I used to drive a taxi/cab. Why? I often ask myself that, it was a shitty job, but it got me through 2 years of university, so it served a purpose. I was telling a few stories from those days to a friend recently and it got me thinking that I should write these stories down before I forget them.


I met a few. Over time I learnt to click onto and identify them before they made it to the actual cab. I also never left my doors unlocked when the cab was empty, I discovered very early on that you want to have full control over who does and who doesn't get access to my cab. Of course sometimes I let my guard down and they got in, once they were in it was easier just to take them where they wanted to go. My punishment for being lax was having to listen to their shit for the entire journey at hand.

I've had guys just sit there staring at me via my rear view mirror, do you know how unnerving that can be? It's like they hadn't managed a fight tonight so I was the last chance for a testosterone release. I never took the bait, it just wasn't worth it.

The biggest case of moron behaviour usually occurred during the hailing of my cab. People (and let's be clear here, people of both sexes) would do the most extraordinary things to get a cab to stop, running out in front of the cab being probably the dumbest and least effective method. But there were many many other styles laid before me over those few years.

I once found myself driving down a street only to find it had been barricaded off half way down with those green wheely bin rubbish bins, the ones we all have. It was obviously rubbish day in that neighbourhood so there was ready supply of them. These genius's thought making a fort of plastic and household refuse would cause a cab to stop for them. The reality being that once I saw this the bins was no friggen way I was stopping for anyone. I've seen a cowboy movie or two and I know what happens when you block the train line with trees, it never ends well for the train driver. So I simply drove up to the bins and pushed the car through them slowly. This of course meant even more rubbish spewed out from them and onto the street. I imagine the whole scene looked hilarious to an outsider, a taxi driving through a row of bins, fish heads and potato peels flying left right and center and a group of 3 or 4 drunken Einsteins running down the street after the taxi.

Guys encouraging girls to flash their boobs (this I admit caught my attention and would at least make me slow down some), throwing beer bottles at the cab (hmmm yeah not really effective that one, I imagine their success rate was fairly low) and simply standing in the middle of the street with their hands up in a "Stop right there" fashion are just a few of the many other ways I have been hailed. Which brings me to the most moronic attempt of them all.

Five AM ish on a Saturday morning, I'd been driving through the night having started at 6 PM the night before so I was pretty sleepy and looking forward to knocking off. I usually hit the city around this time as you could often pick up a fare from one of the hotels to the airport (Here's a tip for you, if you really want a cab in the early morning hours head for a hotel, that's where the cabs will be. If there are none ask the concierge to call you one, he or she is usually happy to do it because a) it's easy, just a button push and b) They'll be happy to see the back of your ecstasy popping arse just as soon as they can). And I did just that, I scored a fare from The Mecure Hotel to the Domestic Airport so I headed to the street.

As I got close (one way, two lanes, along Hay St) I started to notice something in the middle of my lane, my sleepy eyes eventually recognised it as a guy throwing me some raised hand stop the cab action. Next to him on his left was what appeared to be some flat cardboard boxes. Ha, I thought to myself, this dudes an amateur, you'll need more than cardboard to stop me fool, have you never heard of the wheely bin? I quickly decided to just drive over the cardboard and continue down Hay st. So I changed lanes and I was probably no more than 30 - 20 metres away from the cardboard when I realised that this cardboard stack was in fact another guy, a guy lying flat on his back across the lane and I'm about to drive over him. CHRIST!!!! I locked that cars brakes up instantly and thank whoever is up there I'd slowed down some earlier so as not to hit the standing dude in case he leapt to his left onto the cardboard.

I honestly can't tell you how close I was to this laid out guy when I finally stopped except to say I didn't hit him. I'm not so sure who was more shocked, me or the standing dude, who after a few seconds of situation configuration lent down and dragged his buddy out of the way, falling over backwards in the process. I just sat there staring at the two of them with my mouth wide open for at least 10 seconds before I snapped to and drove away yelling abuse at the two of them at the top of my lungs

My god!

So peeps I think there's a little something in this story for everyone, if you want a cab to stop for you just behave sensibly, wave him/her down and try to look as sober as possible, move away from really drunk people and never ever lay down in the middle of the road. Oh and girls, the aforementioned top lifting routine....yeah that works ;)

You can read the other stories in the series so far by clicking the taxi cab confessions link under 'my essays' in the sidebar


Toronto Taxi said…
this is overall good story and i think there is not some thing there is many thing to learn.
Waz said…
indeed - thank-you Stu :)