The Spread. Banff's Infotainment Monthly!
Twenty cents ain't no Focking tip, Bitch! (A Night in a Banff Taxi)
By Taxi Mike
(Un-edited version, October 2009) Well, the day begins and so far I've been cut off twice by drivers who own the road, had to wait for about 40 Japanese to cross the road on my green light, had a driver signal right from the right hand lane and then turned left, cutting me off in the process, didn't even look! Two seperate cars randomly stopped for no apparent reason, a family blindly jaywalking, whom assume I'll stop for them, and I've only been driving for 10 minutes. 11 hours 50 minutes to go! Pick up at BSH, a Spanish family wanting to go to the Leaf. The kids are so cute speaking in Spanish, although I have no clue what they are saying. But as the conversation goes along, its clear that one of the kids is getting quite stressed about something, more stress, crying, OK, decision made, they now want to go to Mickey D's. No tip! Call to driveway on Marten. Three guys are hanging out at a trailer. Two of them want to get rid of the third guy. They're pretty hammered, but the third guy is completely obliterated and freaking out, saying "don't touch me" as the other two are trying to move him to the cab. After about 15 minutes they finally get this guy in the cab. Had he walked, the journey would have been about 100 feet to his house but the taxi ride is around the block. "$4.80" I say and he hands me a crumpled up $5. "Do you want change?" "Ya, Well, No, you keep it." He starts to try to get out which is pretty hard when your legs don't work. I get out to try to help him, "Don't touch me" he screams and then says "Don't I get some change?" I hand him a quarter saying "Here you go, Sir!" He's made it out of the cab now, kinda sliding along the side towards the back. "Where's my change?" again. I try to explain the money transaction to him but he's in la la land. Two really wobbly steps and he's made it to his fence where he proceeds towards the front walkway of his house, hanging on to the fence for dear life. As I drive away, I see that he's decided that the front steps by the sidewalk is a good place to have a little nap. The little old lady walking by doesn't seem to be amused. The whole trip took over 30 minutes and I lost 5¢ in the deal. And it's still not even 5:00 yet. Call to Happy Valley. It's staff going to work up the hill and she's late so can I please step on it. She's been written up twice and she doesn't want to lose her job. I tell her to just blame it on the taxi company as I try to race up the hill (at the posted speed limit, of course). Nice tip. I got the Jazz playing so I'm pretty relaxed. I do have the Death Metal ready just in case Mr. J gets in the cab but it's smooth jazz for now. Just another beautiful day in paradise. I'm driving by Safeway now and as I look over, I see a lady, squatting down, having a pee by a tree, right on Banff Avenue. I did NOT need to see that! As I drive 'round a corner, I see two guys, one of whom is giving me the finger (with both hands) and the other guy is just smiling. No biggie, it's just a couple of taxi drivers on days off, got an early start on the drinking. The "hand gesture guy" is mumbling something but I can't understand him. I mumble something back about Calling the Cops on them and they're both just laughing. Call to the 'Nasty. It's a British couple wanting to go to the Hospital. Its a quiet ride as I've learned to never ask "How's it going?" to anyone going to or from the hospital, unless I want to hear the whole story about their medical condition, usually sparing no detail. Radio: HA! Some guy just drove right over the construction ahead sign! Call to the Boo. Take me Downtown. Chatty lady who seems really nice. I drop her at the Eddie and the fare is $7.80. She gives me $8 and I say "Did you want change?" "No, that's a tip for you!" "20¢ ain't no F##king tip, Bitch!" is what I'm thinking as I politely say (with a smile) "Thank you very much Miss!" It's getting a little later now. I've been sitting at the Magpie, waiting for a fare for about 7 minutes now. Finally, Miss A comes out and as she walks towards the taxi she lifts her shirt, completely exposing what God graciously gave her! As she gets in she says "Sorry I took so long, I figured you deserved a little treat for that." I'm smiling! Nice tip! (or should I say Nice Tips!) Got the video going now. I call it the babysitter. Nothing