are really brave, you can look at the other albums and catch a glimpse into the life of a cab driver. But I'm warning you, it's nothing glamorous. Lotsa crafting. I am a girl after all. :o)



Could I get an opinion here folks ?

I keep hearing how I should "write a book". Whatcha think? Would you buy this book? Really?? And if I were to write the book, assuming ol' Bill at "My Fare City" would throw a fit I'm thinking I could name it "Lady of the Night: Cab Stories from Ptld, OR" or something along those lines. Whatcha think?

And if anyone is interested ...

This is how I keep myself entertained while I'm between calls. These are my deposit envelopes for work.

I'm not too bad at this drawing thing, eh?! :o)

Edited to add: OK, yes, this is a self-portrait. Don't all cab drivers look like this?! They do in Portland. I kid you not. Every, single, good-looking, english-speaking one of us. Well, minus the bird of course, 'cuz, well, no animals in the cab unless they're service animals.


Most annoying phone call ... ever.

I get sent to pick up a feller at about 10:30p from a church near the convention center and am to take him to the outer skirts of Tigard ... about 25 minutes. (Or in cab driver mileage ... about 55 dollars.) He is already on the phone when he gets in but asks the talkee to hold a moment while he gives me directions.

This is his conversation:

Yeah, I'm back.
Can you hear me?
I sound like I'm in a tunnel?
Can you hear me?
Yeah, the window is open.
Can you hear me?
I can't hear you.
The window is open.
Can you hear me?
A tunnel? Really?
Which tunnel do you suppose?
Can you hear me?
The window is down.
The window is down.
I don't know.
Can you hear me?
I can hear you.
The Lincoln Tunnel maybe?
Can you hear me?
The window is down.
I can hear you.
I'm exhausted.
A tunnel.
The window is down.
I'm so tired.
The bus didn't show.
I'm in a cab.
The window is down.
Just like a tunnel.
The window is down.

At this point I had enough. I rolled up his window 'cuz I just couldn't take it any longer.

Can you hear me?
The window is up.
She put it up.
The cab driver.
The window IS up.
Still a tunnel?
A quieter tunnel maybe?
I can hear you.
Can you hear me?
The window is up.
I'm exhausted.
The window is up.
Can you hear me?

I swear that if I hadn't have picked this fella up at a church I would have gotten him one step closer to his God.


"So, you just want me to leave him on the side o' the road?"

I get sent to pick up a young fella at about 21st and Belmont at 9p last night, the instructions say the p/u person will have a pre-printed acount slip and I need a signature. I get there and he walks up to me and asks if I was looking for 'Michael', yup, hop in.

Me: after the greetings So do you have an account slip for me?

He: Um, no.

Me: Ah. Sorry, you need to have one. Is there someone you can get one from here?

He: No.

Me: Well then, can you call the person that set up your ride?

He: Um, no.

Ok, to make this long story a bit shorter: this 13 yr old foster kid is going to his new meeting for the 1st time and his ride is being paid by one of the larger unnamed shoe companies in this town that has an account with us. There is no one to get hold of this late. I call dispatch, they have no suggestions for me. My options are a) don't get paid and give the kid a ride or b) don't get paid and leave the kid on the side of the road, 6.9 miles from his foster home after dark. Arrrgh.

Yeah, well, no real decision to make there, I gave the kid a ride.

I couldn't yell at the dispatchers, it isn't their fault, wasn't the kid's fault, the foster parents, they don't care (I spoke w/them as I had to escort the kid to the door). So I'm a little peeved about this. I'm going to call the company today and speak w/the folk in charge and see if they can't set up some sort of backup plan for something like this, if it's obviously an issue then my company should pay me if the account won't because we all know who's going to be liable if something were to happen to that kid if I just left him there. It would be me and my company, not the account holder and their "policies" because we still would have left a child on the side of the road at night. Angers me to no end.

Worst part is, if it were 98% of the other drivers out there I'm sure they would have just left him.


How about some random shorts ...

