Look folks. I’m not an expert on a lot of things. But one thing I know for sure is that you should never ask a taxi driver for advice. Trust me on this one.
I myself, having spent many dark and gloomy years driving a taxi, can assure all of you reading today’s blog that most taxi drivers know squat. Otherwise, why in the world would they be driving a taxi and not opening an office with a psychiatrists or counselling service sign advertising their services.
There are some exceptions. But far and few between.
For instance. I drove a cab between radio broadcasting jobs to make ends meet while I was sending out audition tapes. And other people do the same. But, a psychologist or a counsellor I am not.
However, that doesn’t stop people who get into a taxi from pouring their hearts out to you. It’s as if when General Motors built the car, you came with it. I say that because people will talk to you about anything as well as carry on conversations with another person who’s with them and ignore the fact that you can hear every word.
“Sooooo Harry. Whaddya think. We get the cabby to pull over in front of the bank, go inside and yell out, “Nobody move….dis is a robbery,” grab a few thousand bucks. jump back in the cab and have him drop us off at your ex wife’s house.”
“Heyyyy…..great plan Bruno. They’ll never be able to track us cause we ain’t drivin’ our own getaway car….heh, heh, heh,”
Here’s another example. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin a man who shot his estranged wife and six others before killing himself asked a taxi driver on the way to the salon where the shooting took place for martial advice this past October.
Now that’s obviously not a funny story. But, it proves my point. For some odd reason taxi drivers are considered to be experts on everything. Go figure.
The shooter explained to the taxi driver that his wife had been cheating on him and asked the cabby what he would do about it if it was his wife. The driver replied, “Nothing, because it wasn’t worth it.”
Soooooo. Did the guy listen to that advice from the cab driver? No! He went ahead and shot a few people.
Obviously in this instance the taxi driver did give the guy some really good advice. Free of charge, minus the taxi fare of course, which, depending on how far the guy travelled, might have been in the double digits, which, may have pissed off the guy, which might have made him more irritable, and might have contributed, in part, to the shooting.
“Fifty-five bucks! Fifty-five bucks! Whaddya nuts! Thanks for the marital advice buddy. Here’s you’re stinkin’ fifty-five bucks….and you ain’t getting no tip either. Oh yeah, by the way, shove your marital advice up where the sun don’t shine you bastard.”
People always used to ask me for advice when I drove a taxi. I was happy to oblige them. Basically because I’m a nosy person, (I’m Italian and have a big nose) and also because some of these riders made for good comedy bits when I was on the radio. Especially when I’d pick up hookers on their way to wherever it is hookers go to do their hooking. Street corners usually.
In fact, most of my basic knowledge about human nature comes from driving a taxi. Most of my knowledge about how much hookers charge for their services comes from driving a taxi too. Not to mention, but I will, what exactly is included on the menu. Kinda like when you go to a restaurant, scan the menu, check the prices, then order, but in this instance there’s no food involved…….if you get my drift.
But that driver who gave that guy marital advice was pretty smart. He gave that idiot some solid advice. He could have said, “If I caught my wife cheating on me I’d clobber her with a 2 by 4. ” In which case, the shooter could blame the taxi driver for giving him that advice.
“Yer honor, I was gonna clobber her with a 2 by 4 cause I asked a taxi driver what he’d do and he told me he’d do that. So, I figure, what the hey, dis guy is pretty smart or he wouldn’t be drivin’ a cab, so I followed his advice. Unfortunately I didn’t have a 2 by 4 handy. Just a 44.”
As I said earlier. People will get into a taxi and blab about anything. Sex, marriage problems, money, work, or they will drag you into the conversation as if you were a long-lost friend.
“So, what’s your name buddy?”
“Misfit huh. Hey, what is that Polish or Italian?”
“Um, it’s my nickname.”
“Yer nickname. Haw, haw haw. Yer buddies call ya Misfit! Why is dat?”
“Oh, only because I’m really a professional disc jockey and between radio jobs I drive this cab until I can find another job at a station.”
“Disc Jockey huh. I wuz gonna be a disc jockey once too but I was too tall to ride one of those horses. So now I just go to the track and bet on them. So, you got any inside tips on the ponies?”
“Um….4th race at Pimlico. Bet on “Girdle” in the stretch.”
“Heyyyy. Thanks buddy. Good luck findin’ a new horse to do yer jockyin’ stuff on.”
Ya see folks. That’s how cabbies adapt to whoever they get into a conversation with when someone is in their cab. Roll with the flow, and before ya know it, the ride is over, you made a buck, and the passenger is on his or her way. Doesn’t need to make any sense…it works.
BUT. If you’re one of those people who strike up a conversation with a cab driver, stick to baseball, football, NASCAR, or whatever sport you’re into.
Because, from experience, most cab drivers know, as I said, “squat” about marital stuff.
Why you ask?
Because most of them are divorced three times over from being too friendly with those hookers who ride in their cabs.
You know. Trading a service for a service.
And that shooter had the balls to ask a cab driver for martial advice.
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