Monday, August 28, 2006


Somebody told me a long time ago that a person is smart, people are stupid. At the time I couldn't disagree. It made sense. However now, after two years of driving a cab and having ample amounts of one-on-one interaction with the general world wide public at large I must disagree with the above theory. There is just no way that can be true. Everyone is stupid I've determined. I can present case studies on a daily basis to prove it.

Here is one of my favorites.

I loaded a single at Ti. A middle-aged white guy going to Luxor. I could tell before he even got in that he was drunk. He appeared to be in control of himself and orderly enough so I loaded him. Because of heavy traffic on the strip I decided to take Frank Sinatra south instead of the BLVD.

Nothing notable occurred along the way. The fun didn't start until I tried to drop him off at the north door at Luxor.

Alright man, looks like $9.70 is your damage.

I could tell immediately by his reaction what was up so I locked the doors. However it took him two minutes of fucking around with his pockets before he could tell me the bad news.

Man, I don't have any money. I have some up in my room though. I'll just run up and get it.


I said I don't have any cash on me, I need to run up to my room.

You got into a cab without any money to pay for it is that what I'm hearing? I said I can just go up to my room and come back

Really? You must think I'm an idiot. You're not going anywhere until I have some collateral.


Give me your wallet and your ID, then go up to your room and get the cash and come right back.

Whatever man, I'm not leaving you my wallet.

Well then you're not leaving. I'll call metro and you can explain it to them how you're a thief.

What is your problem man? I'll come right back, trust me.

Listen, I stopped trusting people I don't know a long ass time ago. And what's my problem? MY PROBLEM IS YOU'RE WASTING MY TIME RIGHT NOW WHICH IS COSTING ME MONEY. Unfortunately for you, that isn't something I take lightly. So again, give me your wallet and ID, or I'm calling the cops. It's up to you.

I'm not leaving you that stuff man, how do I know you're not going to take off with it?

You don't. How do I know you're coming back if you don't leave that stuff? Perhaps a wise thing for you to do prior to leaving me your wallet would be to write down my cab and permit numbers, both of which are there for you, specifically for instances such as these.

Tell you what, why don't we both go up to my room then?

Are you retarded? Is this English I'm speaking? What did I just say?....The only way I'm going up to your room with you is if an officer goes with us.

He laughs at that.

What, you're afraid of me something?

This conversation is over.

Perhaps some wouldn't find it a problem to follow this guy up to his room alone, I however determined that this was a very bad idea. I have no clue what's waiting for me up there. This could have been the plan from the beginning. That said lets make something very clear. I was not afraid of this fuck. I'm certain in 100 cage matches between us I would easily win 80 of them. 95 is probably more realistic. I'm twice his size and he's drunk. That said, this isn't a cage, this is the west tower at the Luxor and I have no idea who or even worse whom I'm dealing with.

I picked up the mic.

425 to dispatch

425 go

425, I'm at the north door over at 61. I need metro to respond to my location for a failure to pay. I have requested collateral and the customer is refusing to oblige.

that's a copy 425, standby.......425 TA is in route. ETA 5 minutes.

that's a copy.

I hung the mic up.

I could have just as easily called TA with my own phone, but I've found that by stating it over the air the passenger knows that you mean business.

Alright bro, you don't want to do it the easy way, so we have to do it the hard way. Metro is in route.

Those were the last words I spoke to the guy. If cops are on the way it's best just to shut up and let them handle it. Besides they're on your side and getting this guy arrested might be the most fun you'll have in a while. One of my supervisors called me on my cell while we were waiting to see what the deal was. I told him the story and that as of this minute, myself and the situation are just fine. Hell, the fun was just about to start.

TA pulled up behind me w/ his lights on and I immediately got out of the cab and walked over to the cruiser. He gets out and I give him the short version of the story but not before apologizing for wasting his time over $10 bucks.

No worries buddy, I'm here to help you. Let me go talk to this guy and we'll see what we can figure out. You stay here.

Yes sir.

I leaned on the cruiser as the officer got my passenger out of the cab to get his side of the story. Soon thereafter the officer walks back over to me.

Ok, he says he has the cash in his room, so go park the cab and the three of us will go up there.

Yes sir.

So I convinced the valet to keep my cab up front and the three of us walked in. As we were doing so the officer was on his radio informing his dispatch to notify hotel security of the situation.

