Sunday, March 29, 2009

Brains: Don't leave Home Without Them.

This happened about a year ago...

Brains, don’t leave home without them. Actually just don’t leave home.
It was before sunrise and I ran my usual course to the 24-hour restaurant. Two young women came in with a young man sandwiched in between.

“Can you take us to the Path Train station to Newark?”

“Is that at Ground Zer- uh the Trade Center?” I hate the term Ground Zero, as if it were some sort of wasteland.

“Uh, yeah. Do you know if the train is still running?”

“No I have no idea. But I’ve taken plenty of people there at hours even later than this.”

That didn’t seem reassuring enough-

“Hey how would you like to take us to... Newark!”

My eyes lit up for some second or two. What a long journey this would be! How much should I charge I wondered? But then I remembered my difficulties with New Jersey. Despite all three of them looking like a set of silver spoons, I still didn’t want to be lost in a city with one of the highest crime rates in the country; lots of murders, drug dealings, and car jackings I’m sure, and it was the wrong time too, after 4 in the morning. Everytime I go near Newark I’m liable to drive west when I should go south, and even sometimes, I’ve gone north and south and then north again, very bad signage, and at night! Oh fahgetabowdit.

She asked, “How much would you charge?”

Darn I was just thinking that, I didn’t want to refuse the ride, I figured that these three wouldn’t cause much harm so I’d take them if they could direct me there.

“50 bucks,” I tell them.

The negotiator is shocked. "That's expensive!”

And my reply, "I agree, it's completely outrageous!"

"So then why are you charging that price then?" She says, and she thinks she has me, and can mold me to her will.

"Well it costs 60 dollars to go to Newark Airport," I say, "So if you're going to Newark, I'll charge 50."

My explanation was rather simple and to the point. I was being nice, and they had no idea, Idiots. And she would soon prove she was born brainless, I continued to start listing the reasons for the price:

“And so when I go into New Jersey I have to-“

She cuts me off, “Yeah but, um we're like, not going to the Airport.”

It was high time for me to drop the nice guy voice and break out the tone of a disgruntled postal worker, “Yes, and that’s why I am charging 10 dollars less.”

She hinted at some bargaining chips she might have, talks of having a mythical party in New Jersey that I could come to. The guy between the girls was trying to hide his laughter. They were all obviously joking around with me, and I admit I found it all highly entertaining, but I would have to end this banter eventually and pick-up somebody else. All the while, I am driving them to the Path train station, we weren't gonna waste time standing still to wait for her to reach a decision. Soon enough they realized they were asking for a very expensive favor.

“I can’t just hang out with you guys, I need to make my lease price of the car, and I can’t waste time in New Jersey. In fact it is detrimental to my income even if I make 50 dollars to drive you to Newark. I am probably going to get lost there, and it will ruin my entire day.”

Now I thought, how was she gonna talk her way out of that argument? Unfortunately the hamster up in that brain of hers was still running to stand still. "Ahah!" She has a brainstorm, or so she thinks.. “Hey, when you get to Newark, you can get a big fare going all the way back.” In her conceptual moment of genius, she smiles like a Barbie queen.

“I can’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“Because this is an N-Y-C taxicab.”


“So I’m only licensed to pick people up in New York City. That is why it is so expensive to go to New Jersey.”

In her plea to prove her case, she had stumbled on the hardest evidence against her. New Jersey was the reason why it was expensive, New Jersey was the reason I'd be lost, and New Jersey was the reason we don't all jump on the highway and let the meter roll along when we go across the Hudson River.

What a dumb ass. I am constantly overwhelmed with how unfamiliar people are with the size of New York City; it’s big, really big. We probably cover more ground than any other cabs in the world. Imagine if we could pick up people across state borders? I mean where would the ludicrous boundaries ever end? I was starting to get pissed. We were getting close to the train station, and I thought she would have made her decision by now. If she didn’t know what an N.Y.C. taxi does, how would she fare in giving adequate directions? The man did interject on that last one; he assured her that it was true, New York City taxicabs only pick-up in New York City. I mean there’s only so much stupidity a man can take. They agree to go to his house so we all won that night! His house was nearby, but she hassled me about why I was driving around in circles, what a pea brain!

“This is where the address is,” I say. “It is not around the corner, it is back in the direction we came from.” Jesus, can somebody implant a brain in this one! For obvious reasons I didn’t get a good tip.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Haha! This was funny!