Sat around for 1/2 hour before my first run. After it, I returned to Wailea and sat for another 95 minutes. The second fare of the night set the tone for the rest of my evening.
Harden (#25) and I were assigned to pick up 8 people from the Mana Kai and return them to The Grand. Harden's cab is a Chevrolet Astrovan, which can hold a maximum of 7 passengers. Quite often, when we have to get 8 people, they all try to pile in the van to save on the second cab fare. We won't allow that. Besides being illegal, it screws the second driver out of his fair fare. These folks weren't like that. When we arrived the major discussion was who was going to get to ride in the Mercury and who would have to ride in the Paris Hilton "piss-mobile".
The fare for that trip is $9.50. When we arrived, Hardens people gave him $20 and "keep the change". Over 100% tip!! Of course, I didn't know this until later. I did my usual 7-minute performance of "talk story" with them asking some very intelligent questions of me. The guy riding "shotgun" handed me two "bills" when we arrived, with the appreciated "keep the change" rejoiner. I glanced at the bank notes, expecting to see two $5s (cheap-ass SOBs), or a $10 and a $5 (standard). I did a double-take we I spied two $20s there instead.
"Uh, sir. This is $40!
"I know. Just our way off thanking you for the service you provided as a police officer. It's the least we can do."
I caught myself doing a "drop jaw" reaction just before I was half way through it. A $30.50 tip!!
I shook his hand, something I very seldom do, and expressed my profound gratitude.
"No. Thank you." was his rejoinder. "Cops, past and present, are never told that often enough."
To all my cop readers, I share this with you.
The night only got better from there.
Of course, at the other end of the night, I had to deal with the usual "asshole". Can't really get through a weekend night without one of those. Assigned to a pickup at the far north end of town. A solo male going to a residence in the center of town. Pull up and he is outside, waiting. He opens the front passenger door and starts to get in.
"Back seat, please"was my response. He stopped and just stared at me.
"I want to sit in front."He closes the front door and opens the rear one.
"Sorry, sir, but the front seat has all my stuff on it. Backseat please."
"Kimo always lets me sit in front."
"I am sure he does, sir, but I am not Kimo and I prefer my passengers to sit in the rear. Where are we headed to?"
"I want to go to Halama Street and I want to go to Jack-In-The-Box."
Jack-In-The-Box is a fast food "choke and puke" and, at 1:00am, only their drive-thru is open. At that time of the morning, bar close, the line wait is typically 30 minutes or more.
"I am sorry, sir, but I don't do the drive-thru and the walk-in is closed."
"You know what? I don't like your attitude."
"There has not been any attitude, sir. You have made some requests and I have very politely declined them. Which I have the legal right to do."
He steps back out of ONE-NINE, holding the door open, and begins to berate me, my children, my parents and my dog. You can fill in his eloquent statements for yourself.
I could see that he was building up his anger to perform the proverbial
"You want to see attitude, sir?"
And I punched the gas pedal just enough to get some tire spin, jerking the door out of his hand, spraying him with gravel and letting inertia do its job.
Advised radio that this was a "10-13" (no load) and proceeded on to the next assignment.
At bar close you definitely make no money at 30-cents per minute "waiting time" in some long line as opposed to 30-cents per 1/10th of a mile driving. Also, everyone seems to suddenly forget that I do not allow anyone to eat in my cab. I don't even get a car length from the pick-up window before I can hear them reaching for (and dropping) their french fries (chips) all over the floor and seat. And wiping their greasy hands all over the leather interior.
I probably do have an "attitude" but it has been borne of just cause and experience.
*** *** ***
I am taking my two favorite ladies out to dinner on Monday.
THE PICTURE GALLERY
"Let's all be careful out there!"