Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Geneticist

            “Our guest tonight is a geneticist, whose work with Dr. Richard Dawkins on the future evolution of the “Selfish Gene” has caused quite a stir in the scientific world at large.  Doctor Iiieeeoooeee you have an interesting perspective on the future evolution of the human race, why don’t you explain it to our radio audience.”  The radio announce explained.

            “Thank you,” Dr. Iiieeeoooeee said, as he began explaining his theory.  “You see, the human race is still in the early stages of development in its evolution.  An indicator of this is the continuance of violence and stupidity, as humans continue to be motivated by their emotions rather than optimum health and well being of the whole.  We are all connected together, and whatever happens to the least of us, happens to the greatest.  Carl Marx had the right idea, but Communism is a futile attempt by humanity itself to correct its inconsistent proliferation of talent among its members.”

            Humanity is in stage 2 of its evolution and eventually we will enter stage 3.  When that happens, utopia will be realized, as war and crime become a thing of the past.  You’ve probably heard the controversy about how much of our brain that we use.  Some say we only use 10 percent, while others say 90 percent.  The truth of the matter is, the brain has the potential for exponential growth, within the size that it exists at right now.  That is because only a fraction of the possible connections are now in place, that allow it to operate at maximum efficiency.  When all the connections within the brain are made, it will transform the human species, until it becomes…”

            “Number 52,” the cab radio announced, as he turned the radio volume down to hear, “go get Angelo Delano, from the Elks.”

            “I confirm,” Trevor answered, as he drove to his destination and turned the radio back up. 

            “So when we consider the short time that the human race has been sentient, it is a relatively small amount of blood to pay for the process with.  Blood is always the required payment when it comes to evolution.  Cowards manipulate the stupid hero’s to fling their bodies on into the blood thirsty maw of evolution, until that day, when all the connections are made and the resurrection of the dead occurs and the living and the dead are united together.”

            “And now a word from our sponsor,” the radio show host announced, as a woman with a pleasant voice began to talk about taking a shamanic journey into Central America with some of the most metaphysically minded guru’s of the 21st century.  The first 12 callers would be included in an ancient psilocybin mushroom ceremony, while they stayed at their spiritual refuge in the jungles of Guatemala…

            Driver #52 had to help the elderly gentleman named Angelo Delano from the dance area of the club, to the cab, and collapse his walker and put it into the back seat.  Angelo lived in the retirement home on Lancaster, so Trevor proceeded there.  As they drove Angelo began to talk and tell his story.  It’s funny how people begin telling you about their life, as if it’s important to have proof that they existed by impressing others with their presence.

            Angelo was born in 1922 and grew up in a wealthy Italian family in New York City.  Even after the depression, his family prospered, until his family visited Sicily in the late 1930’s when he was 16.  Mussolini was in power and because of his family ties to the Mafia, which opposed II Duce.  He and his siblings were poisoned, but he and his older sister miraculously survived, while his younger brother died.

            When WWII began, Angelo enlisted in the US Army and after the Invasion of Africa and then Italy he was part of the allied forces, because of his bi-lingual skills as an Italian/English translator.  What he saw drove him to drink and by his own confession he was drunk during the entirety of his European service in WWII.  After he was discharged he quit drinking alcohol and has not had a drink to this day.  When he’s at the Elks he drinks coffee and dances by using his walker.

            After the war he married a girl that his parents did not approve of, so he moved as far away from them as he could, and ended up in Oregon, where he has lived since 1946.  He worked for the waterway department and knows every lake, river and every major body of water in the state of Oregon.  His wife passed away almost 10 years ago, and since then he has had a few girlfriends, but they have all died as well, so at this time Angelo is alone and waiting to die.

            After #52 dropped Angelo off, the next call he got was for Jim at Players Lounge.  Jim was a strange guy.  He took a taxi to and from the bar 3 times every day, at $15.00 a trip.  At first you would think that he was a drug dealer going home to fill orders and returning with them, but after you talked to Jim you realized that if he was a drug dealer, he had the best cover in the world, because he hardly ever said a word.  Once in a while Jim would talk about some subject, in a passionate manner, but usually he was reticent.

