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Notes from Behind the Wheel

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Samarov
1448 Rider
 Posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Cab sketch

I never kept a notepad or recorded any of the conversations or scenes I witnessed in all my years behind the wheel in any formal way. But, from 2008 to 2012, I used Twitter to share what was happening in the cab, as it happened. Many of these short messages led to the vignettes and longer essays that comprise Hack, as well as this book; some were captured fragments of speech or action that were an end in themselves. Here are a few of those:

September 1, 2010—The brakes of this Buick behind me sounds like a swarm of cicadas.

September 8, 2010—A lady working for one of the aldermen told me they oughta "stagnate" their schedule, so some could go home early. Busy at City Hall today.

September 18, 2010—At 99th & Halsted: a souped-up old Regal with oversized rims (with spinners), tinted glass, and a sticker reading, "Pray For The Unborn."

September 18, 2010—Instead of calling people douchebags, my passenger's 13-year-old daughter now refers to them as "French Showers."

September 18, 2010—What I learned from the fellas: "ATM means something else, if you think about it...Ass To Mouth!"

September 24, 2010—"I'm French and British-- I'm a cocky surrenderer."

September 26, 2010—Girl#1: Can we do a keg-stand when we get there? Girl#2: Oh, totally, I'm not wearing any underwear, it's gonna be awesome!

October 3, 2010—A bit of overheard advice: 1.) Use a lot of tongue 2.) Don't use your teeth 3.) Don't forget the other side.

November 19, 2010—My passengers are debating whether "guido" is pronounced "gwee-do" or "guy-do"...They're going to a bar they think is open. It isn't.

November 20, 2010—"Mercenaries have …

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Cab sketch

I never kept a notepad or recorded any of the conversations or scenes I witnessed in all my years behind the wheel in any formal way. But, from 2008 to 2012, I used Twitter to share what was happening in the cab, as it happened. Many of these short messages led to the vignettes and longer essays that comprise Hack, as well as this book; some were captured fragments of speech or action that were an end in themselves. Here are a few of those:

September 1, 2010—The brakes of this Buick behind me sounds like a swarm of cicadas.

September 8, 2010—A lady working for one of the aldermen told me they oughta "stagnate" their schedule, so some could go home early. Busy at City Hall today.

September 18, 2010—At 99th & Halsted: a souped-up old Regal with oversized rims (with spinners), tinted glass, and a sticker reading, "Pray For The Unborn."

September 18, 2010—Instead of calling people douchebags, my passenger's 13-year-old daughter now refers to them as "French Showers."

September 18, 2010—What I learned from the fellas: "ATM means something else, if you think about it...Ass To Mouth!"

September 24, 2010—"I'm French and British-- I'm a cocky surrenderer."

September 26, 2010—Girl#1: Can we do a keg-stand when we get there? Girl#2: Oh, totally, I'm not wearing any underwear, it's gonna be awesome!

October 3, 2010—A bit of overheard advice: 1.) Use a lot of tongue 2.) Don't use your teeth 3.) Don't forget the other side.

November 19, 2010—My passengers are debating whether "guido" is pronounced "gwee-do" or "guy-do"...They're going to a bar they think is open. It isn't.

November 20, 2010—"Mercenaries have to go around converting people."

November 30, 2010—He has me stop at a burrito joint, then begs some girl on the phone to have him over to give a butt massage. "It'll be good for both of us."

December 12, 2010—My customers are arguing seriously about whether "transcendental" is a real word. Then they reminisce about their college days...

December 12, 2010—"I. really. appreciate you. being cool about, you know, everything that's going on." Then he gives me $30 on a $6.75 fare. Thanks, alcohol!

December 19, 2010—"I read all the Twilight books only until they fucked. Once they fucked, I lost interest and stopped reading."

December 20, 2010—This guy's regaling his date with a story about some colleague "channeling his inner Jew", then proceeds to leave me a 5% tip.

December 23, 2010—"It's ok if you pee your pants a lot, I do it all the time when I'm drunk."

December 30, 2010—"Hey, Kat--heard you think I'm drunk all the time. Well, I'm calling to say it's not true...don't pick up, cuz then I'd call incestuously."

January 1, 2011—"This guy I'm seeing, I think he's half-retarded. But, you know, that's ok because sometimes those retarded guys are pretty smart."

January 26, 2011—Yawning, he tells me, "People used to tell me it's hard to go to sleep with money in your pocket. They lie..."

January 27, 2011—"If I was a cab driver, I'd write down every conversation," the girl says.

January 29, 2011—No matter how many times I've passed those Elvis and Marilyn cut-outs on Belmont, I slow down, thinking they might need a taxi.

February 11, 2011—I love when they ask to be taken to an intersection of two streets that run parallel. I always offer to take them. No takers yet.

February 12, 2011—If you stare for a whole minute at your house and are not convinced it's the right address, it's fair to assume that you've been overserved.

February 17, 2011—"This girl I dated, we went to Wendy's and she ordered a Jubie Cheebie and the guy knew exactly what she was talking about."

February 26, 2011—"Fifteen years ago if you went to a pro-life rally, you'd be guaranteed to get laid."

March 4, 2011—Rave Girl #1: Why doesn't Alexa ever smile with her teeth? Rave Girl #2: She thinks it makes her look fat...

March 18, 2011—A girl gets in and says, "Let me tell you where I'm goin'...I don't know the address. I've been drinking all day since two days ago."

