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December 29, 2007

December 29, 2007 – Thank You Sir, May I Have Another!

Today I got a ticket in Cortez by the “Sarge.”  Yeah, he had a mustache, portly fellow he was.  I wouldn’t doubt he likes bologna. 

            Sarge: License and registration please.
Sarge: Do you know why I stopped you.
            Me: No
Sarge: Well you can’t make a U-Turn here, and even if you could you cant do it on a red arrow.
Me: (Staring at officer)
Sarge: Hold on.

            It’s never very promising when the cop tells you to hold on.  Just sitting there in the car, waiting impatiently, wondering if you are going to get a ticket.  People driving by and staring like you just got caught clubbing baby seals or something.   I almost always get the ticket, so that’s what I expect, but when I don’t I’m pleasantly surprised.

December 10, 2007

December 10, 2007 – Kirk

            And then there’s Kirk… 

Boy, this guy’s a piece of work.  Where do I start…  Well, Kirk is a fifty something, fat, bald, lonely loser who works EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE YEAR. He works every fucking day, unless the car is broken, or he’s in jail, which happens from time to time.  Once Kirk disappeared for about 5 weeks.  Everyone was baffled.  No one could figure out why he hadn’t been coming in.  When one of the drivers inquired about his whereabouts the office told him that Kirk had taken a vacation.  Not too long afterwards Bertha spilled the beans, well not literally, she would never spill food.  Not on purpose at least.  Now that I think of it, she probably spills things all the time, having those fatty fingers and all.  They look like bratwursts, and just like bratwursts they’re always covered in grease.

Turns out that Kirk did a little time for beating up his landlord.  Or so the story goes…  Kirk is just another angry bitter old man.  A complete asshole to everyone, and for no reason.  It’s like he feeds off others contempt for him.  I just can’t fathom it – going to work with the sole purpose of alienating all your co-workers.  This is a man who should not be working with the general public.  He should be working the night shift at a Panamanian box making factory.  Ok, it doesn’t have to be in Panama, or even be a factory that assembles boxes, but you get the point.

I heard a funny conversation on the radio today between Kirk and another driver.

Kirk: Cab 300.
Dispatch: Who called?
Kirk: …ab  30…
Kirk: Cab 3….
Dispatch: Who’s calling!
Kirk: Some queer’s playing with the radio.
Unknown: Wha Wha Whaaaaa.
Kirk: Why don’t you say that to my face.
Unknown: Wha Wha Whaaaaa.
Kirk: Oh what a coward.
Dispatch: Let him talk!

People always give Kirk shit.  Exchanges like this on the radio have become commonplace.  Kirk doesn’t have a cell phone either.  Really?  Who in this day in age doesn’t have a cell phone?  When the drivers are especially persistent with interrupting Kirk’s transmissions on the radio he is forced to find a payphone and call the office.  Just like Jorge – see a pattern emerging…? 

 This isn't Kirk, but the resemblance is uncanny!  And just like Kirk, he's a psycho too.  I'll have to get a picture of him and do a side by side comparison.

I’ve noticed that there are really no penalties handed down to drivers for bad behavior.  The office doesn’t seem to punish anyone, at least for bickering on the radio with other drivers.  What surprises me is that the office has no idea why certain drivers are routinely taunted.  Catherine seems to think that Kirk is such a hard worker and some great guy and only gets picked on because he makes more money than everyone else.  That may be true, the latter at least.  He does work like 80 hours a week. 

December 6, 2007

December 6, 2007 – Mr. Banning

           Julie: Cab 34
           Cab 34: Cab 34 Go ahead
           Julie: Pick up Mr. Banning at 1820 in The Palms
           Cab 34: …I just got a flag

           Julie is probably the only one that doesn’t realize that is bullshit.  A “flag” occurs when an individual on the street waves down a taxi as it is driving by unoccupied.  Cab 34 just pretended that he had a customer so that he could avoid the call.  As a transportation service we cannot refuse to pick up customers who telephone the cab office for a pickup.  This is one of the stipulations of the City of Cortez sets for granting us a taxi medallion to work within its jurisdiction.  Or so I’m told…  As often is the case, whenever a call is dispatched to pick up an undesirable customer drivers come up with some type of excuse.

            Julie: Cab 777!
            Cab 77: (Slight pause after debating whether or not to answer…) Go ahead…
            Julie: Pick up Mr. Banning at 1820 in The Palms
            Cab 777: …10-4

            None of us like Mr. Banning.  He is a grumpy old man in his 90’s who is quick to point anything and everything that he doesn’t agree with.  Lets not sugar coat it, he’s an asshole.  As would be expected Mr. Banning is growing increasingly senile and forgetful in his later years.  In addition to being rude, he feels the need to continuously instruct us as to where the most popular Italian restaurant in Cortez is, as if we didn’t know. 


Every once in a while Mr. Banning compliments our driving and we are graciously rewarded with a $.25 tip for our congeniality and driving abilities.  This would be a great tip in the 1940’s.  Unfortunately like many of Cortez’s aging residents, Mr. Banning hasn’t adjusted to inflation and hasn’t yet realized that you can’t get a movie, soda, and popcorn for a quarter anymore.  Truthfully, I can’t name anything you can get for a quarter… 

December 2, 2007

October 1, 2007 – The Cashier

           Every Tuesday morning I come in and pay my cab lease.  Before me sits Stanley, who lest not be confused with our idiot mechanic.  I’m sure Stanley is a nice guy, seems that way at least.  It’s hard to gather much from our conversations.  Well, I don’t know if it is actually a conversation.  I talk and he just mumbles unintelligible words and drools on himself with a glazed over look on his face, reminiscent of something Salvador Dali may have painted.

This isn't Stanley, but he looks like a raisin as well.

Don’t know his exact age, surely approaching the century mark.  I mean he’s really fucking old.  Nothing against old people, but my time is valuable, and I don’t want to spend one more minute than I have to in that office.  I was told that Stanley works here because he is bored, and that he works for free, or next to nothing.   I’ve never seen anyone count money so slow, it takes him like three minutes to count a stack of fifteen $20 bills.  Then he recounts it at least twice, or more if you don’t stop him.  I may just pay with hundreds next time.  I once brought in a dollar coin, which simply baffled him.  I’d be surprised it he had ever heard of a credit card, or if anyone in that office had heard of one for that matter.