When I logged on last night, I was told I had a "special" at 7:30p, going to the Ma'alaea Grill in (obviously) Ma'alaea. A young gentleman wanted a luxury sedan to take he and a lady out to dinner. That would be approximately a $40 run each way. Not a bad way to start the shift. ONE-NINE is a 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis, which is classified as "luxury", albeit the bottom end of that category.
I pulled in front of the address smack on 7:30p and decided I would try to make this as pleasurable as possible for them. Our "cab light" is magnetically mounted to the roof of the vehicle, so I removed it to the trunk (boot). Gave ONE-NINE a more distinquished "look". My fare, Matthew (pictured above) was impressed when he came out of his residential condo. We went to pick up his date, Brooke (pictured above) at her residence a short 3/4's of a mile away. During the short jaunt, I confirmed our destination and discovered that he had been unable to obtain reservations at Ma'alaea Grill. If fact, almost every place he called were totally booked out. He finally got a reservation at Mulligan's. Our "Irish Pub". Oh, well 2x$16 is better than nothing. I opened the door for Brooke and wished her a Happy Valentine's Day. During our journey, I made sure to "talk up" Mulligan's positive features. Hoping that it would help her impression of Matthew. This was their first date. They both work in one of our supermarkets in Kihei. I also asked to take their picture, for the blog. On arrival, I gave her my hand when I opened her door. Its just one of those courtesies that a gentleman should extend to a lady. Matthew was "talkative" nervous. It was fun watching him trying to be something, so hard, that he probably won't attain for another 10 years, at best. He wanted to be as suave as James Bond, from a 15 year old's POV. Matthew was probably 21, maybe 22 (same age guesstimate for Brooke).
I did their return pick up 3 hours later. Brooke was almost sober but, alas, poor Matthew was ripped. Their evening came to an abrupt halt right after I dropped them at her apartment. Saw him later, at bar close, in the "Triangle". He had been slamming them back, until he was requested to leave after he lost his stomach contents across the top of one bar. None of the other pubs would allow him in, due to his level of intoxication.
Between those 2 runs, I picked up another 2, out of 8 total for the shift. The first brought me back into town, where what little action there was could be found. About an hour later, I stumbled onto the second one. One of the other drivers, while on a run, had spotted a male trying to "flag" a cab by the ABC Store, on south Kihei Road. Since the pickings were lean, I said that I would check it out. Usually you arrive at the location and can't find anybody. I missed him on my first pass, He was in the shadows. Spotted him on the return. He wanted to go to Haili'imaile, which is on the lower slopes of Mt. Haleakala, just below Makawao and Pukalani. I requested a $70 deposit and he handed me a C-Note. The fare actually came to $66.20. I got an 80-cent tip. Oh, well. Sometimes the magic works and sometimes it doesn't. During my return to the southside, I got the dispatch to pick up Brooke and Matthew.
Bar close brought my next three fares.
The final run was a request by the PBX operator at the Four Seasons to gather up a guest from a private residence in Kihei. I told her to tell the lady that I would be there in about 5 minutes. Arrived and sat. Sat for 15 minutes. Called the Four Seasons. They didn't have a call-back number, so I departed. I requested the operator to get a phone number if/when she called back. 20 minutes later, I get a call from the lady, herself. I knew she was speaking English but I could only understand 2 of the words she mumbled. It didn't take a genius to put 2 and 2 together. I asked if she was the lady at (address). She muttered something that sounded like a "yes". I told her that I would be there in less than 5 minutes and for her to be outside waiting for me. Another garbled response. Naturally, when I arrived, she wasn't in sight. I decided to give a 5 minute wait. In the final 30 seconds, a guy walks around from the rear of the house and tells me it'll be "just a second". She comes around the side of the home, walking with that careful precision that only drunks can do. As she enters, I could hear large glass bottles of liquid pinging against each other in her large, cloth purse. The guy joined her in the back seat. Obviously, their party was long from being over. At the hotel she was barely capable of movement, let alone cognitive thought. He, on the other hand, was coldly sober. I looked him in the eyes and saw a deep set cruelty, buried therein. When this woman regains consciousness, eventually, she will have no idea why she is so sore in so many places, nor where all her bruises came from. I've dealt with the other end of this scenario many times in my prior life.
For this year, last nights meter was decent, but was about 50% of what I was getting last year.
Since winter has finally arrived in the northeast, maybe we'll get to see a huge influx of smurf snowbirds in the near term. God, I hope so. St. Patrick's Day and "spring break" are just around the corner. One can always hope.
Y'all come back now, hear!
Mahalo and Aloha.
THE PICTURE GALLERY
PACIFIC COVE LUAU
"Let's all be careful out there!"