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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A 50/50 NIGHT

The night started really great. Lots of dinner runs and their returns. Even had one trip to the airport. About 8:00pm we had drizzle but it only lasted an hour. Right around 10:30pm the phone stopped ringing. Nothing, nada, zilch. Maybe just two runs per hour until bar close at 2:00am and it was a wash out. Two drivers called it a night and the last one left at 3:00am. Two runs after that and then I left at 6:00am when the second of the day drivers checked in.

We don't do a lot of cruising for fares. Gas is too expensive. In the first half of the night we run a rotation out of Wailea. Later in the night we shift our focus to the bars in Kihei. Especially the "bar-muda triangle" (5 bars about 200' apart from each other in a small shopping center).

About 4:30am it began to actually rain. The islands of Kaua'i, O'ahu and the western half of Moloka'i were under flood watches yesterday and last night. I guess we are getting the fringe of the storm. Rain is rare in Kihei (key-hay). About 10"s per year.


My first fare of the evening was a short 8/10ths of a mile "pu pu" (Hawai'ian for "tid bit" or "small bite") run from the Grand Wailea to Joe's Bar and Grill. Total fare of $5.60. He hands me a hundred. Geez, I only start my shift with $25 in my pocket. Luckily he was a guest at The Grand and we have a voucher pay system with them. He included a $4.40 tip.

This isn't the first time that this has happened. The Grand is not a cheap place to stay. Room rates run from $800 to $12,500 dollars a night. I've always wondered why people do this. If they're trying to impress the "common man" with their wealth, its a failure. Or maybe they are inured to the inaneness of the action.


Well, that would be me, I guess.

A while back, on a Friday night, I was queued up first at "Tsunami's", a disco located at The Grand's ballroom entrance. I watched hotel security officers and a couple of Tsunami's "floor hosts" (fancy word for "bouncer") escorting a man from the club. They flagged me forward. Obviously there had been some trouble and I knew exactly what his problem was less than 1 second after he closed the door. He was from Australia and hated Americans. His general opinion was that Americans were lazy, shiftless, bullies and thieves. You can insert your own coarse adjectives for these words. I wasn't half way out of the driveway when I knew that this ride wasn't going to make it to the Mau'i Prince Hotel, his detination, 4 miles to the south. As far as I was concerned, it wasn't going to make it to the end of the drive. Then I realized that I had to at least get him off of The Grand's property. And that is exactly what I did. I turned onto the public street, drove two car lengths and pulled to the curb. Exitted the cab, opened his door and told him to get out. When he asked why I told him that "no guest has the right to insult their host". He refused at first, then I asked him "sir, you can either exit the cab like a gentleman or I can remove you with great pain on your part and great relish on mine. Your option". I was emphasising my statements by tapping my 5 D cell mag-lite in my hand. He took the hint and I pointed the direction to The Prince out for him.

I am not a "flag waver" or "drum beater" by any means but sometimes "enough is enough".


With the bad weather, it was hard to get any really good pics last night. So here is one of my cab parked under the entrance of The Grand this morning.

One-nine is my cab's number and radio call.

Hopefully, tomorrow will produce better things to write about. If not, I will dredge up some more past runs to share. Sorry also about no scenic views but I basically work from sunset to sunrise, which greatly limits the "photo ops".