Stories I mean :o)

1) Picked up a drunk fella from Dr. Feelgood's in Tigard. He was blabbering the trip away, it was his first time out in 6 years, his wife died and he has been taking care of his 6 yr. old son since. Has never really been able to afford a sitter until he just got this new job. We went to the sitter's to get his son then I took them home.

2) Got my first 'in labor' run. Girl up in Oregon City, I was in dntn Ptld (about 25 mins away) at about 3a one random night. I took my time getting down there as she didn't tell the disp. that she was in labor, just needing a ride. Turns out she is an OR Health Plan patient, and her first child. Since she is an OHP member they didn't send her to any sort of lamaze classes or anything letting her know what to expect because, well, I'm sure they don't want to put any more strain on the tax paying public. By the time I got there she was understandably distressed. Contractions were 4 mins apart and I had to take her to OHSU (downtown Ptld). She was screaming pretty much the whole way, bf was staring at her in horror from the back seat (she was in front) and about 10 minutes into the ride I'd had enough of the screaming.

I had to scream at her to get her attention (while we're driving) and explain to her lamaze breathing and concentration. I had to hold her hand and walk her through her breathing for the rest of the ride (thankfully, I've walked a few friends through labor). Once she started concentrating on her breathing she calmed and the contractions slowed. Jeez. What a ride.

3) Got sent to an address in inner Milwaukie to pick up a fella. When I got to the address I didn't see anyone so pulled in to turn around and park on the street (never park in the driveway, always gotta leave youself a clear trail if you gotta run). As I was pulling in my lights shine on the garage off to the side of the home, there is a young man on his knees giving a blow job to another young man. Turns out these guys are the fellas I'm picking up. The guy on his knees is the one that called, but the other guy is someone that was just walking by and the 1st guy thought he looked "tasty". (His word, not mine) So they were on the way to the first young man's home.

4) Got sent to Eagle Country Club to pick up a young lady named Lisa. I get there, she and her 2 friends get in the car bitching and complaining about them going to their new job's corporate party and none of them being old enough to drink. Their new boss wouldn't let them drink at all. "... what they don't KNOW is that I am a VETeran drinker at my age. I've been drinking longer than probably ALL of those snobs. And Oh my GOD did you see 'Old-Navy-dress-girl'?? I can't believe she wore that dress to a CORPorate dinner. How TACKy."

5) Picked up two younger fellas at the Embassy Stes downtown and took them to the airport. We got to the 'port, they paid and (like most guys that get in my car) they tell me I can just wait in the car and they'll get their luggage outta the car and close the trunk. I get out anyway and wait while they get their stuff outta the trunk.

YF1: It's ok, we can get it.

Me: That's all right, thank you but I have to make sure that one of you guys doesn't lock the other in my trunk so I have someone riding in my trunk for the rest of the morning.

YF2: That happen a lot?

Me: Not once yet, but that's only because I'm so diligent.


"Their school had the best cab driving courses in the country."

I picked up a pair of couples from The Delta a few nights ago after discussing the food they told me that the couple in back were from outta state. We discussed a few other places to go while they were in town (Noho's ... go to Noho's!!!) and then I asked where they were from. Turns out they're from Boulder, CO (where I'm from) and they're on their way to Kalispell, MT (where I lived a few years back) so we were having a good time talking about what was, what is, etc.

While we were chatting we decided to see if there was any other places we've seen/been alike.

Guy in Back: Um ... Vail, CO.

Me: Yup. Went up there from Boulder to buy some ice cream one day.

GIB: Um ... San Jose, CA.

Me: No. But I lived in Lodi, CA for a bit. Interesting town that one.

GIB: Your turn.

Me: Um ... Pendleton, OR.

GIB: No. Where's that?

Me: As close to hell as you can get without falling in. Speaking of hell ... Cheyenne, WY.

GIB: Gawd no. That's on my top 10 list of worst places in the country to live. You lived there?

Me: Yup. Lived and worked while I went to school in Laramie at the Univ.

GIB: Jesus. What in the world would make you live in Cheyenne, Wyoming?

Me: Their school had the best cab driving courses in the country.

GIB: ...

Me: Kidding. I'm kidding. Jeez.