The officer and I follow loser into the hotel, at which point his drunkenness kicks in and all of a sudden "smart" guy cant find his elevator. So the officer and I are following this guy around the casino while he tries to figure out what elevator he needs. Hotel security had caught up to us, so now there was a police officer, three uniformed security guards, one undercover security guard and myself all following this guy around the casino. I had already forgotten about the 10 bucks. You couldn't buy this much entertainment for that. After a tour of the property we find the correct elevator. By this time hotel security finally figured out that we actually didn't need any assistance at all so just the three of us get in.

Loser (to officer)
I'm sorry for all the inconvenience

that's ok don't worry about it, nobody is being inconvenienced.

I actually raised my hand...
uhhh I'm being inconvenienced

The cop gave me this look that I couldn't figure out.

We get out on 15, walk all the way down to the end of the hall to realize that we need to be on 16. So we take the stairs up a flight.

We finally get to this guys door and the officer explains that he should go inside get the money and we will wait in the hallway.

Loser walks in and the door closes behind him. Not wasting anytime the officer explains the look.

Listen, I'm trying to get you paid OK? The more problems we can keep out of the situation the better for everyone and the more likely you are to get paid. That's why I said that.

Oh, I gotcha. I was wondering why you said something that's obviously not true. Sorry about that.

Now for any normal person, the time it took us to have that conversation would have been enough to run into a hotel room get $10 and run back out. However for our hero that wasn't nearly enough. 10 minutes or so pass and the guy still has not returned.

A few minutes later the officer and myself had run out of things to talk about so he knocks on the door. No answer. Then the officer starts banging loudly on the door...

Sir we need you outside. OUTSIDE NOW!

The door opens.

I noticed it right away and could not believe it.

Officer (pointing at loser)
what's that?

The look on the guys face was easily worth the thousand pennies. It got as red as a stoplight.

(wipes his nose)

Sir step outside.

As the guy fully exits the hotel room, the door is opened wide and you can see the junk on the dresser next to the TV, in plain site.

I need you to turn around and put your hands behind your back.

The cop puts the cuffs on the guy and makes him sit down on the floor. Then he gets on his radio and starts saying all kinds of stuff I cant understand. Upon completing that he informs me that I am no longer needed unless I feel like waiting for the whole process to play itself out to get my ten bucks. I turned around and left but not before I smirked at the guy as if to say:

All you had to do is give me your ID man.

I have no idea what became his fate but I would have to say: For a smart person, this guy was pretty fucking dumb.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

There is this phenomenon.

It doesn't have an official name or anything as far as I know so I'm going to take the liberty of coining it:

"The Hundred Dollar Phonecall"

Some of you may have heard about the HDP and its awesomeness. Others, it may be new to you. So allow me to explain.

Few things are better than the HDP.

I've had great sex. I've loved & I've lost. I've played in important football games and won at the last second. I've heard a baby utter his first word. I've been instrumental in the apprehension of a armed felon. I've seen the Grand Canyon. I've shaken Luciano Pavarotti's hand. I've seen a missing man formation (twice). I've ran from the cops and gotten away.(more than twice)I've seen Phish at their peak. (lots of times) I've determined that none of these things can compare to the HDP. The only thing that can touch it is the 2HDP, or maybe the birth of baby Jesus.

First of all, the HDP does not discriminate. It does not care who you are, who you know, who you don't know, where your from, what your skin color is, who you like to bang, who you don't like to bang...You get the idea. Secondly and even more interesting, the HDP doesn't care what time it is, where you are, or what your doing. You could be in the midst of your first child's baptism and you could feel the vibrate. You could be at the strip club with boobies in your face and feel the vibrate. You could be cruising through the middle of Nebraska listing to a killer set from 97 and feel the vibrate.

So the question arises: How does one get a HDP? Well this is where the phenomenon part comes into play. At first the HDP' were few so it was easy to keep track of them. You could almost predict when you would get one. Years have passed now and the lines are blurry. Its like a nuclear reaction in a sense. Now there are to many seeds out there you never know which ones will take root.

So what does a HDP sound like?


Hi. Is this Andrew # ****?


Andrew, there is an envelope here for you whenever you're ready.

Fantastic. Thank you.

An envelope.

Think of the possibilities. It could be anything inside there.

