So I'm wandering down around the Reed College area ...

round about 3a-ish a few nights ago, heading to the overpass to get over McLoughlin Blvd. on Woodstock and have to stop because I come up on a beaver ambling across the road. A beaver. Just some ... random ... beaver. On the road. In the cross walk no less. I mean ... it's a BEAVER for fuck's sake.

I had plenty of time to think about this as I was watching him - and since then - I've never even SEEN a beaver outside of the zoo and this fat bastard was just trolling across the road. Yes, I know we're the Beaver State and you would think we had one on every street corner hocking dental floss, but ... I mean ... I ju ... I ...

I'm assuming he was just wandering from one waterhole to another. Guess I'm also assuming it was a he for that matter.

SO - here's where MY brain goes when I see a beaver walking across the road ...

* How did he know to cross in the cross walk? I mean - I know the deer have the pictures so they know where to cross the road buuuut ... what? The wildlife is just smarter at Reed College? I know the students are, but ...

* Really??? A beaver.

* Apparently that nuclear reactor they have at the college is doing a bit more for the local wildlife that we are aware.

And of course the classic -

* why did the beaver cross the road?


I let the bastards get me down ...

... which is why I stopped writing as many stories. I let "them" suck the fun outta my job.

But -

spring has finally sprung in Portland!!!!

I have a new car.
A new shift.
A new day driver.
And a whole new attitude.

It is once again all sunshine and rainbow colored bubbles in my cab. Whooot!!

So, like I said, I let the bastards get me down but I've rallied and plan on once again amusing myself at the expense of others ...



"Weeeeeelllll actually ... "

I was trolling the streets t'other night and ended up at Kells Irish Pub (one of the more popular places downtown) and picked up a young couple and took them up behind Zupan's @ 23rd and W Burnside (21 blocks up the road). She got in first and fell across the seat, drug herself up and greeted me with a big ol' sloppy, drunken kiss on the cheek (she was reeeeally happy to see me). He got in and started singing some boy band song that I didn't recognize.

She: Would you STOP shinging that shong!! Oh my Gawd I am sho shick of hearing that shit! SHUT UP!!

He: Ummmmm ... HUH?

She: ADAM! Shut up! I hate that shong! Goddamnit ... it's my BIRFday ... why can't you shing shomething I like?? I HATE you. No I don't. I LOVE you. Oooooohhh... you are such a cute little baby. At this point she's rubbing his face like he's a kitten. I'm just watching in the rear view. Whew.

She finally spits out where we're going and we're off.

Me: after seeing Adam starting to slide to the side He's not gonna yak in my cab is he?

She: I don't shink sho. Adam. ADAM!! Wake up. You aren't going to frow up are you??

He: NoooooooOOOOOOoooo. I don't do that. I'm fiiiiiine. aaand he passed out

So she was just blabbering away drunkenly about how great it is to have a woman cab driver and how she really didn't like strange men helping her into the house all the time when she's alone. I refrained from mentioning that maybe she shouldn't be drinking to the point of having to have strangers drag her in the house.

ANYway, I get up the hill to their place, she's trying to wake up Adam while she's digging cash outta her purse. He's not really waking up. She stumbles out of the cab and puts her purse on the trunk to dig through it so I wake up Adam - I've had a bit of practice at this. He wakes up and looks at me and gets *that look* on his face.

Me: ADAM. Do NOT throw up in my cab.

He: uuuuuuhhhhh ...

Me: Get OUT of the car. NOW.

He: All right. Jeez. Mom. It was only that one time. After prom.

Me: Don't you make me get your father out here young man, now OUT! hey, whatever it takes

He sat up straight and stumbled out of the cab and over to the fence and starts throwing up over the railing. Their place is on a one way in/out street on this hill just off downtown, parking is at a premium here and theirs is fenced off w/the railing to keep people from driving off the edge onto a 15 foot drop into the bushes - this is where he's yakking.

She reaches in to pay me and as I'm looking at her he takes a header over the fence ... ! It takes me a moment to realize what I just saw, grab my phone and get over to the railing. Dude is laying there, on his face in the mud (it's been raining here a bit :).

Me: yelling at him as I'm calling the police ADAM! Are you all right?? Answer me ... ADAM!!

He: raises his right arm and waves it Fine. I'm fiii ... and yaks again.

She: plops down on the ground w/her legs dangling over the edge and her arms through the fence Oh he's fine. He does this all the time. ADAM! Get your drunk ass up here.

I'm chatting w/the p.d. dispatcher, telling her what's going on, meantime Dude rolls over onto his back and throws up on himself again. Fortunately the cops got there pretty quick. I left it to them and went back to trolling and ended up at Kells again and picked up this couple that were - happily - no where near as drunk as the other two. They were chatting as we headed to 2nd SW Harrison:

She: Wow. What a party. Kelly is going to regret all those birthday shots tomorrow.

He: Yeah, she's going to be miserable. And what happened to Adam? Man! He was fine and then he wasn't ... I thought he was going to throw up in the bar! I hope nothing happened and he made it home all right.

Me: Weeeelllll actually ...



"My dad's a LAWYER so I think I know the law!"

I picked up this seemingly normal woman last night at about 2a-ish from a place called Sesame Donuts in the Raleigh Hills area. She was almost as wide as she was tall and smelled of cat. Wedged herself into the cab and just started rambling about nothing that seemed important (to me) but apparently was enough that she had to keep touching my shoulder to make sure I was paying attention every time she had a point to make.

Complete strangers touching me tends to make me a bit ... irritated. Woman or no.

So this woman is blabbering about how she had to wait at the donut shop instead of the Dublin Pub across the street because she's a good Christian girl and didn't want those heathen men trying to follow her or try and pick her up like all men do on the bus. ("Boys are BAD!" I think she seriously considered jumping outta the cab when I said "Yeah, but that's what we like about 'em.")