like four drunk and rowdy guys all sitting quietly watching the Hip and all that is said is "That's really sick, Dude!" Dispatch: Skulls. Radio: 75 and I just popped my cherry! Dispatch (hesitantly): O...K... Radio: That would be my "First Crying girl for the night" cherry. Dispatch: Ha ha ha! Call to house near the Batcave. I'm pulling up and I see two people and, Oh my God, is the girl ever hammered. At least the guy seems OK so he can take care of her. Oh no, the're saying "good by's" to each other. She's waaaay too drunk. I can't take her. She can barely stand up. She'll puke for sure! What should I do? Just drive away? Tell him that its a hundred bucks if she pukes in the taxi? Panic? Demand a credit card? They're coming to the cab now, but its the Guy who gets in and the girl stays, staggering away up the steps, weaving through an imaginary slalom course towards the house. Whew! Close one! Call to the AC. Its a girl, crying away. "Take me to the Valley" She's on the phone now, sobbing uncontrollably, from the jist of the conversation, her lover has dumped her at the bar. She's a mess. "Sorry, sorry" she keeps saying to me. Nice tip. Call to the AC. It's two girls. "Take us to the Valley" It's the same address. They start making out in the back seat, and I'm talking 'near orgasm' moans and groans! One of them is obviously the reason the aformentioned fare was crying. As we approach the house I hear "What about whats-her-name? F##k that bitch, blah blah blah, that f##king c##t, blah blah blah, she can go f##k herself!" I'd like to be a fly on the wall when those two walked in the door. No tip. Call to Tommy's. A guy starts to stagger to the taxi. He's pretty drunk but he's an older guy so I figure he can probably hold his liquor. Right? WRONG! We're driving down the road and I'm talking to him to make sure he's still awake. He goes silent. I ask him if he's OK? He tries to speak but his mouth is full of puke, so its just kind of a garble sound. I screetch to the side of the road where he opens the door and just falls out of the cab. Feet still in the taxi and he's lying there sideways, puking away on the side of the road. I let him do his thing, get out, wipe his face, lift him back in the cab, take him to his address. He want to pay by credit card and says "give yerself a nice tip, you deserve it!". I tack on a generous 150% tip and away he goes. At least he didn't get sick in the cab! Radio: High speed chase by the Magger. Dispatch: What's going on? Radio: Like 7 cop cars are chasing some truck towards the river. Radio: They got him by the Gazebo. Cops everywhere now. Then some idiot driver come racing out of the ally by the Post Office, screetching tires as he turns left. Right in front of all the cops! Well, they got him now too! The Tow truck will be doing double duty tonight. Call to the Ditch. A bunch of girls going to staff accomm. "We're the 'Hard to get' girls, not like those other 'Easy' girls we work with. That's why were going home alone!" and I think to myself... "That's right, yer going home... all alone, and not getting any, not like those other girls..." Radio: Is it Wednesday yet? Call to the Pad. More girls going to staff accomm. It's a typical trip and conversation until the cute one in the front announces that she's feeling really sexual tonight! Everyone's laughing. Get to the destination where everyone gets out except the cutie who's going to pay. She says that she's sorry that she can't tip me much but, is there anything she can do for me? I'm smiling! Call it in... $6.90 and I just gotta step out for a minute! :) Call to Burger. Happy drunk girls going across the tracks. As we approach, we have to stop as the gates go down for a passing train. The music video has just ended so I give the girls a choice of which band I should put on next. Front seat girl exclaims "AC/DC right on! Crank it!" They start singing Thunderstruck which just happens to be the first song on the video. When it actually starts playing, they go nuts! Everyone jumps out of the taxi and start dancing and singing. There are like 7 cars stopped behind us all watching the dance party going on. Finally the end of the train passes and everyone gets back in the taxi. But the gates don't go up and another train starts to go by. The music is still cranked and the whole cab is rockin' as we wait it out. Finally clear and drop them off. Very nice tip and a great end to a long long day!
