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Cab #2038

Date Taken: 12/05/07
From: Wicker Park
To: Irving Park

The Cab: A Blue Diamond! It's aesthetically pleasing on the outside with that Blue Diamond logo. Unfortunately, this will be the last good thing about a cab ride gone bad.

First, riding in this cab was like riding in the back seat of a friend's car - in a bad way. There was no divider between driver and passenger. In some way I would think I would like this egalitarian structure, yet instead it creeped me out. He was right there! I could touch him between the bucket seats! Was this even a real cab? Or did he just stick a placard on the side of the car in order to lure victims whom he would take to his underground torture chamber?

Because that was the vibe I had.

The Driver: Another bad clue strikes me immediately. He's talking on a cell phone. Not like the other cabbies, though. He actually is holding a cell phone to his ear by hand. What?! That's wrong. I'm used to the jibber-jabber into the nearly invisible headsets that is unjarring enough, but this is just plain wrong. Plus, it looks like a 15-year-old girl's cell phone - kind of pinkish red and very slim. Something is wrong with this picture. It could be the cell phone of a victim.

The Driving: Immediately suspicious. First, why are we turning around? We're heading toward a freeway on-ramp. I don't understand. Should I say something? Does he know a better route? Oh my God, our eyes just met in the rear view mirror. He knows I'm onto him! Should I jump out? Call someone? Mouth "Help!" to that cop car alongside us?

Okay, so he's going to take Milwaukee Avenue. Let's try to relax. Oh God, Milwaukee sucks! It's jammed up! Is he trying to screw me? Where is that rate card? How in the world could I already owe $3.65?

Well, the flag pull alone is $2.25, so I guess that makes sense. Wait, does he have the extra passenger light on?

Oh my God, I just realized, we're driving with radio silence!

It's just me and him.

He certainly seems in a hurry - a hurry to kill me! Now I don't feel so well. For the last couple of years, riding in the back of cabs has made me nauseous. Maybe it's some sort of late-onset motion sickness. I feel my head getting flush. My face is starting to sweat. I feel like I want to throw-up - or pass out. Or pass out in my vomit. At least that's the way I always wanted to go - but in a rock star suite, not the back of a Blue Diamond.

This is the point in the ride where I always start thinking about how much my life sucks. I need to eat better. Sleep better. Get more exercise. God, how did it lead to this?! I'm such an idiot. I should never have put myself in this situation.

Now we're behind a truck. And he keeps speeding up as if the truck isn't there only to slam on the brakes just before impact. Is he learning-impaired? Oh my God, he's going to try to thread between the truck and a CTA bus! Don't you know those buses never do what you think they'll do! Those aren't rational drivers! Don't fuck with them!

Oh my God, he pulled back.

Oh wait, no, don't do it! He's passing everyone on the right and there's another bus ahead and there's a truck and he's going to try it again and . . . he made it! But I'm not happy about it. Now he seems aggravated. He wants this ride over as much as I do. He, like I, has an internal narrative going on. It's saying "Kill! Kill! Kill!"

So is mine.

Pulaski? Why are we turning here? Hey, here's that freeway we could have taken! No, not again! Now we're behind a school bus. Don't hurt the kids!

Hey look: Hangovers Liquor Store. That's pretty good.

Oh yeah, where was I? Oh yeah, I was being taken to a dungeon!

Is that Hot Doug's? Is that where we are?

No, it's a mirage! I just had a Hot Doug's mirage.

There's Irving Park. Thank God.

"Anywhere along here, I can just get out."

I don't feel well.

Overall Rating: Half an extended arm for at least getting me to my destination. And for not taking me to his basement torture chamber.

- Steve Rhodes


There are more than 6,000 cabs in the city of Chicago. We intend to review every one of them.


Posted on December 6, 2007

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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