"Why are all those people standing there?"

Picked up this fairly young, cool couple just before Thanksgiving from a hotel downtown and heading over to Genoa (one of the best Eyetalian food joints here) for dinner. As we're tooling along we're discussing where they're from (small town in Minnesoowta [my attempt to mock "Fargo"]) and how much of a "small, big city" Portland is. (We try anyway).

Just across the river from downtown there is a homeless joint where there are about 60 folks standing in line for dinner.

She: Look at that honey! Driver? Why are all those people standing there?"

Me: Hmmmm, giving out pumpkin flavored meth again I imagine. It's that time o' the year.

He: Um, you mean "meth-amphetamine"?

Me: Yup. I look in the mirror, apparently I've scared them. Well, this IS Portland after all. Still scared. Um, I-5 corridor? More worried looks exchanging. Oooookay, I'm kidding! They're standing in line to get dinner. Those are homeless people.

She: Oh my Gawd!! You have THAT many homeless people in Portland?!

Me: That is just a tiny percentage of the homeless that reside here.

The discussion got somewhat political after that so I won't bore you. But I found this one amusing.


Thanksgiving 2007

Fairly uneventful. Surprisingly busy. There were only about 15 cabs out from our co. to start the night, but they petered out early so there ended up being about 8 out, me being one of them. Then it got busy. Steady almost all night, and no real stories other than this one.

I get sent to pick up a dude at a bar downtown and take him home to Beaverton 'round about 1a. He was pretty far gone into his drink when I got to him. Fortunately not ill, but he was def angry. And I didn't even realize how angry he was until about 10 minutes into the ride. He was fairly quiet most of the ride then I hear ...

He: I fucking HATE Thanksgiving.

Me: Good thing it only comes around once a year then.

He: Ya wanna know why I hate it?

Me: Uhm, sure. Whatchagot?

He: My fucking family. I hate having to spend time with my fucking family.

Me: Wow. Sorry.

He: My fucking family.

Me: ...

He: They're so damned ... greedy.

Me: ...

He: You know what I mean?

Me: Um, no.

He: Bullshit. Your family has to be the same way, they all are.

Me: I don't think they all are. Maybe it's just the way you're perceiving it.

He: Oh no. They're all greedy motherfuckers.

Me: Well, sorry.

He: Shit. You're working now because you hate your family too right? It's the only reason to be working on Thanksgiving isn't it?

Me: Well, no. Not the only reason. And no, I don't hate my family.

He: Then why are you working?

Me: 'Cuz I'm a greedy bitch. grin

He: Shit. You're lying. You hate your family. Admit it.

Me: No. I don't. And yes, I am a greedy bitch.

He: I don't believe that. If you were you'd be taking me the long way. What's the deal? Why you working? C'mon now.

Me: Honestly?

He: Of course.

Me: I don't have any family.

He: What? Really?

Me: Yup. No family, no man, no kids. I'm always the one that works on holidays so everyone else can be with their family.

He: Wow. That's sad.

Me: Doesn't seem to bother me much. ;o)

He: So, single huh?

Me: Yup.

He: So you don't have to be at home during the holidays.

Me: Yup.

He: You don't have to ... buy presents for anyone.

Me: Other than myself, nope.

He: FUCK! You don't have to celebrate birthdays? Anniversary's! No fucking Christmas presents! No fucking obligatory weddings! No God-damned birthdays! Visiting the fucking in-laws!

And he went on like this for a bit. Spewing out all his anger. If it hadn't have been so sad it might have been funny.

He: I bet you have a nice fucking car too huh?

Me: Nope. I drive a 15-yr old pick up. Uglier'n hell.

He: BullSHIT! You're lying!! You have all kinds of money for car payments and nice clothes. FUCK!! I fucking HATE Thanksgiving!!!

Me: Um, wow. We're here.


Happy Thanksgiving!

To those that celebrate. ;o)


"Do you speak English?"

I was sitting at the airport one night waiting for someone to land (we have a special place where we have to sit for this so the 'port folk can keep their eye on us to make sure we aren't trying to solicit/steal rides). Incoming people are to take the next cab, we're kept in a line and we have passes to get through the gate. Without these we cannot pick up there.

Aside: If anyone has ever wondered; to be able to pick up at the 'port here you have to be able to pass a Homeland Security background check. This is why the majority of the drivers there aren't English-as-a-first-language type of folk ... most of the English/American cab drivers have some sort of felony on their records. ASSUming the foreigners are using their own names I'm guessing they don't bring their criminal records with them here.

