The above photos courtesy of Danny Ponomar at

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Drunken Bums

Earlier in the week I was sent to a terrible call on the West side. Once I arrived I went to buzz the apartment number and noticed three individuals in the lobby who were slumping over one another on a couple of chairs. They must have noticed my movement and seen the taxi outside and they started to move.

I held the door of the apartment building open so they could walk past and I got a good glimpse of what I was dealing with. I always give people the benefit of the doubt but once these people were in the car it became a very difficult situation for me and by the end of it I felt very threatened and was on the verge of calling the police.

Once they had gotten in the taxi I asked them where they wanted to go and was immediately suspicious when they said they wanted to go to the North side (they could have said anywhere and I still would have been suspicious). The dialog went something like this...

Me: "So where abouts on the North side do you want to go"

Them: "Oh just start driving, we want to go North"

Me: "No I need to know where you are going first, where abouts on the North side?"

Them: "We have to go to the shelter"

Me: "Oh, well do you have the money to pay for the ride, it is going to be around $15?"

Them: "Of course we do, start driving, what are you new or something or are you just a fucking idiot?"

Me: "I need to have a deposit on the fare and $15 should cover it"

Them: "Oh we have the money, just take us to the shelter, what you don't trust us, do you know who I am?, fucking start driving you dumb ass".

Me: "I don't mean any disrespect but I am not taking you to the shelter without a deposit on the fare".

So the guy tells the woman to pay me and she is fumbling around with a bunch of loose change and I realize this is going no where fast. You know if this was truly an emergency situation where someone needed to get to the shelter and had no option but to freeze outside I could have been more compassionate, but these assholes were rude from the start and were completely wasted drunk and wanted to get more liquor at 4:00am.

I am no community service.

After abut 5-7 minutes of bickering with these folks and demanding money upfront to get to the North side the situation was escalating and I admit I was very worried about what might happen next. I was basically asking them to leave the taxi in a civilized way based on the fact that they had no money. They would not accept my offer for them to just leave and be on there way and were arguing with me relentlessly and they were getting aggressive when one guy put his arm into the front area around my face and I nearly shit my pants because I thought he was going to try to attack/strangle me.

I had earlier made my dispatcher aware that this could have been a problem but I do not believe that she had realized the seriousness of my situation.

One dude eventually passed out in the back seat and the other guy had thought I had taken money from the woman in the front seat (even though I had given it back to her because it was no where near sufficient to get to the shelter).

Long story short the woman decides on a different address not far from where they were on the West side and I asked for $5, she gave me the bill and I drove them two blocks to exactly the apartment that she said that was not good enough. She said "What are you a fucking idiot I need to go to the back", I said "I am not a mind reader, perhaps you should have mentioned that earlier".

So finally they all get out and one guy asks me to wait while he figures out what his plan is and that he is probably not going to stay here. Why the fuck would I wait for you to take you somewhere else when you spent your entire welfare check in three days and were completely disrespectful towards me and had no money.

Once they were out of the car I locked the doors and drove off. FUCK YOU.

My next trip was a student standing on a corner downtown. I let him in and asked how his night was and he says to the effect "I passed out on a couch and when I woke up everyone around me was smoking crack".

He was seriously pissed right off that his old work buddy had taken him to this place and had allowed him to ingest crack fumes against his will while he was "sleeping" on the couch.

Once I got him to his place he mentioned "yeah by the way someone pissed on your seat because it is all wet". I felt the seat and he was right, that fucking bitch from my previous trip. It wasn't wet enough that I thought she had blatantly peed on the seat to spite me. I think she had just pissed herself earlier and the residual was left on my seat.

It ended my night right there. I mean I can't drive people around with a pissed soaked seat.

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