Recycling an old story ... Some Do's and Dont's of Cabbing

I wrote this one about 4 yrs back. This is all still pertinent and I've added one or two more. :)

DO: Talk to your cab driver. You might enjoy it.

DO: Turn on your damned porch light!! If you expect to get to the airport at some un-godly hour and I have to get out and walk up to every single house to see a damned address because the entire street has their lights off then damn it, I'm going to be late.

DO: Call back and cancel your call if your idiot friend comes back and you decided to ride w/their drunken ass back to where ever.

DO: Let me know if you aren't feeling well. Don't make me find out the hard way. It makes for an unhappy cabbie.

DO: Actually have the means to pay the fare before you get in the cab.

DON'T: Sit in the front seat if you're the only person in the cab other than me. I load up the front seat w/crap for this very reason. And don't insist on it even after I ask you to sit in back. It's a comfort issue. Mine. Not yours.

DON'T: Let the first words out of your mouth something along the lines of a) 'have you ever been robbed?' b) 'do you ever feel scared?' c) 'ever get somewhere and have someone run without paying?' Any combination of these will likely get you on the side of the road waiting for another cab.

DON'T: Complain to me that every single cab driver you've ever gotten doesn't speak english. Not my fault. When the powers that (shouldn't) be decide to make it illegal to work in this country if English isn't your first language THEN you can complain. To them. Not me.

DON'T: Call the 3 major cab companies in Ptld because you're in a hurry and take whichever shows first w/out calling the others and cancelling. Not cool.

DON'T: Touch the driver! Just ... don't.

DON'T: Think that just because I'm a woman driving a cab I'm desperate enough to sleep with you. I don't care how charming your drunk ass thinks you are ... I'm saying you aren't.

DON'T: Flash the camera. Seriously. I don't want to see your boobs. I have my own and odds are fairly decent they're better than yours.

DON'T: Get jealous when your bf is giving me directions. I am no one's competition. If he's willing to go out w/your drunk ass then I probably don't want him anyway.

And a BIG DON'T: Don't look down on me because I'm a cab driver. I'm not living on the street. Or popping out kids to live off welfare. Or trying to cheat the system. I HAVE a job. It may not be glamorous, or something you would do. But give me the smallest modicum of respect for having a job and being able to use that word in proper context.


"... told him she was only 17 know what he said?"

Sometimes as the cab driver I am invisible to those ppl that wouldn't deign to speak to me. I get it, I do. BUT ... I think they should be a bit more careful about what they speak about. Just 'cuz I'm invisible doesn't mean I'm deaf.

I picked up the director and lead camera guy for a t.v. show that's being filmed here in Ptown every year ( 4 seasons now). I got this from listening to them talk. Our ride ended up being a bit longer than necessary 'cuz instead of them telling me where they wanted to go they gave me an address. When I got them there and quizzed 'em on it turned out they wanted the other side of the bridge. No big deal. Learned some interesting things about some of the actors on the show.

BTW: Not going to say which show (can you say "law suit"? :) but let's say the main actor they're talking about is named ... James. James ... Button. Yeah. (who I've picked up a few times and honestly, is getting a rep around town for being unfriendly to the "help" so I don't feel bad talking about him ... anonymously that is. :)

Dir: Well, what can you expect? She's over 40 so of COURSE she's going to try and tell you how to light her while filming.

Cam: Did I tell you what James did?

Dir: Oh God. What now?

Cam: He was standing next to one of my assistants and saw so-and-so's daughter and told him to get her number for him.

Dir: NOOOO! This guy is killing me ... covering his ass all the time. He'll fire us all if he finds out.

Cam: I know. But when my assis. told him she was so-and-so's daughter and he thought about it for a minute...

Dir: Tell me he changed his mind??

Cam: No! When my assis. told him she was only 17 know what he said??

Dir: I'm afraid to hear.

Cam: He told my guy "So give her MY number and tell her to call me."

Dir: I keep telling these people to stop using their under-aged kids as extras. Shit! We have to find a way to get her off the set w/out so-and-so finding out.

AND ... we have a new section to this lovely blog boys and girls ... Viewer Mail! In which our heroine will show the emails sent to her and respond w/something probably snarky. :)

My email:

Been reading your blog for a while now and have never commented or posted, however, thought it was time to do so. First and foremost, you are a very talented writer and artist and I’m grateful that you share those talents with the world.
Secondly, I have shared your blog with several other PDX’ers, and I always get asked “Is that picture really her?”. I of course have to tell them “Don’t know, I’ve never met her. I’d like to think it is!”. Followed by “Every day I find myself going out of my way to look at the driver of every cab I see. I’d like to tell her how much I appreciate the stories and art.”
So that brings me to the third and final part of this e-mail...Is the picture on your blog you?
Please keep sharing with the world!

