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August 16, 2007

August 16, 2007 - The $300 Ride

            As I drop off my passengers downtown two drunks hop in, a man and a woman in their late 20’s to early 30’s.

             Me: Hey, sorry guys, I can’t pick up here.
             Man: It’s cool.
             Me: No, It’s not cool, I can’t pick up here, I don’t have the proper permit.
             Man: Come on man! I’ll give you $300.
            Me: I’m sure you will, but I really can’t pick up here.
            Man: Nah, it’s cool.
            Me: NO.  I REALLY CAN’T.
            Man: No, it’s fine, just take us.
            Me:  Yeah, whatever. Alright fine.  Were are you going?

            So after he informs me that we are going to Pacific Beach, which is a decent ride, especially at the end of the night when I might not get another fare, I decide to take them.  Before driving off I look around to make sure no one noticed.  It’s dead and there are no cabs around to pick these guys up anyways, and since they refuse to get out of my cab I might as well take them. 

            So I hear all this commotion in the back and low and behold they are screwing right in the back seat.  I really don’t care as long as it stays in the back seat and they don’t make a mess, although it is a little awkward...

So we are approaching our destination and they are still busy in back so they give me the go ahead to just drive around.  Then they want to go to Ocean Beach, by now the fare is $47, nothing to scoff at.

             Man: Thanks
             Me: Hey, no problem.
             Man: Hey can you wait for me?
Me: Where are you going afterwards? (If they are only going a short distance afterwards I usually don’t wait, in cases like that it usually isn’t worth my time.  Anyways, it’s like 2 in the morning by now and I’m exhausted.)
Man: To Rancho Santa Fe
Me: Sure, I’ll wait.

Then the man starts to walk with the woman into her house.  Often if someone asks you to wait for them, especially at night, it is good to ask them to pay what is currently on the meter, and sometimes the waiting time in advance.  Sometimes the people don’t come back out because they decided that they didn’t want the cab anymore, or fell asleep.  Either way, that leaves me holding the bag, so to speak.

Me: Hey, you have to pay me.
Man: Ok. Here’s $20
Me: No, you have to pay what’s already on the meter, and leave me a deposit to wait.
Man: (Agitated) I have money.
Me: I’m sure you do, but it’s just procedure.
Man: Fine. (As he hands me a hundred dollar bill) Don’t fuck me.
Me: Hey, if you’re going to Rancho Santa Fe, I’d be more than happy to wait for you, but sometimes people go inside and don’t come back out.  Requesting a deposit is something that I do for everyone.  Nothing personal.  Waiting time is $20 per hour, so for $53 you have roughly 2 ½ hours, which is plenty of time.  If you don’t give me a call or come out before the meter hits $100 I’ll drive off and take your hundred with me for my time.  Here’s my number.
Man: Thanks, I’ll be about thirty minutes.
Me: Ok

Sure enough he came out about thirty minutes later and decided to go to Rancho Santa Fe.  The fare was $127.  He gives me two more one hundred dollar bills.

Me: You already gave me a hundred.
Man: I know.

            Son of a bitch actually gave me $300, that’s a $173 tip.  That almost never happens. When it’s busy or there are no cabs around, people will tell you almost anything to get a ride.  No mess in the back seat either, everything went off without a hitch.

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