I'm bettin' they're looking that one up as you read.


"... I don't tip cab drivers"

I get sent to the Dolphin on McLoughlin to pick up a dancer last night, no phone number to reach her, just "waiting inside" on the instructions.

I just happened to be driving by the Dolphin when the call came out so I got there in about 30 seconds but they are closed and don't actually have a door handle (!) on the outside of the door to get inside, understandable. But after banging on the door for a moment and not getting a response it's actually somewhat annoying to me.

I get in my cab and call the dispatcher and have them track me down a number for the business. I call and they direct me to the back door to where the bouncer will escort her out to me. The bouncer tells me they called a rival cab co. over an hour ago and hadn't heard anything so they called us and we got there within 10 minutes. :o)

We are just heading up the road to a cheesy little hotel where she is meeting her boyfriend. Her and I chat about how quick I got there, how nice it is to have a female driver, clean cab, no one hitting on her, etc.

I get her there, it's only $5.90 on the meter. She hands me $6, I thank her and tell her to have a good night. As she's getting out she looks at me in the rearview mirror ...

She: Before you ask, I don't tip cab drivers.

I just kinda looked at her for a moment ...

Me: Well, as we both work in a tip based business I can certainly understand how you wouldn't want to reward me for showing up quickly and getting you to where you wanted to be, safely and efficiently. I'm guessing that since you've already stereotyped me into the same group as all the non-english speaking, smelly, slow-driving, hitting-on-you MALE drivers then you don't mind if I stereotype you in with all the dancers-turned-hookers that don't tip because they need their money for the next crack fix, right?

She just got out of the car and slammed the door. Wouldn't be surprised if I don't hear about this one today. :o)


Consumer Alert!

I get sent to Oak Grove to pick up a feller and his dog, Jake and take them to the emergency vet clinic as Jake got hold of something he shouldn't have while they were away. Poor Jake, a handsome black lab, is just crying his lil heart out and his dad can't pick him up because a) Jake's a big boy and b) dad is drunk. Which is why he called a cab. Smart man, for a police officer. :o)

Anyway, about 2 hrs later the clinic called me and asked me to come back and get them as they were ready to go.

I get there and the officer is leading Jake on a leash, but he (Jake) is still whining a bit, but at least he's - sorta - walking, but just can't work his way up to getting into the car so dad had to help him in. Turns out Jake got hold of some macadamia nuts and mowed on 'em. Apparently mac nuts have some sort of protein in them that is bad for dogs. Makes their muscles weak and makes them miserable. I didn't ask what could happen if he ate too much, I didn't want to think about it. So they gave him some charcoal, made him vomit and gave him diarrhea for the next coupla days and apparently he's gonna be all better.

And, for the record, Jake rode the whole way home with his body in the back seat but his head on my bag (between the front seats) so I could pet his head and talk to him. Poor widdle Jake! Made me shed a few tears he did. Since I like animals more than most people and all.

Just thought those of you with dogs would like to know.


"I've never paid that much for a cab ride home"

I get sent to the Victory Bingo hall at 162nd se Stark to pick up a lady after late night bingo one night, about 3a. She gets in and we go to her house at about 67th and se Foster. She asked me how much I thought it would be, I estimated about $20 +/-.

We get there and it's 21+ on the meter.

She: My gawd, I've never paid that much for a cab ride home. I refuse to pay that much.

Me: You 'refuse'??

She: Yes, I KNOW it doesn't cost that much for a ride. It never has before. I told you we shouldn't have taken the freeway.

Me: And I told you it would cost more if we didn't due to waiting on lights and whatnot, but let's see if we can figure this out, all right? According to the map it's just over 9 miles - as the crow flies - to the bingo hall. I'll round it down 'cuz I'm just nice like that. So that's 9 miles at 2.20/mile that gives us ... oh ... 19.80$ and then the initial 2.50 to get in the car and that leaves us with right at 22.30$ to get here. So actually, me taking you the freeway got you here less than what it should have by a few dimes.

She: Well, I guess with that map you can pretty much figure out how much to anywhere, correct?