Dear Dennis:

I appreciate and thank you for your comments and readership. As much as I'd like to say this is me, it's not. It's some random pic found on the webz. If this were me I would imagine this would be a whole different blog and I'd be making *much* larger tips. ;)
Keep looking though. Imagine there has to be at least one cab driver out there that looks like this.

Although I will say I got a $50 tip earlier this morning. Not a very interesting story: some drunken idiot trying to get me to "dance" with him while we were driving and I finally had to slap his hand for playing w/the buttons on my meter and my radio. Seems I make more when someone is trying to apologize for being an ass. Could make for interesting blog fodder tho.


"So ... you waited until she bent down to tie her shoes?"

I picked up a couple from The Kennedy School and took them to a friends' home in outer SE Ptown. We were chatting and got around to the "where are you from" variety of questions. After a few hilarious questions/answers I get that He is from Utah, she is from LA.

Me: I used to live in Sandy, UT but never in LA. Gotta be quite a culture shock huh?

He: Yeah. It's rough being from Utah and being liberal.

Me: What? NO. Is that even possible?

He: And to make it better I'm a Jew.

Me: Holy Chri ... wow. And they LET YOU OUT??

He: Well ... yeah. I suppose. But don't tell anyone.

Me: Hunh. So it wasn't so much a "get out of town and club a woman over the head to take her back and procreate" as it was an "escape plan" eh?

She: Yeah, 'cuz us 6 foot tall Chinese women are so easy to club.

Me: looking at them in the rear view So ... you waited until she bent down to tie her shoes?? :)

They were funny folks. Here for a wedding.


Customer comment ... this might amuse you. :)

It did me. ;)


Whats goin' on? This is Chad #1. ...or two. ...or three, or whoever I am... At any rate, I am the man with the "narrow" He-man embossed ass. First, I love your site dedicated to sharing stories of drunken ass holes with God-knows-what tattooed to their asses; cracks my shit up. Keep up the good work by the way. Anyhow, I was mostly all shit-housed drunk - as were the other Chads that night - however, and correct me if I'm wrong, I recall somewhat recall a cell phone camera and a discount for showing said ass art. Needless to say, I was a little bummed out when pictures of my ass weren't on your web site. Now let me tell you. I didn't go through a drunken night of ass tattooing with my tattoo artist friends for my own benefit. Hell no! I did this for the good of humanity all together! hahaha I did this so that people could see it and laugh and say things like, "What an idiot!" It's the American Dream! hahahahaha

So, if you happen to have the aforementioned picture, put that shit up there! hahaha I can send you another one if you don't though. :)

I'm just giving you a hard time. Thanks for the site, and keep as all entertained.

-Chad #1. ...or two or three or whatever.......

If he sends me the picture I am totally putting this on my blog. :) This is the story of 6-27-11.


This would be hilarious if ...

... the guy wasn't blind.

You'll see. I think I might have done this to a drunk friend in college. :)

I was sitting in the taxi line at the airport waiting to pick up whomever was next when the 'port helper walked a dude out to me w/his luggage and put him in the back seat of my cab. I put his luggage in the trunk and hopped in the car.

Me: Hey there. How you doin'?

He: Fine. Thanks. It was a good flight. I need to go to the Marriott.

Me: K. Which one?

He: Is there more than here? Someone told me this was a pretty small town.

Me: Portland?? We like to think so, but no, 2.5 million w/the 'burbs. And 5 Marriott's just in downtown. Any ideas which one?

He: Not really. Can you get my itinerary out of my luggage? It's in the outside zipper.

Me: Sure.

I hopped out and got into his luggage and pulled out the paperwork ... Mapquest printed out. I was a bit confused by the address until I looked a little closer. Portland, MAINE.

No shit.

Wow. I didn't even know where to go from there. There are cabs lined up behind me waiting for me to get out of the way and I'm just standing there drawing a complete blank. I waved the cabs around me and waved the starter ('port helper) over to me and told him what was going on. I know I wouldn't believe some cab driver if they told me I was on the wrong end of the country so I called in some back up.

Poor dude in the cab finally got out to sit on a bench and make a few phone calls.

While the starter was helping dude back to the bench there was this HOT young man standing there waiting to talk to the starter. We eyeballed each other for a coupla seconds and he smiled at me in a VERY promising way. He started walking towards me, and as I turned to open the door for him this big ol' scary flannel wearing woman walked up from the other way, said "Thanks" and hopped in. Damn it. :)


"It's OK ... who's she going to tell?"

I picked up the wide receiver and punter for our PSU Vikings football team t'other night. The WR was the chatty one, Punter didn't say much. They were both pretty drunk, going from the Cheerful Tortoise to the Barrel Room, short ride.

