It was a damn slow week and I was in need of a DIA injection fast, DIA as in Denver International Airport and the $80 fare that accompanied it. That would turn around what had so far been a crappy day. I had been sitting for almost two hours when finally, the bell went off!
I looked at the meter with anticipation and then, my heart sank like a rock. I had just been belled into the “Bermuda Triangle,” three low rent hotels where I think they give discounts if you’re a moron. I’d never picked up anyone in that area with even a hint of a brain wave. Rather, off we’d go to such exotic locations as the Laundromat, the liquor store, and Wendy’s and who could forget the frantic mother, daughter combo meeting me in the street screaming “Follow that pick-up!”
I of course replied, “Mam, I ain’t no stunt driver and this ain’t a John Wayne movie!” They were “Vintage” morons.
I reluctantly rolled up on the “Quality Motel” (Did you ever notice the correlation between flea bag hotels and their names?) and made the tight left turn and stopped in front of the lobby door. I called in and of course, I was treated to the motel’s menu, “Hi, you’ve just called the Quality Motel, America’s low cost leader. If you’d like information on room rates and availability press 1, if you’d like information on the Quality Motels nationwide and their locations press 2, if you’d like to speak with someone in our Marketing Department press 3, if you’d like to speak to a live person press 4, if you’d like to speak with a dead person, press 0. If you’re a total moron stay on the line and we’ll be right with you.”
Well, facts being facts I just stayed on the line and a few seconds later a female voice, one that obviously had smoked all the tobacco in North and South Carolina combined said, “Can I help you?”
Me: “Ya, this is Bill with South Suburban Taxi and I’m looking for someone named Lila.”
Female voice: “Ah, she called for a cab, where are you?”
Me: “I’m the guy sitting in front of your lobby in the silly looking green and white car with the sign on top that says “TAXI,” any chance I could pick this person up?”
Female voice: “Well Mr. rude cab driver, I’ll call her room.”
Me: “Will miracles never cease.”
Now it should be pointed out here I’m facing the sun, we’re talking Denver and we’re 5280 feet above sea level which means, “It’s an intense sun!” So with little tiny sweat beads running down my back I awaited the creature named “Lila.”
It wasn’t long before a twenty something year old heavy set female arrived at my door. She was dragging a little five year old boy brat. She opened the door and spoke a language that was a blend of Bulgarian/North Jersey/and Moron. They piled in, the brat first.
Lila: “Joo need ta turn on da window safety lock.”
Sweating I reached down and hit the window safety lock.
Lila: “Well ja need ta close da window on account he opened it already.”
I reached down, unlocked the window safety lock, rolled the window back up and then relocked the window before the devil child could act. He kicked the back of my seat.
Me: “OK, where we headed?”
Lila: “Da mall, dares another person comin. Uh she’ll be right down.”
So we sat. The devil child squirming and kicking, me sweating as the sun beat down on me and Ms. Lila offering little if anything in intellectual discourse.
Lila to the brat: “Joo wanna go to the mall or not? Joo behave or I won’t buy joo any ice cream joo hear me?”
After five minutes and no third party I decided to force the issue.
Me: “Mam, where is this person? Cab drivers don’t like waiting and we’re definitely waiting. I mean if you look around you you’ll notice we haven’t moved yet. That’s the definition of waiting.”
Lila: “She should be here, she was looking for her shoes.”
The kid kicked the back of my seat again and screamed one of those high pitched devil child screams.
Lila: “Stop that or joo ain’t gettin no ice cream, joo hear me?”
Just then the third party showed up, sort of a slightly younger duplicate and the language in the back seat turned to something totally incomprehensible. So with them rattling away in the back seat I headed the two miles down the road to the local shopping center. As I pulled in I headed for the front entrance, which was the food court.
Lila: “We’re going to the Cheese Cake Factory on dah other side of the mall.”
Me: “Ah, OK, we’ll adjust.”
I flipped a quick U-turn and headed around to the other side.
Lila laughing: “See dis way joo make more money on us.”
Me gritting my teeth: “Yeah, at least another 50 cents or hell, maybe 75 cents. Who knows?”
I pulled up to the restaurant and the meter said $9.65.
Me: “Ah that’ll be $9.65.”
Lila: “Uh all I got is dis hundred dollar bill.”
Now, I’d like to make a small point here. Ya gotta be dumb as a box of rocks to lay a C-Note on a cab driver when the fare’s ten bucks. Most drivers will look at you and go, “And you think I can change that right? HA! I’m gonna call one of my buddy’s right now and tell them what a moron you are.” Me being a well prepared businessman aaannnddd wanting to get rid of her dumb ass, made the change.
Me in a rather frosty tone: “There’s twenty, forty, sixty, eighty and a hundred.” I made sure to include a five and five one’s just in case.
Lila handing me a dollar: “Here, see I told joo joo’d make a lot of money on us. Joo have a nice day. Any chance joo’d be available in an hour or so?”
Me: “Gee I’d love to pick joo up and pocket another eleven bucks but I’ve got my skydiving class an hour from now. Joo’ll have to call the company.”
With that being said I smiled, gunned 036 and made my escape. I’d make sure and position the cab outside the zone, at least four and half miles away and let some other cab driver have the luxury of entertaining her and taking her back to the hotel He should thank me for breaking the C-Note.