Just another night in the Taxi (Drive a Taxi in Banff)
By Taxi Mike
June 2009 (Un-edited) - And so it begins. Just another night in the taxi. Grab the keys off the wall, check the car, the oil, write my numbers down and the night begins. Set the iPod to the blues playlist. First call to the Sally B. Drop her off at BSH. Nothing exciting. A couple more calls and nothing worth writing about but its clear that someone took a dump in the day dispatchers Corn Flakes this morning. Someone should tell him that Germany lost the war, but no problem, toe the line. Call in the fares and no extra chit chat. Call to TMR. Well the first drinkers of the day have appeared in my taxi. The blonde askes (yells) that she's going to have a cigarette. I don't understand these people. They order a taxi because it's too cold to walk, then they want to roll down the window and have a smoke, freezing and polluting all inhabitants of the taxi. I ask her friends if they mind and a couple say no. The girl just laughs and says "F##k them! I don't care about them." OK then... off to the Gate we go. Stevie Ray is playing on the radio and the blonde reaches over and cranks up the music to sonic. I turn it down to tolerable. They're all singing and yelling at each other over the music. Finally they're gone. No tip on that one. Night dispatch arrives and the chatter on the radio is a little more relaxed. Radio: I'm off to Canmore. Dispatch: Can you grab me some THC. Radio: Sure. Double Double? Dispatch: Sweet n lite! It's getting late now. The partiers are starting to go out. I call it the "witching hour" but it's actually more like four. Radio: Violent puker at the Magger. Radio: I'm sure glad they don't do the Jagerbomb specials anymore. They had pukers everynight back then. Hey there's Bob. I think I'll stop and talk to him. Radio: Guy in a grey hoodie, stripped shirt. Being aggressive, nobody pick him up. Dispatch: I got a call at the Rose. Radio: Do you want me to check it out? (He's the boss) Dispatch: Sure. A few minutes go by.. Radio: I got the people. The guy in the grey hoodie is still standing there. He punched my window so now his hand is all covered in blood. Nobody pick him up! Radio: Cops got someone for DUI on Banff Ave. Ha! There's a two six of Vodka on the roof and the driver is in the back of the cop car. I smile. At this hour there are only taxis, pizza delivery cars, cops and drunk drivers on the road. Pretty easy to spot 'em. Call to SMC. Its a girl, completely sober, just wants to go to Mac's for smokes and return. No problem. We go to Mac's and there is "Mr. V". He's obviously on somethin' and very, very hammered. Bug eyed and all red faced. As the girl goes into Mac's, he's trying to get in the cab. I politely let him know that the taxi is taken. He keeps asking me where she's going but I refuse to tell him. He proceeds into Mac's where he accosts the girl, pestering her to let him ride with her, saying that he knows me and it was OK. She comes running back into the cab, obviously terrified. Tells me to get going NOW! Mr. V. is still trying to get in the cab as were trying to leave and I tell him "No, she doesn't want you in the taxi." He calls her a stupid bitch and slams the door. I call it in... "No one pick up Mr. V at Mac's. He being a drunken idiot and just gave me the finger." No tip from that one. Radio: oooohhh! Face first into a rock! Call to the Rock. It's a little old lady who's just been babysitting. Nice lady, says the kids were the best, blah, blah, blah. As we approach CIBC, the light turns red. We are immediately mobbed by the drunks looking for a ride up to the annexes, SMC or whereever. They're trying to get in, hitting the windows, kicking the taxi, yelling at the poor lady, trying to find out where she's going. She's traumatized. I have the power locks down so she's safe but she's still terrified. We make it past there only to have a half dozen people waving and trying to step in front of the taxi while we proceed down Banff Ave. I weave my way through the idiots to get her home on Couger, but she's pretty quiet now. Glad to be out of the cab, I'm sure. Radio: Yea, the guys money was all covered in blood so I refused to take it. Gimmee a $6.70 M.E.. I pick up at Pizza. Someone in the taxi asks "Where's Dave?" "I dunno" "F##k Dave!""Yea, F##k Dave" All the way home it's "F##k Dave" "F##king Dave""Where the F##k was Dave""What was Dave F##king thinking?" Funny, funny, ha, ha! Glad to be rid of them. Radio: Fight at pizza! It's getting to be that time. It's really late now and the only people out are really, really drunk, staff going home or locals going to a party with 5 stops on the way for booze and other sundry items. I get four locals going to the Woods. Of course, stop at Mac's, stop on Rat, Stop on Couger and then off to Crak Valley. Dispatch: You can clean! The best words of the night. Vacuum, power wash and the night is done! Can't wait to do it all again tomorrow! TM
TAXI MIKE is your Designated Driver! 762-0000