Me: As long as I have an address, yes.

She: And do all cab companies have these maps?

Me: No, just ours.

She: Well then I guess I'll start calling another company.

She hands me exact change and gets out.


"That's a little too sleazy for me"

I'm sitting at the Beaverton Mall at about 1:30a one Monday morning reading a book (sidenote: best part of working a slow Sunday night is working the 1st 3 hrs and taking that money and spending it at Powells) and get sent to Stars Cabaret to pick up a fella.

I get there, check in with the doorgal and go back to my cab to wait for a minute and these 3 guys come walking out. 2 middle-aged fellas and younger, red headed fella. They have their 'good-byes' at the door, talking about what a good time they'd had and whatnot and the red headed fella gets in my car and we head downtown.

Me: So, how's your night?

He: Meh. and shrugs

Me: Hunh. Well, how was Stars? I hear they have the best lookin' nekkid women in the city.

He: Well, I suppose they were all right. I wasn't really looking. I'm gay.

Me: Then why ya in there?

He: I work with these guys and they paid for me to come out here to Ptld and said they would show me a good time, this is what I got.

Me: And where ya from?

He: Boston.

Me: Well, I could understand being so covert in Boston, but this is Ptld, every other person in this town is gay.

He: Yeah, that's what I hear. That's why I agreed to let them bring me out here. My parents, and the rest of my family and workers, none of them know I'm gay so I just need to get away sometimes.

So he and I have a fairly amusing discussion about liberalism and the city of Ptld as compared to Boston. Turns out he's a book 'dealer' on the 'net. Makes loads of money (according to him).


This part may not make for entertaining reading but I'm putting it in here anyway :o) :

He's always hiring people to peddle his books for him and since I have a bag chock full o' Powell's goodness on my front seat he wants to know what I'm reading. So we're discussing the reading thing and turns out he sells books, but doesn't read much. He has lots of books that he rotates in and out of his bookshelf at home, just for show, but nothing he reads any longer. I tell him that I read all the time, averaging about 10-15 books a week.

He: Yeah, see, I would never hire you.

Me: Really? I would think you would want someone that actually reads and knows what's good and/or popular to work for you.

He: No. I want someone that can read the stats to tell me what's hot, not someone that reads the actual books themselves.

Me: But, it only takes me about 3 hrs to read an average 400 pg book.

He: Then I definately wouldn't hire you. Readers, especially ones that read that fast, are too opinionated and only tend to stick to the genre's they like.

Me: Well now, that's me on the nose I'm guessin'. :o)


So as we're discussing the things to do and see in Ptld he asks me about where all the open places at this time of the night are.

Me: Well, it is sunday night after all, but we have a few bars that are still open til 2:30a when we stop serving. We have a coupla after hours joints that are open until 4a, but again, sunday night. There's a few Fantasy Adult Videos open close to downtown if that's your thang. We also got ...

He: Wait. What is a FAV?

Me: 24 hr adult porn sales that has booths inside.

He: Hunh. Can a person get blown at these places?

Me: Yup. I know of one specifically where you are pretty much guaranteed to get blown - if you aren't too concerned about the gender of the blower - if you're willing to pay.

He: All right. Take me there.

Me: All right.

So I get him there, he asks me to wait and has to go get some change for his big bills so he can pay me the fare so far and pay for ... whatever he wants inside there. They made him buy some bottled water to get change so he gave me a couple of his 10 bottles. Of their own brand. Bottled here in Ptld. And it has an expiration date on it. (That kinda scares me) So he gives me $40 and asks me to wait. I whip out a book, lock the doors and wait. For about 5 minutes. He's done and back out and ready to go to the hotel.

As we're tooling down Sandy to downtown and I am purposely avoiding asking him how it went I point out 'Steam' which is a 24 hr male bath house.

He: Pssht. I would never go to one of those places, that's a little too sleazy for me.

Me: .... Can I ask ... ? Where, exZACTly do you draw the line on sleazy? I mean, after what you just did?

He didn't say anything else to me the rest of the ride. Did tip me an extra $20 above the fare tho.