Scary thought, huh?
Just before 1a I picked up 4 latinos from Liquids, an up-scale night club in the Lipoa Shopping Center. They wanted to go across the island, to Wailuku Heights. They spoke English as they entered the cab but seemed to lose that ability when I asked for a $50 deposit up front. So we just sat there, the meter adding 30-cents for each minute. Finally, "shotgun" handed me a $100 bill and off we went. Pulling out of the drive, "shotgun" asked me, in Spanish, if I understood Spanish. I ignored him. He asked a second time. Still ignored him. Then the four of them started speaking among themselves, in Spanish - of course. They said that I was stupid and looked like an idiot in my "Santa" hat. They also contemplated just taking back the C-note when we arrived at the destination. Towards the end of the 27 minute trip, "shotgun" asked me, in English, where I was from. I told him that I was a retired cop from California. Dead silence. He told the others that I was a police officer and probably had a gun on me. A rapid discussion ensued and they decided that trying to get their money back may not be the smartest move. Paid me $41 on the $40.70 fare. No problems. I haven't spoken Spanish in almost 20 years but I do understand it, most of the time. Sometimes being really "stupid" is better than being really "smart".
The past 2 nights we've been plagued with some troublesome young men. They are staying at the Mana Kai. Apparently, Maui Jim hauled them at least once, because they call after he is off-shift and ask for him. We send another cab and they don't want a ride. What they want is for the driver to sell them drugs. The others on the night crew have each turned them down at least once. I told TMR, last night's dispatcher, to give me the call the next time. I was going to have some fun. They did call and I was headed their way when I was dispatched for the "money run" mentioned above. So TMR asked me for the MPD non-emergency number (808-244-6400). When no cab showed per their initial request, they called back. TMR asked them if they were still trying to locate some "smoke" and they said "yes". So he gave them that number and said that the people there would be able to "hook them up". TMR said later that they did call back, highly perturbed about our "trick". We all got a laugh from that.
Besides the Wailuku Heights fare, I also had, early in the shift, a run from Wailea to Pukalani, a town upcountry. That was a mixed blessing. The money was good, both meter and tip, but it came in just as I was headed to Judy's to have a turkey dinner. Kinda the feeling you might experience watching your mother-in-law drive over a cliff in your brand new car. Definitely mixed emotions. The pocketbook, obviously, won out over the gut.
12 fares / 131 miles / 1st quarter $200 bracket
East of me, enjoy your Sunday.
West of me, its time to go back to work.
THE PICTURE GALLERY
"Let's all be careful out there!"