ANYway, this woman was talking a bit too much so I tuned her out. We were on our way to the East side via the Ross Island Bridge at her direction, even though I offered to take her the shortest route (that would cost less as she said she only had a finite amount of cash) she said she could only go the way she normally drove because it was the only way she knew. Certainly her option. I tried. So, we were sitting at the light, and she's blabbering away and she finally stops to ask about the meter:

She: Is the meter still running?

Me: Of course, you're in a taxi.

She: But ... we're sitting still.

Me: Yes. I see that. But the meter still runs.

She: Wait a minute. That isn't right. You can't run the meter when we're stopped.

Me: Actually, I can. It's the laws that are set up by the City of Portland's Taxi Cab Commission.

She: Oh, I seriously doubt that. My dad's a LAWYER so I think I know the law! You need to stop that meter right now Missy. I said NOW!

Me: Wow. I haven't been called "Missy" since Sister Mary-Margaret caught me putting ants on Bobby Miller's desk. Well, if you look at the window right next to your head the cab rates are listed right there. If you can't read them I could certainly read them to you.

She: Oh ... you're CATHOLIC. Well, God loves everyone. Even Catholics. then she peruses the rates for a moment So, these are your rates?

Me: Well, the companies rates, as set by the city.

She: What about other companies?

Me: All Ptld based cabs are exactly the same. Any cab you get based outside of the city can charge whatever they choose.

She: I don't believe you. Who can I call that will tell me whether or not you're lying to me?

Me: Whooo. Well, at this time of night, if you want someone you might believe, I'd say call the competition.

She: Why would I call them instead of YOUR company? It's because you're lying to me, right?

Me: Noooo, it's because I didn't think you would believe my company, so if you call the competition they could tell you whether or not I'm lying. Matter of fact, there's a pay phone right there, at the Plaid Pantry if you would like to call them and ask them for another cab because if you call me a liar one more time I'm going to go ahead and let you out of my cab. NOW. Would you like me to take you over there and let you out?

She: Um, no. So, are these stickers on every cab?

Me: Yes, every Portland based cab.

She: Hm. Well, they aren't very big are they?

Me: No one else seems to have any problems.

She: What about people that are blind? Or can't read?

Me: So, you're suggesting that I what ... recite the rates to every single person that gets in my cab on the off chance they can't read?

She: Well, yes. Exactly. I think I might talk to my dad about this. He's a LAWYER you know. He's a Very. Important. Person. You'd better believe me.

Me: Oh. I do. I promise to only run the meter while you're in the cab so you don't tell your daddy I mistreated a good Christian girl like you.

She: Humph. That's all I wanted. A little respect. Drive on.

Me: You and Aretha Franklin sister. We're almost there so how about we don't talk any more so I can concentrate on my driving.


It was one of *those* nights last night ...

I started a little late last night (1 a.m.) and this is how my night went:

1) Sent to pick up a guy from outer S.E. that missed his bus due to a bachelor party and needed a ride home, not too far away, and all the other guys were too drunk to drive. After we got the where ya goin' stuff outta the way he starts ... eyeballin' me. He asked me out. Me: How old are you? He: 30. How old are you? Me: 1/2 again as old as you. In the time it took to explain to him how to figure that out I got him home and out of the cab - to his wife.

2) Two blocks away from the last one I got stopped at a light and a young lady on the corner knocked on my passenger side window looking for a ride. She hopped in and had a somewhat desperate look in her eye. She started blabbering right away: "Oh God thank you. Thank you! I missed my last bus, I've been drinking after I got off work and stayed a little late. Oh wow, I am SO glad to see you. If you weren't a girl I'd kiss you right now. I've never seen a girl cab driver before. Has anyone ever kissed you for a ride? I think I might just kiss you anyway. Wow. What a night." I just kept looking at her while driving as she blabbered. It was a long 4 miles.

3) After I dropped her off I was on my way to my next ride and got pulled over for speeding. I was doing about 4 over. Nice enough Officer. He let me go w/a warning.

4) This ride was a drunk lesbian looking to head to the closest open gas station to get more beer so she could sit at home alone and be depressed about the fact that she moved here to be closer to the 2nd largest gay/lesbian population in the country and couldn't find a gf. I told her she was living in the wrong neighborhood. Then she decided to ask me out. After I explained to her that the baseball cap was just to keep my hair out of my eyes and not meant to be any sort of gender identification she decided she was even more depressed. "Now I'm getting turned down by a cab driver of all things ... did God not mean for me to be a lesbian?!!" I stayed away from that one and got her home, quickly.

5) Got sent to the Tualatin Police Dept to get some guy being released at 3:30a-ish. (I'm betting DUI since that's usually the time they're released) I'm tooling down the freeway and got pulled over, again, for speeding. Doing about 5 over this time. Sadly, this officer had a very small sense of humor. As he was standing there looking at my license and cab registration/insurance I asked him if he could give me directions to their shop to pick up dude. He eyeballed me for a minute then gave me directions, handed me my stuff back and let me go w/a warning. Whew.

6) Picked up dude from the p.d. (Yes, DUI) Got new tires on his truck, a bit larger than normal (35's) and it threw off his speedo. Said he was doing about 25 over and truck got impounded. I explained that here in OR if you do anything 20 over the p.d. can impound and arrest. He said he also blew a .12 (.08 is legal). Got him home to his very angry woman (waiting at the door) and drove off.

7) Doing about 5 over the speed limit on the way to the freeway back into town and had an officer pull up behind me and turn his lights on. When I pulled over he pulled up next to me and told me to slow down and drove off.

I decided that was enough tempting fate, I headed back to the lot to turn in the cab. Did under the speed limit the entire way.