ANYway. Was sitting waiting on someone that it looked like wasn't going to show (about an hr late) so I was just killing time when I hear someone in a car behind me slam their car door. I look in the rearview and it's a rival cab taxi sitting behind me (their drivers are notorious for not speaking a lot of English) and someone had just gotten out of the back. A moment later there is a guy walking up to my window and knocked.

He: HEY! Do you speak English?

Me: rolling down window Hi there. For the most part yes, just don't catch me after a coupla shots of Turkey. ;o) Can I help you?

He: Do you know where the State Fair Grounds are?

Me: In Salem? O' course. Need me to give your driver directions?

He: Can you just give me a ride there?

Me: looking at the people in the booth ... no one is looking my way. Sure. Hop in.

After about 10 minutes he calms down enough to explain to me what happened. He just flew in from OK to buy a horse being shown at the 'grounds, hopped the 1st cab in line and told him where to take him. Driver says "OK" and they're off. Turns out that "OK" is the only words in English the driver knows, he's waiting for the passenger to tell him where to turn.

When the pass. figured that out he made the driver turn him around, take him back to the airport and drop him off and he refused to pay him. Paid me just over a hundred to get him there though.

If only we could get more people to do this we might not be having such a controversy over what street in Portland to name "Cesar Chavez Boulevard". And ho BOY do I have an opinion on that one.

And today's drawing:


"Yeah,but I'm not a nice guy"

I was sitting downtown t'other night, 'round about 4:15a at a cab stand reading a book when a guy comes walking up to my drivers' side window. He was a younger-ish black fella and he smelled bad. He seriously looked like he was homeless. Ragged clothes, shoes didn't match, ratty old jacket, etc.

He: How much would it be to go to the corner of N Albina and Killingsworth? nasty area.

Me: Depends on where near there. Roughly $10, plus or minus. I'm already thinking no cash, no dash. This guy has kind of a creepy air to him.

He: All right. He hands me a $20/bill from a huge wad o' cash he had in one of his pockets.

He walks around to the passenger side and gets in the back and we're off. I try to make conversation with him and he finally starts chatting back. He tells me he's from New York City via Cincinnatti as he got in so much trouble there that he "... had to leave."

Me: Wow. Must've been pretty serious to send you all the way across the country. grin

He: Oh. It was. no grin, still creepy.

Me: Ah. Ok. Then. What do you think of Portland? How long you been here?

He: I've been here for about 3 weeks. And I hate it. It's too quiet for me here. People ask too many questions. Creepier.

Me: I'm sorry to hear that. It'll grow on you, sometimes just takes awhile. Portland's a nice city. Hell, it's nice enough you can still have female cab drivers. grin

He: Yeah, but I'm not a nice guy.

Me: pulling up to the corner where he wants dropped off. You seem like a nice guy to me. grin So just, anywhere here?

He: after getting his change It's a good thing you said that, about me being nice. Else I probably would have just slit your throat and left you for dead.

And I swear this guy was dead-on serious.

Me: Ummmm, thank you? Have a good night.

And I got the hell outta there. I could count on one hand the times I thought I was seriously in trouble in this job and still have about 3 fingers left, and this guy just creeped me right the eff out. Apparently with reason.


Whatcha think?

So my latest dilemma is deciding on a name for my book ... I'm really liking the "Lady of the Night" thing but a few nights ago I was trying to figure out how to incorporate some pictures into the book and I was thinking - for the cover - of putting one of my bimbos on the hood of a cab having a Tawny Kitaen moment and naming it "Cab Driving: It Does A Body Good". 'Cuz that's a bit funny to me.

And for your viewing pleasure: yet another work envelope and the latest in a long line of "another pic drawn by me that will die unfinished because I don't like it".

All because I'm too busy and/or lazy to type up a story right now. ;o)



I KNOW I should not find this amusing ...

... but I do. I think I've mentioned once or twice that I am going straight to hell, yes?! Anyone wanna ride with ... I'll drive. ;)

I get sent to a call early this a.m. to a Convalescent Care Facility to pick up a fella and take him to his dialysis appt. Instructions say "AMS. Do not leave alone at all" AMS = Altered Mental State. (ya'll can go ahead and use that one when describing your loved ones here on out ;-)

I get there @5:04, 4 minutes late. He's not out front, as they usually are. I walk in - door's not locked, but has an afterhours box and keypad - and have to walk through the greeting room and the lunchroom to find someone; an incredibly unfriendly woman behind a desk with glass to the ceiling, as if trying to prevent a robbery.

