Sunday, April 23, 2006

One of my supervisors told me a good one.

Some time ago when my cab company had far less cabs to account for they had a problem with one that they couldn't find. They knew that the cab had been taken out for the night shift and knew which driver was driving it. For some reason mgmt. needed to talk to the guy, but he wasn't answering the radio or his cell phone. An APB of sorts was put out over the radio to ask all the other drivers to keep an eye out for him. Hours passed and nobody had spotted the guy, so the owner of the company finally instructed a couple of the supervisors to stop by the guys house perchance to find him and or the cab.

Sure enough when they get to the guys house the cab is parked in the driveway. They knocked on the door and nobody answered. One of them tried the door and it was unlocked so they let themselves in. As they walked in they heard the driver yelling from the bedroom in the back. They walk through the house and into the bedroom to find the driver butt-naked handcuffed to the bed. Arms handcuffed to the headboard of the bed and legs handcuffed to the footboard of the bed. Like a giant X.

The driver informed the sups that he had given a hooker a ride who didn't have money for the fair. So they agreed to go back to his house to exchange sex for the meter amount. At which point the hooker convinced the driver to let her handcuff him to the bed. Being the smart guy that he was he allowed her to do it. Shortly thereafter she left the scene but certainly not before robbing him of his book money and rummadging through the house for other valuables.

My supervisors didn't find the guy until hours had passed.

that's fuckin did you guys get the handcuffs undone?

We didn't even try, we took the keys for the cab and left him there

I mean shit, everybody knows that if you're going to let the hooker handcuff you to the bed you always leave one hand free and an extra key in the bedside table. That's day 1 stuff.

Friday, April 14, 2006

I was staging at the Mirage last night.

It was about midnight and it was just slowing down for the evening. I was sitting about tenth in line fooling around with my new cellphone as a Lucky cab pulls up next to me that's loaded with these 4 good looking girls. Lucky cab rolls his window down and asks:

Hey man, do you have any passes for JET?

JET is the newest and hottest nightclub in town at the Mirage. They just opened on NYE and like anything else in Vegas it will be the hotspot until another new one opens up. Its not uncommon at all for cabbies to get club passes. You can get them from a variety of means. Usually from the call-girl agencies or sometimes promoters will be handing them out for free to cabbies that are staging. The passes offer the holder free admission into the said club. Generally saving the person at least $20 but now most places are charging $30 to get in which is the case with JET. They are meant as promotional tools for the clubs. The want as many people waiting in line as possible. The cabbies are supposed to hand them out for free in an attempt to increase your tip and spread the word about the club at the same time. However most of us sell them. And why not? If you can get a passenger a pass for $10, you just saved them $20. Plus you make a little on the side. Especially if you were going to wait in line anyway. Unfortunately, many cabbies will lie about what the passes get you in a attempt to sell more of them.

I have a lot of passes for about 15 different night spots in town that I carry in a ziplock bag in my carry on. I immediately knew what this guy was trying to do so I decided to help a brother out.

I think so, lemme check.

As I'm searching through my ziplock, lucky driver gets out and walks around to my cab and kinda sticks his head in and said quietly:

What do you want for 4 of them man?

ahhh...Ill give you 4 for $10

I easily could have doubled that price. But what the hell, it's the easiest ten bucks I would make all night.

Sure enough I had the passes, he threw me a 20 and I gave him a 10 back and four JET passes.

I never thought twice about it.

Twenty minutes later I'm second in line now. I got out to stretch a little and enjoy the beautiful evening. Im talking to a couple of tourists that had just asked me a few questions as I hear in the distance a females voice.


I turn my head and see these same 4 girls just walking out the front door headed my direction not looking to happy. The leader of the group gets in my face.


Excuse me?



(I knew that JET wasn't open this night, but in all honesty, that thought hadn't entered my mind 20 minutes ago. As far as the girls in for free thing, I think that varies greatly, but again not something that entered my brain 20 minutes ago)


I laughed out loud.

I didn't sell you anything


Actually, I sold him four passes for $10, what you guys worked out is between y'all


She's still yelling and now everyone waiting for the tram to Ti is now watching the scene unfold. Im sure all of which are siding with these hotties. I don't know, maybe I was in the wrong here but there is no way I was giving these chicks a dime.

No. You're out of your mind and Im not giving you anything. You need to take it up with your cab driver.

Who of course is long gone now.

It's an unfortunate situation but certainly not one that Im gonna make right.

Now cab in front of me gets a ride and Im on the nut so I hop in the cab to pull forward. As im getting in the cab leader of the pack gets on her cellphone (presumably with the cops) as she instructs the others to "get my cab number". I think she thought I was fleeing the scene. (LOL) After pulling up 15 feet I put the cab in park and get back out.

My empathy turns to annoyance.

you're calling the cops?


And what do you think that's gonna accomplish?

they're are gonna come here and make you give us 40 bucks

Now I laugh out loud even louder this time. These girls are delusional.

Doorman blows the whistle.

Well, what you should have done was gotten the cab # of the guy who sold them to you...or better yet not believe some line of crap ...lemme know what you and the cops figure out.

I get back in the cab, drive away and pull up to the pickup spot. A young, cool looking couple gets in and dont give a destination.

hey do you know what nightclubs are going on right now?

Back to work.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


I never in a million years would have dreamt that becoming a cab driver would restore my faith in humanity. But, I've determined that by and large most people are good people who are just trying to have fun. After almost two years of driving I have yet to have a run out, I can count on two hands the number of times I haven't been paid for a ride in one way shape or form and there is really only one instance where I feared for my safety.....

