Wednesday, August 29, 2007

part 2 of 3 - sabbatical explained

names changed to protect everyone.
Part one is here: Sabbatical Explained

"The woman and the doctor decided to see if my victim could walk. She got out of the folding chair and put some weight on her shoeless foot. After two milliseconds or so she lifted her foot and cringed. It is decided she should sit down, if not for her sore foot, simply to avoid stepping on broken glass or God knows what.

The police car came in with minimal commotion at a slow speed and they stopped in front of the scene, taking no care to pull to the side. The lights on the left and right pulsed slowly and the two made their way to us. The officer came out from the passenger side of the car. He’d missed a few years of exercise, but he commanded respect from the moment he got to his feet. He came over and asked for both sides of the story. She, the victim wasn’t much for talking, so I quickly gave him my rundown.

'I uhh, pulled over here to drop her off, and thenn I..' make this brief, 'It was my fault, I didn’t notice the rear door was still open. As I pulled out I heard a scream. I quickly ran over to see what had happened, I ran over her foot.' Maybe I shouldn’t have told him so quickly what I had thought of my guilt, but it was relieving to let the admission out to a good guy such as this officer. I felt very comfortable with this guy. He walked over here and was doing everything by the book, and at the same time nonchalant, as if he’d seen it a dozen times before. Then three more uniformed kids still wet behind the ears arrived. After the officer met the blue’s clues gang, he asked me for my license, my registration, my trip sheet, my trip card, and my hack license. This sounded simple enough, but for some odd reason the garage never puts the registration in the car. I handed him over what I could, and of course since this cop had all his marbles on his top shelf, he immediately asked for the registration again. We then went through a little back and forth, how I have gotten into altercations before, and never have I ever found the registration. I told him I could check the car once more, but it wouldn’t matter.

My brilliant skills of deduction led me to believe I was in trouble. I ran over a woman’s foot, I look like I’m under 21, I drive a yellow cab, I have 5 point’s on my driving license for previous moving violations, and on top of this I am missing the car’s registration, all I had going for me was I was a white male. It seemed to be a sink or swim moment so I called the garage.

Whenever I call the garage one thought swims through my mind as I wait for him to pick up, oh please, please I hope it’s not Lenny. Lenny, a man with a stomach that could stop an ocean liner, and a mouth dirtier than three sailors combined. Lenny has a soft side, but it is completely unpredictable when it comes out. So he picked up :

Lenny- 'Taxi,'

Me- 'Lennyy,'

Lenny- '…Who’s this.'

Me- 'It’s me, Eddy…' no response.. 'Steinway.'

Lenny- 'Oh brother, tell me what’d you fuck up this time?'

Me- 'Well, there’s no damage to the cab..' The police officer stood to my right hearing all of it.

Lenny- 'Woah, woah, woah, cut the bullshit my friend, look buddy I ain’t got all day, give me the whole story here, and give it quick. Don’t suck my d __, you can just f ___ me when you get back okay.'

Me- 'Well I’m gonna need the registration and..'

Lenny- 'No, look man, it’s no big deal, everybody makes mistakes, just talk to him, tell him he doesn’t need to record it, don’t get the cops involved and drive off okay.'

Me- 'Oh it is way passed that point man, the cops are here, and the ambulance is on it’s way and I need the registration.' Normally I don’t push people around, but it was sink or swim.

Lenny- 'Ambulance? What the F-', the cop was getting impatient.

Me- 'This officer here needs the registration, so can you give him the registration number?'

Lenny- 'We don’t put registration in our cars.'

Cop-'It is illegal not to have the registration in your car.'

Me- 'He says we need the registration in our cars. Why don’t we have the registration?'

Lenny- 'It’s a taxi, no garage puts the registration in the cars.'

Me to the cop- 'Do you want to speak to him?' I was getting tired of getting the run around. Maybe the cop should see what I’m dealing with.

Cop- 'Yeah why don’t you give him to me,' The officer shows exceptional patience, without the slightest hint of agitation.

Me- 'Lenny I’m gonna have to hand you over to the officer, he wants to know w-'

Lenny- 'No,no,no I don’t talk to no fucking cop, I don’t talk to nobody, I fu—' The phone is already in the air being handed over.

Cop- 'Hello sir this is officer Hanover, with the xx precinct, do you know it is illegal not to have the registration for your cab sir?'

All I could hear from Lenny was about 7 curse words in a sentence. He was louder and angrier with him than with me.

Cop- 'Sir this is a serious manner, we have a person struck by vehicle here, and you’re not being very helpful.'

Lenny replied with several curse words again.

Cop- 'So that’s gonna be your final word on this. You don’t have it. Okay that’ll be your response.'

Wow, got to give it to Lenny, he didn’t fall back into cowardly position, he never hides his balls, not for nobody. And as for the cop, got to hand it to him too, he maintained composure, never held it against me, never assumed me a criminal, never shouted out Lenny either. The cop gives me the cell phone and turns to his puppy police, the rookies;

“Now what we do is we run the license, see if he has any outstanding violations unpaid for, suspended license, warrants for his arrest, if he has any of these we haul him in and throw him in jail for a night. We’ve got to wait for another squad car with a computer to come in so we can run background. After that I’ve got to file my report, these things take a while and there isn’t much to learn here, so if you three want, you can leave, or hang out if you want.” Cop training sounds like a cakewalk, too bad being a cop isn’t easy.

Then the fire engine pulled in and five men got out wearing their fireproof jackets. It is 2 pm, and 92 degrees Fahrenheit, with about 85% humidity, so it feels like 100. Fire jackets? The thought takes my mind off my troubles. Then the Ambulance arrived.

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