She sees me walk up but she's working on paperwork so she ignores me. Being the optimistic bitch that I am ...


She keeps working on her paperwork. No acknowledgment a'tall. Not even looking up yet.

Me: *snort* (and not a subtle one either) Or not.

She: Do you NEED something? still not looking at me.

Me: Naw. I'm just wandering around your secured facility for the hell of it.

Apparently, that got her attention 'cuz she finally looked up at me.

She: What do you want?

Me: I'm here to pick up Mr. Soandso for his dialysis appt.

She: Well, he's sitting by the front door waiting for you, did you not SEE him?

Me: Do you think I'd be up here obviously annoying the bejesus outta you if I HAD seen him?

She: just as non subtle *snort* Well he's been waiting over an hour for you to show, I know he was just there.

Me: Well, I'm only 4 minutes late and he's not there now.

She: Well, did you try his room?

Me: Not my job. You are to bring him to me ... you're responsible for him until I get him into my van. Can YOU check his room?

She painstakingly extricates herself from her chair and goes to the door to look for him. Surprise, surprise, he isn't there. She checks his room, the bathrooms, closest patient rooms. No Mr. Soanso. She goes and gets the charge nurse, they both start wandering about the facility, fairly quickly. I'm waiting in the foyer, reading the paper. One time when they were passing me the charge rn was chewing out Ms. Twitny "... I TOLD you he was not to be left alone. This is why. Just yesterday he crawled out the window because he said his wife was coming to kill him. (Married guys and future Conv Ctr candidates beware!) It took us 2 hrs to find him curled in a fetal position in the smoking area." etc.

They both walk outside to start looking in the streets. Keep in mind; it's 40 deg. out there, wind is blowing and it's been patchy rain all night, we just happened to be in a downpour. I stood in the foyer and waited. And laughed. Not because of Mr. S, but because the unfriendly bitch was getting chewed out.

A night janitor lady came out to join me in watching them walk off. We trade "ain't she a bitch" stories when her phone rings. The charge rn wants her to get in her car and drive around the neighborhood to see if she can find him.

I drive down the street and pick up to the two walking rn's (because I'm just nice like that) and we wander around for a bit, no luck so I take them back to the facility.

I drive off to the charge rn reaming the unfriendly lady a new (pick a noun). They were in the process of calling 911.

After this call I had to go pick up a fella from another conv. ctr. that I get often going to dialysis so we have a friendly rapport going and I told him the story. He had one for me:

Just the day before they had a pt of the same mental stature at their facility that "escaped" as well. No one could find him but they didn't want to call the police because they didn't need any more bad publicity (use your imagination), so what they ended up doing was sending one of the rn's home to get her bloodhound to bring him in and track the guy. (not kidding). They'd found him - or rather the DOG found him - about 4 blocks away, enjoying the sunshine and talking to some guy standing in his yard.

I can't decide whether I'm scared to get old and end up in a facility like this or if I'm excited just so I could mess with people and blame it on the nurses.

TUA: I had to talk to my supv 2 days ago when I went into base to argue basic semantics of my interpretations of their rules (you can bet I lost THAT battle ;), so while I was standing there talking to him someone at work (another driver mind you) came up and rifled my work bag (has my thomas guide, spare visa slips, pens, nothing important) and took a couple of my drawn-on envelopes; my Witch, the first one I showed ya'll (girl with pigtails) and a kinda crappy WonderWoman one.

Whaddaya gonna do with a drawn-on deposit envelope that has my name on it? Thieving bastard.



There is one particular cab stand that most cabbies try to grab on Fri/Sat nights, it's at the corner of 2nd SW Ash, in the heart of the clubs downtown. I happened to catch it a coupla weekends ago and sitting next to me on the sidewalk were a couple of younger boys with their sign that says "Please support our beer addiction". They thought they were amusing and a few folks were giving them money.

After a few minutes apparently they weren't making enough so they had to come up with a new plan. I was listening in (I was only about 2 ft away from them) to their suggestions. While the discussion was going on one of the boys passed out on the sidewalk. One of the other guys was making fun of him and decided to start drawing on his face with a black Sharpie (Write Out Loud!).

Next thing you know they're offering the folks walking down the street the chance to draw on their friends' face for a dollar.

I left at that point.


Random Pictures

I'm thinking I wouldn't move into any place that had this sign. I've also marked it for my own future moving and/or pick up references. Sorry about the bad pic, but you get the idea.


