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Cab #5514*

Date Taken: 5/9/07
From: Wicker Park
To: Loop

The Cab: A controlled environment. Aside from a discarded Sun-Times in the back seat, both clean as a whistle and neat as a pin. But so much more. What with the fruity aroma and vibrant Vivaldi. it was like Ravinia in there - without the insufferables. (For some reason I wanted it to be Vivaldi, but I really have no idea.) Add the light use of air conditioning and plump seating and I felt like I was traveling in a bubble. That would not last.

The Driver: A mysterious, curly-haired youngish man with shades. He said not a word. He created an environment in that cab, he wasn't going to ruin it.

The Driving: We started out stuck in congestion on North Avenue; nothing was moving. Driver #5514* remained calm and patient. His only show of emotion came with a slightly curious look at a bunch of guys trying to transport a disassembled grill in a grocery cart. He didn't smile, but I saw his head turn slightly as he took a look. Driver #5514* made what I thought was a dubious decision to take the Expressway (destination: 33 East Congress). And I was uncomfortable with the way he stopped at the entrance ramp's red light when there was clearly no reason to. But boy did he make the right call. I felt like I was aboard Street Sense, coming from behind to make up for lost time and passing every car in front of us one by one, with the crowd cheering us on. And a ride so smooth at one point I thought, "What shocks!"

Unfortunately, the perfect ride ended badly. First, coming off the Expressway onto Congress at Wells, Driver #5514* uncharacteristically made a nausea-inducing lurchy stop. Then I noticed how hot it had become in my perfect bubble. The rest of the way my driver drove agitated. What happened? Did he see me taking notes? Had some glitch switched in his head?

I finally arrived at my destination, paid my fare, got out of the cab, and realized I suddenly no longer had my little notebook with me. Somewhere in the transfer of receipt (kept neatly in a pouch on his visor), cash, change, and holding on to my cell phone , pen, and New York Times, I must've dropped the notebook in the cab.

I'm pretty sure my phone number was on the inside cover, but I nobody has called. If you told me something important recently that I wrote down in that notebook, please let me know.

In the meantime, a lesson learned for the billionth time: Nothing good, even a cab ride, lasts. That's just not the world we live in.

Overall rating: 3.5 extended arms.

- Steve Rhodes

* To the best of my recollection, given my lost notebook.

-

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



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Posted on May 9, 2007


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