13 August 2009

Four dickhead night

Todd on Bunda

Continuing on from my fare-evading punch drunk, I got back in my taxi and contemplated what to do with the rest of the night. Realistically, after a stressful event, I’d be best served by going home and taking an early mark.

But sitting down with the police sergeant and filling out a statement had calmed me down. I had the feeling that matters were in competent hands. That same time, however, had been carved out of a good fare-earning part of the evening. Take away the money I’d lost, and I was woefully short.

So I continued bravely on, looking with suspicion on each fresh passenger and being charmed each time by a succession of pleasant chats, medium jobs, nothing challenging.

But the work pretty much dried up after midnight, and I sat on the rank waiting, waiting, waiting.

At last I was first cab on the rank, with a few more hopefuls behind me.

A group of maybe ten people come out from one of the clubs and head to the rank. A young lady gets in, pulls out her phone and says, “Can you wait a minute? I just need to make a call.”

Of course, no problem. She makes her call to a friend, saying how she found this really hot young man, and he’s just walking past the cab now, going to the casino.

Behind me, I can see in the rear-view mirror, other people getting into the cabs behind me, their drivers smiling and pulling out. A couple of young men are walking off in the direction of the casino, which is about the only place left open at half past two.

My passenger finishes her call, says “Thanks! I just wanted to make sure my friends were out of the way!” and gets out to join the young men.

And there I am. Empty. On an empty rank on an empty street. I glance at the despatch screen. It’s been seventy-five minutes since I last had a passenger, it’s been a pretty shoddy night, and I’ve been screwed over once more.

I wait another fifteen minutes. Civic is dead. Finally, I get a call to the casino for a passenger. Uh-oh. The casino has another cab rank right outside. I’d better be quick!

I fire up the cab, whip around, disregard the speed limit on the deserted streets, and as I turn the last corner, there’s the sight of a pair of taxi tail-lights disappearing into the distance. And of course, there’s no passenger waiting for me.

Right. That’s it. Gas up the car, run it through the wash, drive home and fall into bed, punched by one passenger, stuffed about by another, and totally screwed by my brother cabbies.

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