As rain falls hard on a humdrum night in The City, the windshield wipers on National 182 slap away the moisture obscuring my view of the street and any potential flags.
The longer I drive empty, the more I convince myself there are thousands of people just dying to get in my cab, if only my visibility weren’t so limited. So I drive slower, and slower, and slower, until I’m stopped outside a dismal bar, hoping someone will run into the back of my cab and say, “Walnut Creek! Step on it!”
After driving empty for half an hour, I try not to let it drag me down. And yet, my mind begins to wander into the depths of wanton speculation and I contemplate all that I can’t control…
Like the conversation I’d had with Colin on the way to work today when we saw an Oakland cab stripped of most of its taxi markings and a TCP license on its bumper.
“Why would anyone get a TCP license at this point in the game?” he asked. “He could just go to the hardware store and get some adhesive numbers and put them on your bumper and look legit.”
“What about cab drivers?” I asked. “Why do we follow the rules?”
Cause we’re a bunch of chumps. That’s why.
This week’s column in the S.F. Examiner is about starting a gypsy cab. Why follow the rules when no one does? It’s not like there’s anyone out there enforcing the rules. Are cab drivers fools for voluntarily doing what’s right when the game is rigged against them by a system that completely ignores them and their struggles?
Photo by Trevor Johnson.