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.
In The Navy
It's a Saturday afternoon, it's been a huge weekend already. The US Navy are in town, an aircraft carrier and a bunch of support vessels. It all adds up to thousands of testosterone filled young guys with wads of dollars to spend. Cabbies rake it in. I was no exception.
I would be lying if I said you didn't target sailors/marines over normal punters simply because of the tips. So I was slightly annoyed to get hailed in the city by a dude in a suit. Probably just wants a $5.00 fare, 500 metres down the road to the next office, take a walk man, looking at your belly you could do with a walk.
But I was wrong
"I need to get to my hotel, have you wait while I grab my bags and then drop me at the airport please"
A good fare.
So I park the cab in the driveway of his hotel, right in front of the main doors. My fare goes inside to collect his bags from his room. I have a good view of the hotels reception counter. I notice a chef come to the front of the counter. Having been a chef for many years you kinda get radar when it comes to someone wearing black and white check pants.
Suddenly the chef leaps over the counter, I hear a girl scream. I try to figure out what's going on, but straight away I think I need to get in there and help that chef, he obviously works there and somethings goin down. Brothers in arms and all (military pun intended).
I bolt out of my cab and into the foyer. I'm greeted by the sight of the chef on the ground with a Latino American sailor guy on top of him, a few other US sailors watching on. The Latino has the better of the skinny weedy chef, it's hardly a fair fight, I mean this guys military, and nobody is doing anything to stop it.
I can't help myself and I leap in, placing the sailor in a headlock from behind. I force his head back until he releases the chef. All along I'm yelling "let him go". When he does release I body slam the sailor to the floor and he screams, I mean really screams in pain.
"My arm, oh fuck my arm"
I stay on top of him, no way am I letting him go, but I release any pressure on his arm.
"Call the police" I yell at the receptionists
"You've broken my arm man aarrggghhh"
Then out of the corner of my eye I see the chef bolting down the hotel passage and away from the carnage. Things aren't looking as they should all of a sudden.
I look up, "What the hell happened?" I say to the girls at the desk.
One of them replies "I don't know, we were just talking to this sailor when all of a sudden the chef leapt the counter and attacked him"
This isn't what I wanted to hear. I may have grabbed the wrong guy, and busted his arm in the process. Oh fuck!
It's at this point that my now forgotten fare walks down the corridor carrying his bags. He sees his taxi driver on the floor pinning down a guy who's crying in pain. Sensory overload or what!!
"Um I wont be long sir" I smile through gritted teeth.
I instantly release the sailor, just as a bunch more arrive on the scene.
"What's goin on man?" "What the fuck?" "Hell this" etc etc etc
I get up, the others comfort the injured guy, I look incredulously at the hotel staff. Nobody will look me in the eye.
"Look here's my phone number, if the cops want to speak to me they can call me, I have to drive this guy to the airport".
I make a sort of apology to the injured guy and I lug the suitcases out to my cab and we take off.
Mr suit turns to me and asks
"Hmmm well, you see, it started like this............."
The cops never called!