**For the sake of my own personal safety and that of my brothers in the future, I have changed distress radio communication procedures for the purposes of this story**

I was cruising DT searching for a fare or a good stand to stage on. I found a flag on the corner of Main and Bridger. A black gentleman, mid 30's got in the passenger side backseat and gave a destination of Arizona Charlies(west).

I don't know what it was but I had a bad feeling about the guy from the start. As a cabbie your instincts are really the only thing you can count on when it comes to your safety...that and your two-way. My instincts told me not to take this guy but I was lured by the nice ride going up to the west side of town. I should have told the guy to get out before I even took my foot off the brake, instead I activated my turn signal and made my way towards the freeway.

I don't get but a couple of blocks and my passenger slides over the backseat so he is now sitting directly behind me. Seriously restricting my view of him in the mirror.
I can only think of a few reasons why you would need to sit directly behind me and none of them end up with me going home tonight.

After immediately having a bad feeling about this guy, Im now pretty fucking nervous. I knew that I needed to get him to slide back over so at least I could see what he was doing, but before I attempted that I got on the radio. In situations like these your two-way is your lifeline.

Normally when you call dispatch on the two-way you state your cab number and wait for a reply. In situations such as these there are a lot of codes that you can say on the air to inform dispatch of your status. Anything from I don't feel good about this ride, but everything is ok as of this moment, to an emergency situation. Dispatch knows where you stand by not only what you say, but more importantly how you say it. This is also useful because everything that is said on the radio the passenger can hear just as easily as I can.

At this point Im fine and this entire dilemma could be in my head so I get on the radio and inform dispatch accordingly. Basically at this point I just want to let them know my location, where Im dropping and my status.

I was driving cab #443

cab #4443 to dispatch

Simply by adding a four in front of my number dispatch immediately knows the situation.

#4443 go ahead

4443, I just loaded Main and Bridger. Going on a 105 to 58

105 is a code that is basically reiterating that as of this moment Im ok, but something might be happening. It also informs all the other drivers to stay off the air so dispatch can keep in constant contact with me without interference. 58 is the cab stand at Arizona Charlies.

what was all that about?

Oh...I was just letting my dispatcher know that I have a passenger and Im leaving the strip corridor to drop off at Arizona Charlies. .....Anytime you leave the strip area they want you to tell them, that way if they have a call in that area they know Im there.

I stated it like that knowing that dispatch was gonna be calling me shortly to see if I could pick up one of their regulars. When dispatch asks you if you can pick up a company regular, that means they want to know if you are alright. Yes means yes and no means no.

At this point I need to try and see if I can get this guy to slide over.

Hey man can I get you to slide over, you're blocking my mirror.

sure man, no problem.

And he did. This made me feel a little better that I could at least see what he was doing. Not two seconds after he slides back over he goes:

can you break a hundred man? All I have are hundreds.

I just got started tonight. You're my second ride, I don't have enough change. We can stop somewhere along the way if you want, otherwise we can just run into the casino when we get there. No biggie

I was glad he slid over but that question is very bad news. My only hope was that he believed my answer. I don't recall but I'm sure I had at least $200 in my pocket at that time. Could have been as high as $5-600.

Cab #4443

#4443 go ahead

I just got a call for a company regular on Flamingo & Decatur, can you load that after you clear?

Negative, we just got on the freeway, I'm still 15 minutes before I me back though if nobody else wants it and I'll see what I can do.

that's a copy

From that point I was floating up the I-95. Whatever it was that was going to happen to me I wanted to get it over with. If I got pulled over, at least there would be a cop there. Along the way dispatch called me once more to see if I could load the company regular and I declined again. I made it to the Decatur exit and made my way south. Now only a couple miles from my destination. Then one of the supervisors gets on the air. (also a cabbie)

Cab # 404 to cab #4443

Cab #404 go ahead

Did I hear you say you were clearing at 58?

that's a copy..Arizona Charlies in just a couple minutes

I actually said the name of the place as opposed to saying the stand number this time in an attempt to inform my passenger that what I said before wasn't a lie. 58=Arizona Charlies. The more conflict I can keep out of this situation the better. The last thing I want is this guy to think I lied to him before.

Im actually behind you right now. I'm picking up a personal of mine in this neighborhood and they're are actually going to need two cabs, there is 8 in their party. Can I follow you to 58 and then you can follow me to my personal so we can get all of them?

...A little risky considering all the guy had to do was turn around to see that there wasn't another cab there. But I liked where my sup was going with this. At least right now this guy thinks there is a cabbie right behind me that's got my back.

that's a copy #404, I can help you with that

As we're pulling into 58 I'm starting to feel a little relieved since I've made it this far. We get to the front door and the guy actually pays me for the ride, with a $20 bill mind you. I definitely didn't see that coming.

Thankfully he didn't notice that there wasn't another cab behind me when I cleared him because as he was walking away from my cab he lifted up the back of his shirt to show me the gun that was tucked in his pants. Almost as if to say...." I was gonna rob you, but you're a smooth cat so I'm gonna let you go this time"

I pulled out of there and drove a block:

Cab #443 to dispatch

is that a copy on the company regular?

Last but not least dispatch is double checking to insure that I'm ok.

that's affirmative dispatch...Thanks a ton guys, you have no idea. Breakfast is on me tonight

that's a copy, glad you're OK

I then called metro and informed them of the situation. Hoping we could catch this guy before he gets in another cab. They informed me that there wasn't much they could do because I wasn't sure of the exact location of the suspect. What am I supposed to do? Follow the guy with the gun that wants to rob me? However they did instruct me to meet TA at the yard so they could view my camera footage. Nothing came of that.

It was crazy. That entire time, he knew, that I knew. And most likely because of that he did nothing. There are undoubtedly dumber cabbies out there that will make much easier targets.