You have to go pick up the envelope though. They cant mail it to you. You generally go at the end of your shift, on the way to the pumps. No reason to waste time while you're working. You take the cab because there is usually a gang of fools hanging around. Looking like they're probably up to no good. You're not worried about them though. You're offered protection.

It's a two story business building. Two massage parlors. One up-front, the other out to get you. A general store, a liquor store, deli and a strip club to name a few. Upstairs is office space. Which is where you need to go. Give the secret code at the door while the webcam stares at you. A nice lady lets you in and hands you a envelope. You sign in a book. She asks if you need any club passes. No, you already have a shitload of them. You are nice and lock the door for her on your way out.

Then you go home and populate necessary and required information fields in a manner consistent with proper regulatory instructions on the appropriate tax forms.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

A couple of interesting articles.

The cabbies have been in the news quite a bit lately and that is not usually a good sign. Everything from the 100 or so new medallions they just issued, or the fact that they changed all their colors in a attempt to make them easier to police. Most recently the issue has come up regarding the not so ethical cabbies. As is the deal with most of these types of things, a few bad seeds spoil the bunch and the fun for everybody.

I remember I picked a guy up once and the first thing he said to me after he closed the door was:

Don't try and take me the long way, I know how you cabbies are!

It's not uncommon to hear something like that from time to time. My usual rebuttal:

......Really? Then what the fuck are you doing in a cab? You must be a dumbass.

Everybody knows that you don't piss off the waiter before he brings the food. It's common sense. On the flip side, it's perfectly acceptable to insult your cab driver, accuse him of a crime, and berate him all within the first ten seconds of you getting in. Paying no mind to the fact that now of course your life is in his hands and you haven't even ordered appetizers yet.

Old Vegas lives on in shady cab acts

Crooked cabbies aren't just for tourists

Longhauling happens. The first longhaul probably happened shortly after the first cab started picking people up. So for what it's worth these articles don't really bring up different issues than any other place that has cabs.

There are a lot of underlying things going on here that I could get into but that would be a snorefest if I explained them all and I don't want to preach anyway. I will say two things however:

1. Most cab related problems in LV could be fixed simply by letting drivers buy their own medallions. I own a car. Outright. It's a sedan, it would make a perfect cab. Me and one other guy could bring in 20k/month. Easy. The idea that only 17 people (17 cab co's owners) can buy medallions is ludicrous, insulting and its unamerican. Eliminate these "employers" and you eliminate numerous issues.

2. ....And more regarding the issue at hand. Locals longhaul themselves. It happens all the time. I noticed it soon after I started driving and it's something of a ongoing joke amongst drivers. You see, locals like to tell you which way to go. Some have it stuck in their mind that everyone is out to get them or something. Only there are a couple of things wrong with this. Firstly, they don't think of it in terms of actual distance. They think of it in terms of how they would drive the same route, which more times than not isn't the most direct one. Secondly, part of what you're paying for on that meter is my knowledge of the situation. Assuming all cabbies were completely honest, wouldn't you want to know your options? Maybe an alternative route you never thought of. Or up to date traffic conditions, or construction problems or accident problems?

A cook asked me once, when I order a $50 steak how do you tell them to cook it? I responded with medium, which is how I like it. (BUZZER SOUND) Wrong. You tell the waiter to have the chef cook it how he recommends it. Part of the $50 that you paid for that steak was actually for the highly skilled person who grilled it. Cabbies are no different. I've even been known to cook a mean beef product from time to time.

Anyway, this all reminds me of my most awesome longhaul story ever.

I found myself way west side of town and took a radio call on Cheyenne and I-215.(beltway) Loaded a white guy, business man, luggage going to the airport. Now from this distance you've got lots of options and considering this was rush hour, we might need to explore a few of them. I asked him which route he wanted to take, which is SOP for me w/ locals. I was expecting him to say I-215E all the way into the pooper at 16. (See Figure, Ex. 2) This is the easiest route and the one any sane person would take. Should run you ~$45. If not that I figured he would tell me to take DI to paradise (Ex. 1)which would be the shortest/cheapest route. That'll be closer to the 35 neighborhood. ....But no, this guy goes:

Take 215 West to I-15.
(Ex. 3)

215 west?


I made a map for you to get a better idea of how insane this is. My apologies for how crappy it is. On the upside it's as effective as it is lame.

