Friday, July 07, 2006

Stupid mistakes





Last night was a total bust from beginning to end. I made a number of mistakes and bad decisions, the first of which was showing up to work at all. When I got to the garage, the first thing anybody said to me was "Did you gain weight?" I'm not a big person and I don't think I'll ever manage to be overweight, but still. The question is tough to hear. No one wants to gain weight, even if it's just couple of pounds from too many burritos.

Granted, the question was asked in a well-meaning way, followed by a "No, I mean, you look good!" But the damage was done. I mean, how could someone notice if I gained a few pounds when there are a bunch of fat cabbies hanging out not 10 feet away. Anyway, I just woke up and checked myself out in the mirror but I don't seem any different. A few nights ago I wasn't anorexic enough, and now this.

Anyway, when I pulled out of the garage, something smelled funny. I couldn't tell if it was coming from my cab or just from the area I was in so I continued on over the bridge. When I got to the other side, I knew for sure it was my cab. This time it smelled like some kind of horrible toxic oil was burning. I thought maybe it was something spilled on the engine and that it would burn off after a little while, but it never did.

I checked with a few of my passengers to see if they smelled it to, in order to make sure I wasn't going crazy, and they did. But when I checked under the hood, the smell wasn't there. After about an hour, I realized it was coming from somewhere underneath the car, and it didn't seem to have any plans of going away. Now slightly dizzy, nauseous, and with a small headache, I went back to the garage to get it looked at.

I know nothing about cars, but apparently the "rear end was blown out." Or at least that's what it sounded like Lincoln, the head mechanic, said. Then I think he was playing with me because he said, "You ruined my car!" I said back, "Your car ruined my night!" But my night wasn't ruined enough yet, apparently. Walter, one of the cashiers, set me up with an SBV (stand-by vehicle), which is a back-up cab that borrows the medallions from regular cabs that are being worked on. At that point, I didn't want to work anymore -- my rhythm was gone, my head felt weird, and I had lost heart, but Walter, who is a buddy of mine, had no intention of letting me get away with that. What he did say was that he would give me a hundred dollar discount (which I'm sure he would never really do, but it's worth a try) if I mentioned him on the site. Hi Walter!

I lost over an hour of my shift to that stupid car, and when I finally got back on the streets, it was spotty business. Two hours later, I got a lady going to Queens. When I dropped her off, I got another fare deeper into Queens. And here's where the mistakes really start to stack up. It's almost as if I was a brand new driver last night, because when I finally dropped those last people off, I tried to head over to LaGuardia (mistake), but ended up getting lost and taking a long stupid way there (mistake).

When I got there, I pulled into the Delta lot (big fucking mistake), and sat there for over an hour. When I finally got to the front of the line, bad luck kicked in and I got a fare going to Far fucking Rockaway. It's called "Far Rockaway" for a reason, as it's a million miles from the city, but what it is near is Kennedy Airport. So after I dropped off, I made my biggest mistake of the night and drove into the Central Taxi Hold lot at Kennedy.

By this time it was midnight. The lot looked promising as it was only about 40% full, which is usually a good thing, but not last night. I sat there and waited. And waited. And waited. I got stared at by some disgusting, pervy cab driver, who wouldn't even stop staring after I took his photo (featured above). I sat in my cab and read a book, bought a buttered roll (that lacked much butter), talked on the phone to Allen and Diego, and smoked a ton of cigarettes.

Finally, two and a half hours later, I couldn't take it anymore. When you pull into that lot, you get trapped in a lane, with cabs parked in front of you, next to you, and behind you. But by 2:30, a bunch of the cabs in the lanes around me had given up and reversed out of there empty. The lane next to me was now clear, so, being tired, frustrated, and utterly disgusted with the piece of shit night I had been having, I gave up too.

I pulled out empty and drove straight back to the garage, but, of course, not without having to take the long way, since the Van Wyck was closed for construction. But I guess that was just a little extra bonus for me, courtesy of the Department of Transportation.

The only good thing that happened last night was that when I got back to the garage, I stood around bullshitting for a while with Merrill, Abe, and Allen. In the post-shift delirium, those guys made me laugh so hard, I think I actually may have lost those few extra pounds I had supposedly gained. So maybe the night wasn't a total bust after all.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

What is M.P.'s name?

NAV said...

Always a pleasure, cabbie.

How about a link to another blog of witticism and shiticism... www.willisbros.net/blog

Including posts from the ever-idiotic me. FDNY fireman with a flare for the ridiculous... Here's a gorey entry...

http://www.willisbros.net/blog/?p=1439

usually a lot funnier... like so...

http://www.willisbros.net/blog/?p=1181

or like so...

http://www.willisbros.net/blog/?p=1111

Enjoy... as I always enjoy your take on the anything but mundane of day to day living.