March 19, 2011—Woman #1: My fridge? A shelf of Heineken, a shelf of Corona, two bottles of chablis, and a yogurt. Woman #2: Whoa, you're like a dude!

April 1, 2011—One black girl tells the other, "Not racist or nothin', but there was too many Africans in that club and they all smelled like shea butter."

April 1, 2011—Cub fan analysis of Opening Day: "Could've been better: more bitches usually wear tank-tops than they did today."

April 5, 2011—My passenger's clairvoyant. Here's what he knows about me: I'm a 24-y.o. Aries, UIC graduate in Business Administration, and love soccer...

April 7, 2011—Two blitzed Sox fans get in and the girl says, "Wow, what a great Opening Day. I don't remember any of the game, but it was a great day."

April 15, 2011—"My neighbors had internet before it existed."

April 16, 2011—"I was like trying to get with that one guy by the window and he was having it. Then he wasn't. Got no time for that; have it or don't!"

April 22, 2011—Cubs fans leaving the game look on the bright side: "We had an unobstructed view."

April 26, 2011—DePaul Chick: I feel like when it's a white cab driver, I tip more. Isn't that's true? Me: Don't know, I've never been a black cab driver.

May 7, 2011—"I want to love people but I'm so tired."

May 19, 2011—There's a man at Western & Division loudly directing traffic, even though there's no traffic.

May 27, 2011—"I'm drunk and I'm vulnerable and I'll suck dick for coke."

June 7, 2011—"So nice to have a white driver who turns on the A/C and doesn't smell."

June 13, 2011—There are days when I wish none of my passengers spoke English. Just "Gracias" and cash works just fine.

June 17, 2011—Most nights that I go to the taxi garage to pay my lease, there are cabs idling in the lot, windows open a crack, with men asleep inside.

July 2, 2011—"I wish it would rain more so I wouldn't feel social pressure to go out and do things every time it was nice out and I could stay home..."

August 28, 2011—It's 1:30am and at Western & Grace there's a girl hula-hooping outside a tavern.

November 27, 2011—"There comes a point in the night when nothing else is gonna happen."

February 17, 2012—MALL OF AMERICA HERE WE COME, WE HAVE BIEBER FEVER, & girls' names decorate the van's windows. The driver's smoking with the windows up.

February 25, 2012—"That was fun, hanging out with people other than us."

February 25, 2012—"That chick my buddy left with? She lives west of Western. Which is pretty unusual if you're, you know, white."

February 25, 2012—My passenger spent $250 on jeans and $200 on a top at Bloomingdale's rather than going home to change.

February 28, 2012—A father to his small son,"See, this area near the lake is called the Gold Coast. 'Gold' means it's nice."

March 1, 2012—"How much is a little cocaine?"

March 3, 2012—I'm trying to explain to an inebriated passenger why we can't turn left onto the street on which we're currently driving.

March 8, 2012—The old man gets in and gives me a knowing look. "I know the way the cab industry works: the Arabs run the whole thing." Oy...

March 10, 2012—"That's the Walgreen's I used to stumble to stoned for Ben & Jerry's. That was a weird year. I didn't like what happened to myself."

March 15, 2012—So strange to drive into a dense fog on Lake Shore Drive with the setting sun still clearly visible in between the skyscrapers in the west.

March 17, 2012—As we pass the BP station at LaSalle & Clark he asks his buddy, "Hey, look! Is that an Andrew Lloyd Webber?"

March 25, 2012—Some that leave the 4am bar look like they're ice-skating on the sidewalk, others like they're snow-shoeing; few are just plain walking.

March 27, 2012—My passenger believes going to the McDonald's Drive-thru & buying his wife a Filet-o-Fish Value Meal will make up for his coming home drunk.

March 29, 2012—Always eerie to drive through the industrial park where the stockyards used to be.

April 3, 2012—What I just learned from a little girl at the Speedway: "A need is something you have to have; a want is something you...want."

April 14, 2012—GIRL#1: I'm in strip-club mode! GUY: Not going to a strip club. GIRL#2: You don't have to go to a strip club to be in strip-club mode.

April 25, 2012—My passenger's going up to Wrigleyville at midnight, hoping some girl's drunk enough by now to take him home.

April 27, 2012—"My boo isn't calling. I'm gonna drown myself in a tubful of Klonopins..."

May 8, 2012—A man walks into the Speedway, stops in front of the rollers, takes off his ballcap & watches the hotdogs for a few seconds then walks out.

May 16, 2012—There's a lot I'm not gonna miss about this job.

May 26, 2012—A man who appears to be admiring the Chicago River from in front of the Wrigley Building is in fact just taking a leak.

June 2, 2012—Every tourist I drive past Marina City wonders, open-mouthed, about those parked cars plunging into the Chicago River. Every single one.

If you'd like to read more: http://www.dmitrysamarov.com/signedbooks.html

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Comments

    {{ ratingSum }}
    Kabe
    224 Driver
     2 years ago

    For September 24, did you not mean Cockney Surrenderer?

    Show Hide  1 Reply
      {{ ratingSum }}
      Samarov
      OP 1448 Rider
       2 years ago

      I just report it how they say it.

    {{ ratingSum }}
    drakespit
    42
     2 years ago

    May 27, 2011—"I'm drunk and I'm vulnerable and I'll suck dick for coke."

    Well, did you give her/him coke? LOL