Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Retiring" from the Taxi Business

Well my City of Houston taxi license expires in a few days and I do not think I will renew it. I have been driving off and on both full and part time for the better part of five or six years. The last year has been "very part time" and I just don't think I will continue. I have owned my own cab, leased by the week, and the day. I have for the most part enjoyed my time as a Houston "hack". Still it just is not really worth it for me to drive anymore. My weekends are often filled with bartending jobs which usually profit about the same with a lot less hours, danger and headache. So it is. I admit I may at some time "come out of retirement" but at this point I just don't see it happening. One never knows though. One never knows. I would like to thank some folks and give a big old F.U to a few more.

I would like to thank:
1. The Houston Police Department, (with the probable exception of one "cop." I will get to that in a minute), for being there if needed.
2. Other police agencies in the area for the same reason.
3. The lady who warned me to give her a plastic bag before hurling in my car and ruining my evening. All cabbies learn, often the hard way, to have plastic bags within reach.
4. Those who were thoughtful enough to tip.
5. Those who were so drunk they dropped money in the back seat. I always checked after people got out. Note: This is for bills and coins only. If someone left a wallet or other property it was returned with all contents intact. Some cabbies are thieves but I certainly was not one of them.
6. The few couples who had "relations" in the back of the cab. Thanks for the show.
7. The interesting conversation from intelligent customers.
8. The two customers who found a "crack pot" in the backseat and gave it to me to throw out. Not all crack heads look like crack heads.
9. Those who were on "welfare" taxi ride program for allowing me to explain that somebody paid for the cab ride, just not them. This was usually after I was told how cool it was to get a free cab ride. Of course this did not apply to those who were in legitimate need, only those that scam the system.
10. Those who were on one of the above programs for taking a long long ride across county to the doctor or whatever. Never had to worry about getting paid for those trips. Plus the customers were always safe.
11. Those females who for whatever reason found it necessary to "flash the cabbie."
12. Veterans for their long cab rides to the VA. Same reason as number 9.
13. The employees at the city "cab office" for at least being decent and helping me out when navigating the ridiculous bureaucratic nonsense to get and keep a license.They have a hard job. Many cabbies are jerks.
14. The ladies at Yellow Cab and Liberty Cab who process paperwork for being friendly and competent.
15. The training dept. at Yellow Cab and Liberty Cab.
16. Numerous illegal aliens and crack heads who inadvertently found their way into my cab for not attempting to rob me. These folk found their way into my car despite my best efforts to screen customers.
17. The college girl who was stranded and paid me around 300 bucks to take her from Houston to SFA University in Nacadoches. She was a pretty cool kid.
18. The girl who for whatever reason gave me a Bob Marley CD.
19. The old crazy dude who gave me a dollar and a lighter for taking him around. He told me to come back later and he would "pay me in gold." I lost on this deal but it was a fun thing to do for an hour or so. This happens when one is a student of human nature. Plus I dropped him off in front of a hoity toity River Oaks establishment in the front as he requested.  He then entered said establishment.The office gave me a call about that one. I almost forgot. He told me he was John Wesley Hardin.
20. The City of Houston cab inspector that chose to let me slide with a book and newspaper on the passenger seat. Yes that is a rule.
21. The "gentleman's" establishments that paid me a nice fee for bringing customers to their reputable places of business.
22. The gay community. They like to have fun and know about tipping. They are generally safe also.
23. The mechanics at Yellow and Liberty Cab. Those guys do wonders with a fleet of vehicles that definitely are rode hard and put away wet as they say.

Now on to those who deserve a huge F.U.
1. The lady "cop" who hassled me for fifteen minutes about running a stop sign somewhere near Broadway. I did not run it but was polite and respectful. She obviously had penis envy and was a tad nuts. It made me wonder why she was out in public armed with weaponry. I guess all agencies let a few nuts slip through. Sista was crazy. As Hell. I would have rather gotten a ticket than listen to her mouth.
2.  The City of Houston cab inspector who gave me a ticket for not wearing a collared shirt. I was dropping off passengers at the Hyatt Downtown and she was there ready for action. Cost me a bit of money.
3. The city judge who took the above charge seriously and fined me 150 bucks. I always had a collared shirt on after that I can assure you.
4. The illegal alien punk that gave me a bunch of threatening crap armed with nothing more than his mouth. He is lucky I did not pistol whip him. Oh wait I did not have a pistol. That would have been "illegal" lol. Or perhaps I did. Not telling for sure.
5. The punk who jumped out an ran to avoid paying a ten dollar fare.
6. The dispatch office at Yellow Cab. Staffed by dumb asses.
7. People who don't know how to drive.
8. Limo drivers who try to play taxi and steal customers. They are usually Mohammedans.
9. Red light cameras. In your lens!!! They are supposed to be removed after a public referendum but watch the city weasel out of it.
10. People who always think you are out to cheat them. Kiss my ass.
11. Any loud obnoxious drunk.
12. People who stank. It did not happen often thankfully.
14. The guy who shat his pants. I almost called it quits after that little episode.
15. Mike in Clear Lake. You sir are more trouble than you are worth.
16. The guys on two different occasions who paid me and then gave me extra to "wait here I will be back in a minute." Of course they were on a drug buy. I left the scene and them stranded at the crack house. The extra they gave me to wait was my fee for them putting me in a potential dangerous situation. Hope they got home safely. Or not.

That's about it I suppose. I enjoyed my cab driving and will always leave the door open to do it again but I just think I will leave it alone. Don't think I will pull a Brett Favre on you.

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