"The problem is that even YOU don't know where you are... "

Saturday night I get sent to pick up a young feller and his friend just off N Denver and Lombard. I get to the address and there isn't an address that matches what he called in, and there isn't a 'Papa Murphy's' anywhere near there, as said on the instructions. (Which, in and of itself, is kinda odd 'cuz those things are everywhere.) Anyway, I called dispatch and got his cell phone number and called.

Me: Hey there, this is your taxi, are you still in need?

He: Yeah. It's about time, where are you? I don't see you anywhere.

Me: I'm sitting at the address you gave, that isn't really an address, but I don't see a Papa Murphy's anywhere. I take it you're walking? Often if I'm sent to an address that isn't, it's because someone is walking and calls the cab from whatever they're in front of, then after waiting another minute they decide to keep walking.

He: Yeah, actually, I am walking. It took you guys too long. But how long before you can get here?

Me: Depends on where 'here' is.

He: ... What?

Me: Where. Are. You?

He: Oh, I'm at the corner of Rosa Parks and Portland Blvd.

Me: Well, that's kind of a long road. What's the cross street? They are in the process of changing over Portland Blvd to Rosa Parks Blvd here, so the entire street has both names at each intersection.

He: I just told you. *sigh* Are you not listening to me?

Me: Look Jr my name for most young men that irritate me. You are actually looking at the signs for the same street. Just look at the sign for the street that goes the other direction. At this point I started driving down Denver as it intersects w/Ptld Blvd a few blocks down.

He: Look, I'm on the east side of Denver at Ptld Blvd slash Rosa Parks. Can you find me now?

Me: Are you on the east side of the freeway as well? Keep driving down Denver.

He: Yeah. I am. Can you find me?

Me: Depends, can you tell me what the cross street is where you are or do you wish for me to just drive down ptld Blvd until someone flags me down? I NEEED to know where you are to pick you up.

He: Look, I don't understand what the problem is here. Why can't you find us?

Me: The problem is that even YOU don't know where you are, how in the hell am I supposed to find you? I found them, I was sitting at the light right across the street watching him talk to me on his phone, at the corner of Rosa Parks/Ptld Blvd and Denver. Not east of the fwy by any means.

He: Hey, Miss. You're a cab driver right? Don't you have GPS in your cab? If you can't find me then can you send someone that is capable of doing their job?

Me: I can and will certainly call the company and send you another cab, Sir.

He: How long is that going to take? It took almost an hour for you to get here and it's a little cold out here.

Me: I've been dicking around with you on the phone for 10 minutes, you could have certainly been in my nice, warm cab and on the way home if you would have either stayed where you called the cab to or could look at the sign from the other side of the post and told me what your cross street is. But in this particular case he's trying to talk over me now I'm going to call you another cab, to the corner of Rosa Parks and Ptld Blvd, because I'm sure only a male cab driver can find you now.

He: Finally, some progress. Can you guess as to how long or are you able to do THAT?

Me: Indeed. My guess is it's going to take a helluva long time. Good bye.

You really just can't argue with drunks. :o)

TUA: I've disabled my archives so I could write the book, with any luck it'll sell/publish and I don't want people to be able to read the entire thing online, ya know? And if anyone is wondering I gotta lotta stories so there is many in the book that haven't been on here.


*be vewwy, vewwy quiet ...

I'm wwiting a book* Yup. Broke down and am doing it. We'll see how it goes. Will probably go a lot faster now that my Game Cube upndied on me. POS. No more Sims for me.

And on a totally unrelated note: I don't generally do meme's just ... 'cuz. But I found this one to be entertaining and educational (to me) and I see that some of you do these, so partake and enjoy. Or else. ;o)

Meme instructions:

1) Go to Wikipedia
2) In the search box, type your birth month and day but not the year.
3) List three events that happened on your birthday
4) List two important birthdays and one death
5) One holiday or observance (if any)

My Birthday: January 12

1) Rocky Mountain National Park formed (1915)
2) "Batman" the series debuted on tv (1966)
3) Led Zeppelin released their 1st album (1969)

1) Jack London - author (1876)
2) Joe Frazier - boxer (1944)
3) Honorable mention: Rob Zombie - singer (1965) and Oliver Platt - actor (1960)

1) Agatha Christie - author (1976)
2) Honorable mention: Hiram Walker - distiller (1899) and Maurice Gibb - singer (2003)

Tanzania - Zanzibar Revolution Day

I picked things and/or people that I have/had a personal interest in for whatever reason. Well, except the holiday thing.