Three weeks ago I walked in to start my shift when I saw a man ask another cab to go to Ridgewood, this cab was off duty heading in to fill the gas tank as his shift was done.
When I got dispatched (received a cab) I mentioned to the dispatcher, that this person was likely to ask me for this ride.
Dispatcher- “You don’t want to do that. Why would you do that? Just go to Manhattan.”
As I logged my information in the parking lot the man approached me and asked for the ride. I confirmed with him on an agreed route. I told him that I would give him 2 minutes to hustle up his friends. I repeatedly showed him two fingers through my open window. I turned slowly through the parking lot to the street; the pavement was glistening as it had just rained a few hours ago. I angled the car to the right so that the nose of the car wouldn’t hang out on the street, and so I could see the entrance of the strip club where his friends were.
“Why are you going that way?” He asked.
“This is the way to the Long Island Expressway. Don’t worry I’m waiting… Two minutes.” I held up my two fingers again.
His friend, a tall clean cut Queens boy in casual club wear opens the door as if it were his house and shouts to him-
“Manny’s gonna get another lap dance.”
Oh my God you’ve got to be kidding me. This violates my two-minute rule. There are car services for shit like this.
“I’m sorry man, I’m gonna have to go now.”
“Oh come on man, oh come on, just please please just wait for me, come on man don’t leave me out here!” As he pleaded I had taken my foot off the brake. I studied the large left side-view mirror to check for his clearance, and when enough space came I pressed the gas. A rear wheel squealed ferociously and so I let up and gained traction and headed out.
I looked in my rear-view mirror and it was a beautiful sight. The man stood out in the middle of a desolate main street, legs straddling the double yellow lines, his figure was a shadow standing stiff between frequent street-lamps. I felt sorry for him in retrospect, and thought that I should have told him of a car service nearby. Then I figured telling him this would have exacerbated the situation. I didn’t know their phone number, and I’m sure the front desk at the strip club would know a good car service to take.