Ex 1- Green (Shortest way)
Ex 2- Blue (Common sense way
Ex 3- Black (The way we actually went)
Ex 3a-Yellow

Against my better judgment I had to ask again. Anybody else would be giving somebody on the freeway the finger already. I mean, this was going to be expensive and I didn't want there to be any issues later.

Sir. You want to go 215 west bound? To I-15? There is another way we could go that would b....

and he interrupted me.

I know how to get to the airport sir, I know how you guys are, just go the way I tell you to go ok?

Normally I would kick you out right about now but we're talking about a $100 ride here so I shut up at that point. I wasn't worried about getting a deposit either. I had his bags in the trunk, even better I know where he lives and there are always a lot of cops hanging out at the port with nothing to do if worst comes to worst.

Neither one of us said word for the next 20 minutes of the journey, he played with his laptop the whole time. When we finally made our way onto 15 in the north pole of Vegas this douchebag trumps himself.

Take 15 to 215 and take the tunnel in.

I shat myself. This guy just tacked on another ten spot. All you have to do is go straight down Tropicana from 15 (Ex. 3a) but he wanted to loop around which ironically was the way the route we should have gone would have taken him. Only he managed to tack on about 30 miles in the process.

The guy gave me a hundred bucks for an eighty dollar ride. I gave him my card.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I loaded the back door at MB. As I'm pulling up to the pickup spot I see a super fine brunette. Skin tight black pants, high heels and a sliver V cut blouse whose apex was near the belt. Her fake boobs were hanging out already. I guess they make this double stick tape that chicks can use for that shit. Thankfully, this one hadn't heard about it yet. Before I even came to a stop I could see that she was crying.

She gets in and gives a address in Henderson.

are you ok?

(still crying)
I am now

Do you want to talk about it?

And she did.

She had drove into town tonight from LA to visit her BF. They had gone out to the club. At one point he had to go to the bathroom and while she was kickin it at the bar some other guy came up to her. By the time BF got back they were still talking and dude went nuts and pulled out the insanely jealous and retarded cards out at the same time. The ensuing scuffle ending up with this chick in my cab crying by herself going back to his house to get her car.

There have only been a few crying girls in my cab and I must say each time they were all fairly talkative about their issues when implored. Perhaps a strangers ear is best for these types of things. Plus, I've been told I'm good at that anyway. It's not entirely a selfless act though. The drama and the tits are entertaining usually.

Along the way she asks if we can stop at a gas station so she could use the ATM. Usually that would piss me off but boozed hot boob flashing chicks get a free pass in my book, unless they're puking. She was quick in the store and I was looking at my mapbook as she got back in. The first thing out of her mouth was how she just discovered that she left her cellphone at the nightclub.

what's the number? I'll call it and see if someone picked it up.

She told me and I tried it a few times along the way to the house. No answer. I got out and got the door for her and she gave me a hug. Not one of those ass-out hugs, this was an ass-in hug. Then she started crying again. She tipped me well and got in her car and drove off as I was filling out my trip sheet.

5 hours later, my phone rings, unknown number.

Hello this is Andrew

Who the fuck is this?

....This is Andrew

I had already put it together who I was speaking to.

...this must be that jerkoff Mike from Rum Jungle? We were talking and Karen informed me that she forgot her phone at the club so I called it to see if somebody picked it up.

wait, you were with her?

Yeah for a while


Don't worry about me, I'm fine.


Then that line from Goodfellas came to mind and my variation seemed appropriate...

Listen up douchebag because I'm only going to tell you this once...You might know who I am, but I know who you are...and where you live. If anybody is going to be ending shit, it's gonne be me.

Now while I was mid-sentence with this one it suddenly dawned on me that perhaps as much fun as I was having this wasn't such a good idea. I thought I might be setting up our damsel in distress for a beatdown. This asshole seemed just dumb and insecure enough to do something like that. So after he was done yelling at me some more I calmly told him that I was fucking with him and explained what really happened. Then I told him that she was most likely on her way back to LA, or at least that's what she told me she was doing. Also that obviously he wouldn't be able to get a hold of her because of the phone issue. He didn't believe me that I as a (the) cabbie at first so I gave him my TA permit number,name and the TA number to call to verify it. All in a attempt to prevent this girl from getting beat up. I'm sure he didn't call, but he bought the story I think.

I'm sure my passengers at the time thought I was a raving lunatic.