One Second thoughts and other things that go through a Taxi cab driver's head.
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A day in a cab, as seen by a clown Priest
For the Taxi Cab driver, the widest night of the year has to be New Years Eve.
I don’t usually drive the night shift. I like the daytime customers. Mostly you get the old ladies and medical fares, but on this night in particular I was to be one of daring drivers to take on the evening shift.
It didn’t start out that way. I came in for my usual 8 am to 6pm shift. The day was a slow one, as it creped along at a pace that would kill a cowboy waiting for a sunset. Like waiting for the Christmas day package opening ceremony, I was waiting for a fare. As the day moved on it was clear that this day was not to be a moneymaker. A day of service to the regulars was all this day was going to offer. I went in to the shop around 3 pm with about $65 dollars earned for the day so far. I asked the boss if it was OK to keep the cab out for the night, he saw on the schedule that the car was free that evening, so I was able to take it for the rest of the night. After a good rest I got ready for the evenings excitement. Dressed in my finest clown costume, which consisted of tux tails (with epaulets and many badges) top hat with horns, and of course a clown nose. I don’t do a white face anymore; I find that it is what scares the people the most. Also with a face like mine, it isn’t necessary. I then decorated the cab with tiny disco ball, bells and a hidden remote farter in the backseat. I wanted the fares, this night to experience the most unusual cab ride of their life.
My first ride of the evening, as serendipity would have it, was a father and his 10-year-old daughter. This was to be her first cab ride ever. She was excited just to go out on the town with her father on this special evening, but to be driven by a clown cab was icing on the cake. The father was delighted to have me as the driver and requested my card, as he would need a driver all night. The little girl was precious with her wide eyes and the smile of delight. Before we started off on the route to their first party, I performed a small slight of hand magic trick for them, and of course squeezed out a remote fart, just to get the engine going.
Now as a cab driver, it is most importance to drive safely and not clown around behind the wheel. I am a clown but I’m also a safe driver, so I pay attention to the road and keep my hands on the wheel. I never place the passengers or myself in jeopardy. I say this because I have, over the years, perfected the art of being a clown and being very aware of the world around me. You may be used to the birthday party clown that comes up fast and loud, creating more of a nuisance than a feeling of delight or joy. Or the clown may leave you feeling spun out, energy robbed and glad to see them leave.
This is not the method I use as a clown cab. The best surprise is the clown arriving at your house. I jump out of the cab sometimes falling on the ground sometimes using a small toy siren and mega phone I announce my arrival by a loud toot.
The evening was full of people out to do one thing, party. They were ecstatic about my costume and most requested a card for a ride later that evening.
I’ve never experienced an evening of so much movement. When it started it never stopped. As soon as I would let people out of my cab others would pile in or the dispatch would send me to pick up some folks. The riders were all in a mood of cheer, with parties and events to attend. As the evening wore on I was piling up the cash so fast I couldn’t even count it. My cell phone was ringing off the wall and I couldn’t seem to pick all the people up that wanted the Clown Cab. There was a guy that kept calling through out the night pleading for me to come and take them down the road. It was in a town only 13 miles away but there was no way I was going to leave the city and get those folks. The client got mad a t one point and yelled at me. I could tell he was frustrated when I told him that I wouldn’t come unless he promised $50 bucks, he said
He would pay it, I paused and thought about the time it would take, then told him, nope not enough; too busy; call again some other time and I moved on to the next call. I felt a little bad for the gent, but on a night such as this, not all will get a ride.
After 19 hours of driving and $500 bucks I was ready to call it an evening. My last ride was the longest and seemed the hardest of the evening. They were a nice dead head couple and their parents that had been stranded for over 3 hours waiting for a cab. They were way out there in the boondocks. The fog was thicker than your mama’s split pea soup. I was driving in a dream world with a soft fuzzy feeling of serenity until I almost rear-ended a car stopped at a traffic light. That’s when I knew my shift was over.
I too a few more hours for the road vibrations to wear off. It’s a slight hum in your body that feels as if you are in a car with the engine running. It’s a funny feeling like the road stays with you a little bit longer, like an old friend that doesn’t want to leave.
Keeping Your Car Cool
This is a job for a certain kind of person, I guess. All and all it is an exciting way for me to pay rent. I don’t expect to get rich, but it does give me time to get other projects done.
I feel this is still a job that creates a lot of inner growth. I feel that I am a better man for having done this.
The dispatcher told me that the phone will be silent for a long time then the phone will ring, no sooner another and another until five calls all come in at the same time. He told me this happens over and over. It’s like a herd decides to move. They are not related to each other, but they all at the same time, from their cozy little room, reach for the phone and call a taxi. Movement happens then. It makes me wonder why all the people decide at the same time to move from one place to another? What was the connected inpulse that made them reach for the phone at the same moment others were? And with the dispatcher, 30 year taxi veteran, stating this being the norm in the business. Wow, it makes you stop and think.
On a slow day no-one moves. We sit in our cab waiting, waiting, waiting for our number to be called. Your number is important because every time the dispatcher calls “your number” it means there is money to be made. My number is 55. I like my number and it has a special meaning for me. But more important is the fact that I have a audio line to that number and the sound of that number. I can be doing anything, even have the music up loud, but when I hear the golden sound of fifttttttttty fivvvvvvvvvvvvve, I get the current that sends my hand reaching for the radio mike to respond to the monetary invation, fifty five hear. They call me “Double Nickles, or Wodden nickels”. I’m the only driver with a nickname, most of the driver seem to just have a number, now I know it is also special to them, but I don’t know if it is the number or the mere fact that that number serves as a tool for their employment. More on other drivers later, back to the slow day.
The people aren’t moving around and no matter where you drive or where you go, no rides. You start to count your money and wonder. Thoughts creep in. “ Your not making any money today. Shut-up you shouldn’t place negative thoughts out there to be reflected back at you with the result you just sent out the the universe, you iggno. What, your not an iggmo, just a person trying to create a positive flow in abundance and service. Let if flow my way oh Dispatcher of the Gods. Throw a lighting bolt of a need to get to San Francisco, and my number being the one to fill that desire.
They call me "Double Nickles"
or just the clown, either way, you get a seriously safe drive by a real positive fellow.
A professional driver with an angle //
Just because I'm a clown doesn't mean you are doing to get a ride full of whoopie pies. Most of the time I drive and listen to jazz, but when the time is right and the mood needs it...
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