Anonymous said...

I hate days like that, hang in there, YOUR strong and will make it thru. Love your blog.

Crabbie said...

I know like three people, and I'm one of them, who had variants on this night (minus the car trouble) last night, including the "I shouldn't work tonight" premonition. After what was basically a four day weekend, it was almost guaranteed suck.

Anonymous said...

As a fellow hack I have to say that I have had nights just like the one you just described. Nights in which everying that can go wrong does! As for the JFK taxi hold, I stay away from that place, it's a income killing death trap.

Anonymous said...

The weight comment could have been worse. I saw my step-grandmother after a couple of years of being away at college and so one. First thing she said to me was "You were so skinny last time I saw you. What happened?" Sigh.

-Amy

Takin'pictures said...

The laughter and the skimpy butter on the roll both helped your so called "weight problem".

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I NEVER wait at JFK, that is asking for trouble big time. Matter of fact I never wait at Laguardia either. If I drive someone there, I get back on Grand Central, get off 33rd st and take 21st down to the 59th street bridge and I`m back in the city in no time, usually with a fare I picked up on 21st street. If it`s JFK, I head up the Van Wyck to Queens Blvd and usually pick someone up there as well. I can`t stand waiting..Even with these hotels in Manhattan, I don`t understand why anybody would wait like that. In the hour or two your waiting for a fare to JFK, you could have made the same money if not more simply driving around, and your not stuck at JFK (unless you pick up a street fare who wants to go there)... Either way I try to to avoid airport runs at all costs unless it`s a really slow day or I`m heading back to the garage.

Anonymous said...

Damn, why are women always so incredibly uptight about their weight and looks? This is a phenomenon that I really had no idea was so severe in so many women. For example, there is this website called hotornot.com where people put up their photos and people rate them...If you go to the women section and rate some of the women, after you do so, it tells you below their pics how long ago they checked their score, and it`s INSANE! Just about every woman on this thing CONSTANTLY constantly constantly checks their freggin` score! "She checked her score 2 minutes ago...She checked her score 10 minutes agao" How the hell can women be this freggin` obsessed with their looks? Check it out if you don`t believe me.

sharkeye said...

ya should quit the smokes before it's too late..

Anonymous said...

Get up in the morning same thing for breakfast oh oh the .............

Anonymous said...

A note to Walter...

A man is only as good as the words he states.

The next entry that this fine young lady presents to the world will hopefully indicate that she indeed got a $100 discount as you stated to show that you are indeed a man of fine words.

Cheers
John M
Montreal, Quebec

Anonymous said...

I always get stuck at Logan (BOS), you wait an hour and a half and this person ( not his fault, Right)is going to EAST Boston right beside the airport. If and get there and back in 15 minutes you move back to the top of the line. Try driving anywhere and back in boston traffic, Yeh right!. He tells me to pull up in a school yard where he had prevoiusly parked his car, you cheap ass bastard!

Molly said...

Hey Melissa--love the blog, never leave a comment. I'm wondering something. Can you explain to us how driving a cab works? Do you have to pay to like "rent" the cab, the fuel, etc. and then keep your fares to make up for that cost? I'm just wondering logistically how it all works.

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

My Father-in-law used to greet people with " You're losin' weight ! " if he liked them and " You're gainin' weight ! " if he didn't.

Then there was the time he greeted a new sales rep, being introduced by his supervisor, with " Oh, God... Not you !? " . But that was another story.

Andrea said...

Hey M.P.,
Glad you posted this story. I was missing all of your mad-cap stories. As far as the weight thing goes, nothing pisses me off more than people making weight comments. Especially since you are as small as I am and frankly we don't give a shit what people notice. So burrito away girlfriend. p.s. make it to Tonawanda and I'll take you to Mighty Taco - the best burrito's and taco's one could eat. Love your blog

lugosi said...

One time I went to the garage because my car was acting funny. The mechanic said I had blown a seal. I said leave my personal life out of and just fix the damn car!

Drunken Master said...

c'est la vie, Melissa, c'est la vie.

For me, a really shitty day usually leads up to something quite nice. I'm sure something will come your way very soon.

EverJack1 said...

Sorry that you had such a rough night, MP, but it gave you something to write about. :o)

I'll never tell that you got lost. Besides, I'm sure that Abe and the others know now, anyway. lol.....

Enjoyed, as usual.

EverJack1

Anonymous said...

in a rare display of shameless self promotion, and inspired by you and your blog, I offer this:

myspace.com/andyscooter

and as far as wondering if I could be a cabbie, I would say that I don't think I could hack it...

daniel said...

Cool, now I know! I've been wondering about what those SBV cabs are about...

Aa for those weight comments - they're just like those fake-concerned "you look tired" statements: basically rude and pointless, cloaked in smug intentions.