WR: How you doing tonight?

Me: I'm having at least 3 types of fun tonight. How 'bout you fellas?

WR: We're ... wait? 3 types? What three?

Me: Mental, physical and emotional.

WR: Well, you're pretty quick.

Me: That's called being sober hun. What're you fellas up to tonight? Other than the obvious I mean.

P: Obvious? What do you think we're up to? and he said this with the HOTTEST Australian accent ... not that they aren't all hot to my untrained ear. and beating heart

Me: Holy Baby Jesus you sound CUTE! and wow, he was good looking too.

WR: Yeah. That's what all the girls say.

Me: I bet that isn't all they say to him.

WR: So what do you think we're doing?

Me: I think you're taking this guy to the bar to pick up women.

WR: Now how did you guess? That's exactly what I'm doing. I'm lazy. I just sit back and let him do the fishing for me.

Me: Like fishing in a drinking glass with that accent I imagine.

WR: Yeah, if I'm lucky I might get one of the cast-offs from the 2 or 3 he picks up.

Me: Oh c'mon now, you look like you might clean up pretty well yourself. If you were to maybe wear something besides that nasty old shirt and shorts.

WR: Yeah. Guess I could have changed my shirt, this one hasn't been washed in a week.

P: I wouldn't advertise that if I were you.

WR: It's OK ... who's she going to tell?

Who indeed.


Random violence to my cab ...

I got sent to "Mystic" to pick up this 20 yr old dancer. When I pulled in there was a group of popped collar young men walking towards me to get to their car(s). One was staggering all over the parking lot and dropped his cigarette about 15 feet in front of my cab.

Took him quite a bit of maneuvering to get from where he was to the ground to get the cigarette, then he had a hard time re-standing. I just stopped and waited.

After all his friends had walked by (and smiled at me) he got motor-vating forward towards his friends. He eyeballed the cab as he walked by, said "Fucking Foreigners" quite loud and kicked the fender of my cab. Just 'cuz.

I shoulda ran him over.

I picked up a gent from the airport, his home was downtown at the St Claire bldg so I had to wander up Burnside to get there last night. For those of you that don't know Ptld, W Burnside (and parts of East) are like running a gauntlet of drunks and/or idiots. Tonight as I was driving up the Burnside w/this guy I was on the sidewalk-side of the road as some tourist was parked in the middle of the road trying to make an illegal left.

I heard a weird "plop" and looked to my right, there was this ha-UGE pile of bird crap on my passenger side windshield. I couldn't help it, I just blurted out

"Wow! That bird was FULL! I'm impressed it could still fly."

Then had to point out to Dude what I was talking about (check out the picture below). We were only about 3 blocks from his house so I got him where he was going. After he paid I got out to get his luggage outta the trunk and walked around front to look at the "damage" the bird did. Turns out it was all over the hood and up over the windshield and onto the roof of the cab. After taking some time to admire the sheer talent of that bird I looked at it a bit closer ... it was birthday cake. Chocolate w/white frosting.

Wasn't so impressed after that.


"I'll take $5.00 off the fare if you show it to me."

Picked up these 3 hot guys from up off Broadway Drive going to Sassy's (strip joint) not too far away across the river. Big, loud guy is named Tyson. He's the chatty one, thinks he's a gift to all woman-kind so of course he thought he had my number. :) The cute, small guy is up front w/me texting w/his woman and the guys in back are giving him a hard time.

Tyson: He's not texting ... he's writing his memoirs up there.

Cutie: No, not his memoirs. He's telling his girl he's staying at home since she's gone this weekend.

Tyson: Yeah. At home! Um ... reading a book!

They were laughing and stopped talking for a moment so I said:

Me: You know that's not what we want you doing while we're gone, right?

Tyson: Oh yeah! We got a woman in our car! What IS it you want us to do when at home when you're out of town? DO. TELL.

Me: Well, if you're going to stay home we want you composing poetry to our beauty. All of them looked at me like I'd lost my damn mind and not a one of 'em had anything to say to that. I took pity on 'em ... Unless of course the book you're reading is how to better pleasure us while you're doing the dishes.

Tyson: Oh YEAH! I KNEW I'd like you!! You really need to go to the bar w/us.

Me: Ha. as we pull up to the bar Bye boys ... don't let Tyson get you arrested.

Tyson: But if we did you would totally bail us out right?

Me: No, but if you'd like to give me your girl's phone number I would certainly call her. I'm sure there is plenty of stuff her n' I could chat about.


Picked up these 3 we're-with-the-band looking fellas going across the river from downtown to about 57th NE Sandy. Nice enough guys, laughing and whatnot. Drunk.

