A Weird Taxi Story

by Ben Best

I drove a taxi-cab part-time for over a decade in Vancouver, British Columbia. Most of the experience was somewhat boring and tedious, but I had my share of weird experiences also. This experience was one of my more memorable ones.

I got a call to pick-up a lady-fare at a bar about a mile from downtown Vancouver. As we were getting in the cab, a long-haired fellow carrying a pack asked if we were going downtown and if he could share the cost of the ride. He got in the front seat. She asked me to stop at a bar in the skid row area and wait while she went inside. I did this and after waiting about ten minutes with the other fellow still in the front seat and the meter ticking-away, I became impatient and went inside the bar to see what happened.

My lady-fare was involved in an intense conversation with a man and said she would be out in a few minutes. She was telling him how much she really loved him and that the only reason she was hooking was to support her habit. He seemed unmoved by this and was evidently ready to dump her.

While I had been looking around the bar I had noticed the bouncer escorting a slender elderly woman out the door. When I got back to my taxi, the long-haired fellow was no longer in the front seat, but the elderly woman was. I opened the door and told the woman she would have to get out because I already had a fare. She was drunk as a skunk.

I tried to slowly help her out, but as soon as she started walking she fell straight into the gutter and just lay there. I thought it would probably be best if I rolled her onto the curb — out of the street, at least. But when I did so, her head brushed against a pole. I was immediately accosted by a woman who yelled that I had yanked the poor old lady out of the cab and slammed her head. She hurled accusations at me and told me to call an ambulance.

I went back in the bar and called the police. When I went back outside, a couple of cops were already on the scene. The old lady was saying I had banged her head and she was going to sue. I asked the cops if I was being charged. One of the cops just said "Go drive your taxi-cab".

My lady-fare was by this time back in the front seat, but the meter had been mysteriously turned-off. My readings would be off and I had been ripped-off, but at the moment those were the least of my concerns. I restarted the meter and drove her home. My lady-fare seemed to think I was a "Charlie Brown" ding-a-ling, but in an affectionate way, and I got the impression she was coming-on to me. Whether her designs were personal or professional, I'll never know.