Thursday, August 7, 2014

Re-blogged from Monday, October 8, 2007

Taxicab Confessions (Not for the Faint of Heart)

I was looking at this cartoon my sister sent me and it reminded me of when I was a cab driver back in the 1970’s. That was one of my favorite jobs ever. Being your own boss and meeting new people every few minutes kept it interesting. Most people were very happy with my service because I showered daily, used deodorant, and didn’t fart in the cab, at least not while a passenger was in there. I also knew the city better than most people and could find any place if you had a valid address. Unlike some drivers, I would take anyone to any destination once I let them into my cab. There was no racial profiling, only ‘are they going to hurt me’, profiling. In other words, they first had to pass my inspection to make it into my cab. This worked well as I was only heldup once.

The actual taxi I drove
One time I picked up a fare who was going to the west side of Chicago, a very bad neighborhood. My tactic when going to a bad area was to drop the fare off, lock my doors, and get the hell back downtown as fast as possible. This particular time as I was taking this lady to the west side I could feel a nagging pressure building deep within my gut. I figured it was gas and I’d just hold on until I dropped her off and then simply release it as I didn’t intend to pick up a fare in this neighborhood. By the time we got to the destination I realized it was much more than gas and that I’d have to find a toilet soon. There was no place I deemed safe to use the restroom in that neighborhood so I started driving to the closest semi-safe place I could think of, and that was to the north. With each passing block the pressure built and built and of course I hit every red light possible.
Even with running a few red lights and driving well over the speed limit I knew the situation wasn’t going to turn out well. Just blocks before I crossed under the viaduct that divided the bad area from the not so bad area, the pressure went beyond my capacity to hold back. I exploded. It felt like I was being propelled upward in the seat and at that exact moment all I could think of was how good it felt to be rid of that painful pressure. About five seconds later it started dawning on me what had just happened, and what the consequences were. I was sitting in the drivers seat of a taxi cab in what turned out to be a very large pile of my own waste. I had no option other than to drive straight home and take care of this problem.
Now if it were that easy I wouldn’t have much of a story. No, as I started the long drive home the odor began to fill the vehicle and of course every corner I passed had people waving frantically for a taxi. I waved back and kept driving. At that time I was living in a high rise apartment on Marine Drive and my problem was how to get to the ninth floor without encountering another person. I parked the cab in front of the building and sat and waited until the lobby appeared empty. When all appeared clear I scurried in and over to the elevators as fast as possible, all the time holding my pant leg so as to control leakage.
No, of course the elevator wasn’t empty when it came, and while I had been waiting for it an old lady came up and was waiting for the elevator with me. At some point you lose all your dignity and just face the facts. I was going to ride in an elevator with an old lady who thinks I smell like shit........and of course she was right.


  1. I guess you weren't very poopular to all those poople trying to wave you down as you passed them by on your way home.

  2. You shouldn't have worried, she probably had no sense of smell anymore. Thats why old ladies wear the worst smelling perfume!