I wish you green lights all the way and lotsa tips again for you, MP!

Anonymous said...

Yeap I know the feelings some nights it can run and other nights it can be a disaster. The same happens in Brisbane, Australia. When close to the airport shall I chance it or not "Big Fare and Quick and Easy, some to mind" its what you call taking a gamble. Then you find everyone and their dog is there, flights have been delayed and you get a fare down the road e.g International or the famous Formula 1. On getting these fares we have no set minimum fare nor do we have a right to return to the front of the airport queue so it can be a lottery.
I always say Karma it works itself out you will have the best of nights next week

Katy said...

but see its those crappy nights that make the best posts.

ralf said...

have read the blog for a while....this one reads like a good short story. great writing. thanks for sharing a part of it.

ugly guy at McFadden's said...

You no longer hold my interest. At least that pervy fellow cabbie found you attractive.

Wanda said...

The idea of gaining weight is not an obsession with every women. I myself enjoyed my freshman 10. Now that I am done with college, people have nicely commented on my curvy shape. Once before I considered myself to be like "una tabla de planchar." Clothes hanged on me when I wore size two.
Now i fit 5 and up, I love it. True that my hourglass shape is slender, I am glad I am not the stick I was before.

CharterJames said...

Yeah, when I first started driving those aggravating nights seemed fairly rare. Now they seem common. Remember the night of the floods? Was it early June? A Friday, a big money night, and I made nothin', and I got two flat tires that night one at the start of shift and one at the end. Then the next week on the Saturday the headlights go on my car. Not hte lamps burning out, the wiring so for a frustrating four hours they are on again, off again, until I couldn't take it anymore and cashed in the car for credit. Two nights ago I had the taximeter go. Just refused to do anything but display nonsense. And of course, as I "Off Duty" my way back the garage, fares were rising out of the asphalt in swarms along 11th Ave.

Adele said...

I love reading about your cabbie adventures - your stories are always entertaining - keep it up!

NYC TAXI SHOTS said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Galt-In-Da-Box said...

Bummer, man.
That greaser/raghead that was making freaking goo-goo eyes at you was probably looking for some action...Camels being in short supply in NY and little boys legally off limits.
Sick looking fuck for sure!

Anonymous said...

Dear galt-in-da-box,

your sick and racist comments are offensive and don't do much for your country in the eyes of the world especial in the midst of the conviction of a US soldier who raped a girl between 14 & 20 then murdered her and her whole family.

There is evil everywhere ...I'm lookin at you.

Joann said...

My day was not so good but I did get to talk with Mr. Rock Star, Tommy Lee, up on the 5th floor parking at San Francisco Airport. He let me get some photos.

Lesson learned: Never take out a smelly cab.

BBC said...

Sign in a bar I go to.
Girls bringing sailors in must pay for a room in advance.

Anonymous said...

Your a woman? OMG - I've been in love with you for ever and I find out NOW that your a woman. This will never do. My life is a void...Jennefer

Anonymous said...

All schedule flights in and out stops at midnight, although they can't very well turn away "late" flights. Is it really worth heading up their at midnight?

pouty said...

I like how you took a picture of the creepy pervy cabbie and how it shows in the pic. heh. Funny how he still stared despite being photographed, that's when you know they're seriously creepers.

inkyhack said...

Lol. I sure can sympathize with your crappy night. I've had plenty over the years. Sometimes our karma is out of wack. I'm sure today will be much better.

asy said...

Don't ya hate it when things just go wrong one after the other???

How's the book going, by the way?

asy :D

DS said...

I hate it when creepy guys stare at me like just if they stare at you long enough you will suck their dick....fuck that shit creepy starign guys make for a shitty day

Dana said...

Far Out Flipin piece of crap night Thank God it ended. Funny stuff M.P.!! Howevr y'all that post comments are priceless!
P.S I Love Big Butts

Peace

DrumIntellect said...

lugosi said...
"One time I went to the garage because my car was acting funny. The mechanic said I had blown a seal. I said leave my personal life out of and just fix the damn car!"

Addotta, Kip has a similar line in his song? "Wet Dream" featured on Dr. Demento's 20th Anniversary Album.

R2K said...

: ) When god burns down a house, he gives you a motor home.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, to add to my other rants...That cabbie may not have been staring at you at all. What he was probably doing is talking into his cellphone. I`ve noticed a few times standing in the street while talking into my headset women giving me the middle finger or giving me a nasty look, so what am I suppose to do, look at the sky? Shift my gaze when a woman walks in my view? The problem is not me, it`s you paranoid American women who think all men are leering sexual perverts which is why you have no men in your lives. I dated an American woman a few years ago and never again. It was the worst experience I ever had in my life. Constant paranoid delusions.

Anonymous said...

Her name is Melissa Plaut