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Thursday, May 18, 2006



Meet Car #7

The problem I had with "ONE-NINE" on Saturday night was supposedly fixed on Monday, or so I thought.


Oh, our esteemed mechanic looked at it but could not recreate the problem so didn't act on the fact that I had reported a failed heater core. To make matters worse, a day driver drove it all Monday afternoon and never had a problem.

I drove it Tuesday night and received Art's wrath for wasting his money having "ONE-NINE" towed across the island. I really felt like an idiot. She even ran fine for me.

Wednesday night was a different story. On my first run, she started huffin' and puffin' steam from below the glove box. I advised Kimo, Wednesday night's driver/dispatcher, and said "to hell with it". Kept driving until the interior of the windows were so steamed up that I had to hang my head out to see the road. That ol' tongue just flapping in the breeze.

Finally picked up car #7 and drove it the rest of the shift.

After work I went by the auto-parts store and got a "heater by-pass kit" which I will install after Thursday's shift. Lets face it, maybe three nights out of the year do I really need a heater. And I will be compensated for the parts and labor.

Car #7 is a Lincoln "Towncar" and is a dream to drive.


12 runs last night. So it was at the top end of "slow". Had an OGG at 5:30am and that significantly increased the "take home" for an otherwise dismal shift.

Scared the living shit out of one drunk at bar close. He boarded at LAB, headed to Kauhale Makai (Village By The Sea). Asked to stop by an ATM so he would be able to pay me. Kewl. Took him to Foodland and then continued the run when he reboarded. As is common, he passed out along the trip and had to be awoken when we arrived. Asked for the fare ($10.40) and he handed me a mini Bic lighter and said "Here's ten dollars."

"No sir. Thats your lighter."

He hands me his cell phone, stating "Here's twenty dollars then."

"Uh, sir. Thats your cell phone. How about some cash?"

"I don't have any cash."

"Excuse me?!? We stopped at the ATM so you could grap some cash. What happened to that?"

"I changed my mind."

"Okay, asshole. How do you plan to pay me?"

"I don't know. I don't have any money."

"That's bullshit dude! I think its time for you to spend some quality moments in Mau'i county jail."

I grabbed "Maggie" off the seat and started around the back of the cab, towards him. He bailed and ran to the front of the cab.

"Don't make me chase you, asshole. Stand up and take the ass-whoopin' you deserve."

He started crying. Begging me to take him to any ATM and he would get cash.

Which is what eventually happened. $40.00 on a $15.50. Thank you very much.

Was I really mad? No. Disgusted would be more fitting. But I have found that feigning angry righteous indignation can be an effective negotiation tool. Never lose control of the situation and adapt as necessary.

I gotta laugh though. I am a 5' 7", 200#, crippled old fart that looks like a cross between Santa Claus and Jerry Garcia and yet I can still be very intimidating when necessary. Some aspects of my prior life just never fade away.


"Let's all be careful out there!"