He1: Hey. We're all named Chad.

Me: Reeeeally?

He3: Oh yeah. And we're all from South Dakota. And we're all named Chad. What are the odds huh?

Me: Are you guys brothers? Tell me you're all brothers 'cuz the odds of that being funny are pretty darned tall.

He1: No. We just met.

Me: Tonight?

He2: Yes.

Me: Aaaaaand now you're all going home together. Hunh. Wasn't there a movie about that? Some cowboys that just met ... from South Dakota ... they get out of town together ... ?? :)

Hootin' and hollerin' and then we find out that He1 (who's sitting up front) has a tattoo of He Man on his ass. Apparently it's quite the draw at the bars.

Me: Color me intrigued. Can I see it? I'll take $5.00 off the fare if you show it to me.

And he did. Tiny little ass, big tattoo. But well done.


Same story. Different players. Different script.

I picked up a girl and 2 guys from in front of the Barrel Room last night. Pretty people. Girl was a bit angry, she got up front with me. From the conversation I got that they were friends, not significants and out for her 27th bday. It was a pretty long ride considering we only went about 5 miles from where I picked them up, but that could be because the girl didn't shut up a'tall the whole ride and all she did was bitch and whine.

Basically her complaints were: "Oh my God I'm OLD. I might as well be dead. I don't know what's wrong w/my douchebag friends. No one loves me any longer. No one listens to me any more. All my friends want to stab me in the neck w/a knife. WTF is wrong w/them?" Different variations of the same stuff. It got very annoying, very fast. She decided to bring me into the conversation ...

Annoying Little Bitch: Why are my douchebag friends such assholes?

Me: Maybe it's 'cause you're calling them 'douchebags'. Wouldn't that annoy you? I've heard you say it like, 6 times in the last 2 minutes and I'm pretty annoyed.

She stopped talking to me and started in on the guys again.

We're going up over Burnside to the West side of town and at about Skyline is when it got real ugly. I had already turned up the radio a couple of times to drown her out (for which the guys thanked me) when she finally got on the guy's nerves.

Boy1: Liz. Christ. Would you just shut up. You're being a princess right now.

ALB: Why don't you just STFU Ben. I don't know who the fuck you think YOU are. etc etc again.

Boy2 in the meantime had passed out sitting behind me.

I reached up and turned the radio up again. Boy1 reached up and patted me on the shoulder and said "Hey. I'm sorry my friend is being such a bitch."

Me: Welcome to my world Dude. :)

ALB: "Welcome to my world." Yeah right. All you fucking do is drive around and look stupid.

Me: reaching up to turn the radio down Look little girl, I realize you're having a bad night, but don't start fucking w/me.

ALB: Well, that IS what you do, right? Drive around and look stupid. I don't know why you have to jump in the middle of MY conversation.

Me: I was talking to Ben so you actually jumped in the middle of OUR conversation. A little word of advice: you ...

ALB: What? HUH? Is it advice on how not to be STUPID?

Me: Oh wow. pulling over into the 24 hr QFC at Miller/Barnes Actually, yes. It is. I was going to say "you should try not to piss of your driver before they get you where you're going" but now it's too late.

ALB: Why are you pulling in here? Did we TELL you to pull over? Can't even follow simple directions. No wonder you're a cab driver.

Me: I'm pulling over because you're getting out. Here. Now.

After a bit of arguing they all got out. They guys didn't want to but since they couldn't shut her up and I don't leave women on the side of the road alone ... you know.

Same story. Different script.



It was a rough weekend ...

First and foremost it was Father's Day. Happy FD Dad - where ever you may be. :)

Then in Portland we had two other BIG things happening this same weekend:

1) It was Pride weekend in Portland. Lots of people here for the festivities and parade. Oddly enough, I haven't - yet - heard of a single hate issued crime happening. It was good times for all. The weather was nice enough and seemingly everyone was happy.

2) The other was the Naked Bike Ride on Saturday night. Yearly and international event (although I read that there are only 4 cities in the US that do it), people protesting cars. It's always amusing ... last year we had 13000 people riding, this year is estimated at about 9-10K. Not everyone is completely naked, although many are. A lot of people standing around gawking and yelling, and sadly, many people just trying to get around but stuck in traffic. I try, every time something of this nature comes to downtown to stay out of town, but there is always someone that wants to go downtown. ::sigh:: It's a rough life. And unfortunately I got stuck 1/2 way across the Hawthorne Bridge as the Ride was starting because everyone in front of me had to stop their cars.

Anyway, pictures stolen from someone's blog and when I say "rough weekend" what I really mean is "incredibly amusing to those of us that are sober" especially when we think about the amount of talcum powder sold in Ptld on Sunday. :)