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Cab #2564

Date: 6/11/09
From: Wicker Park
To: South Loop

The Cab: Well-maintained but the slight odor of cleanser mixed with something else, possibly vomit. Let me check Texts From Last Night to see if this cab shows up anywhere.

The Driver: A rarity these days in that he had the radio on. Maybe he doesn't have any cabbie friends to talk to.

ANNOUNCER: "Go to Joliet.com! The fun, the friends, the excitement!"

Driver #2564 is mostly a calm, hands at the ten-and-two kind of guy. He has a sparkling gothic cross in his right ear. He drank from a green can that was probably Sprite.

"And the walls, come tumbling down . . . "

It's The Drive. This ride will be narrated by Classic Rock.

The Driving: I was going to take the El downtown, but I had an appointment to make and you just can't count on the CTA when it's important. When you have to absolutely, positively be there, take a cab or drive yourself.

Friggin' CTA.

So I had to stop for cash. The first two ATMs at Milwaukee and Damen were both out of service, forcing me to go where I swore I never would: the Bank of America in the Coyote Building of what has become a godforsaken intersection. Three-dollar service fee because they aren't my bank. BoA is evil, and probably backed by the Chinese.

On to the hailing.

A lot of folks must have read that cab-share article. I've never been asked to share a cab before, but two folks before me did, and I was asked to but couldn't because of the timing and the route.

I got in my cab and thought to myself, "Now let's get stuck on North Avenue."

*

Driver #2564 turned out to be a very smooth rainy day driver. At one point I thought he was shooting me nervous glances, but he was really just checking all his mirrors. Also, a very good lane-changer. But I wondered: will he be there when the deal goes down?

*

For the most part, he was. The freeway was surprisingly smooth and he passed his big test: get off at Congress or Roosevelt? He chose Congress, to my inner skepticism, and the long line of stoppage I expected failed to materialize.

Driver #2564 also deftly handled the defrost before I even noticed the vehicle needed defrosting.

"What a wonderful night for a moondance . . . "

God I hate that song.

*

At this point I dubbed Driver #2564 Silent Cal because he didn't speak a word.

"Lord take me downtown, I'm just looking for some tush . . . "

*

Once we got onto the downtown streets, though, Driver #2564 lost a bit of his cool, notching one panic brake and one surging start. For the first time I remembered my cab nausea.

But by then the ride was over.

Overall rating: 3.5 extended arms

- Steve Rhodes

*

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



Permalink

Posted on June 15, 2009


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PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Baxter's IV Bag Shortages.


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