            For some reason today, Jim was ranting about why the “Octoberfest” was in September, so Trevor proceeded to explain the history to him.  “you see, in 1810, prince Leopold got married and they had a big celebration and that was the first “Octoberfest.”   After that they had it every year.  One of the reasons why it happened at that time was because, before refrigeration was discovered, beer could only be made when the weather was cold.  So the last month that it was made was in March.  Then in October they could begin making it again, so all the existing beer was drunk up.   The last batch made in March was at a higher alcohol content, so it would last longer.  “Octoberfest” was the year end blowout before the new stock hit the shelves.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Happy Greeting

Something that I learned along the way was the importance of greeting my passengers with a smile and a, “Hi, how are you?” Doing this at the earliest possible moment establishes that you are a nice guy and are happy to see them, which sets the tone for the rest of the trip, even if there are a few bumps, due to temporary brain malfunctions, related to alcohol over-saturation.

The weekend began with “The Night of the Moron Drunks, on Friday, even though the full moon was waning. The epitome of stupidity for a passenger to stoop to in my mind, is when they want to talk to the dispatcher on my radio. Maybe they just want to act like they are a taxi driver, or maybe they want to imitate a truck driver or maybe they want to tell the dispatcher what a wonderful person their taxi driver is, but whatever the reason, it represents a level of what I call Juvenile drunken intelligence.

Around Midnight or so I picked up a couple at the Can Can, who were obnoxiously drunk, and the female sat up front with me. After I called in the pickup and address, she wanted to talk to the dispatcher, who she said she knew. After I tried to deter her, I finally gave up and just turned the radio off, as she grabbed the microphone and babbled incoherently into the microphone, while I drove them to their address.

Saturday began with a major accident on I-5 that ended up in a traffic jam on both Hawthorne and Lancaster, as the traffic diverted and tried to move on. One of my passengers that I picked up a few hours later was a witness, only 3 cars away from the scene. It seems that a car somehow jumped from one side of the freeway to the other and hit an SUV head on, killing the driver, who was thrown from the vehicle, and injuring the other juvenile passengers. The rest of the night was pretty much uneventful.

Around 2:00 AM I got a call to get Sean at Vons Tavern. On the way there, I realized that it was the guy who usually had a Yellow Cab voucher from the bar, and wanted to go out of the way to stop at the Mexican food meat wagon, and not have to pay anything extra. Sure enough it was one and the same. Let me explain Sean to you, at least from my perspective, which you must take with many grains of salt.

He was in his early 30’s, and was a low life moocher that tried to always con his way out of paying for anything, and would scream to high heaven if he had to use any of his money. Then he would never give you a tip, unless it was the change from the dollar. When the bartender pointed me to him, I told him that I would be waiting outside. After about 2 or 3 minutes, he came out with a woman, that I’d never seen before, who got into the back seat with him.

“Where are we going?” I asked.

“Muchos Gracias, and step on it,” he said.

The woman in the back seat with him asked, “Is this cab driver a friend of yours?”

“No,” he answered.

“Then why are you talking to him like that?” She asked, as he stumbled all over himself, failing to find the words to answer.

I thought to myself, I like this woman, maybe she can knock some sense into this bonehead. When we pulled into Muchos, there was a cop with a car and a tow truck, indicating a DUI.

“It’s a good thing that we are taking a cab,” Sean said, as I pulled up to the order microphone, with my time meter on. Then they began ordering Oregon Burritos and Quesadillas while the meter clicked. We were second in line, but by the time that we got our order and drove back out onto Capitol the meter was already at nearly $8.00.

“I see you ran a hot meter on me,” Sean said as we started heading to his address.

“What do you tell your boss, when they tell you to punch out and work off the clock?” I asked him.

“I’d tell them to go fuck themselves,” the female anwered.

“Cab driver’s don’t get paid an hourly wage, and the only time that they are making money is when the meter is clicking,” I explained. “This is the busiest time of the night, and calls are backed up, so if you want me to wait for you, you are going to pay.”

“I work on commission too,” the woman answered, “so I understand what you are talking about.”

“What do you do?” I asked her.

“I’m a makeup artist,” she answered. “I sell makeup at one of the most prestigious beauty salons in town, and at the same time, I will apply it to the customers if they want. It’s all very expensive, so the only reason why you would buy it is if you knew that it would do what you wanted. The cheap items run $70.00 to $100.00, and with my services the price could double.”

When we pulled up to Sean’s house, there were 2 SUV’s parked in the driveway, and one of them was all banged up. The woman asked what they were, and he said that he was selling the damaged one, and she asked why anyone would want to buy something like that? The fare came to $12.60, and Sean gave me a $20.00 bill, so I handed him $7.00 change, which he took and pocketed, as I wrote down the fare and, a .40 tip. Then as they got out of the cab, the woman turned to me and said here is your tip, as she handed me a $5.00 bill, to Sean’s protests, as she told him to shut up

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What If Life Is A Test?

“What if life is a test? Not for heaven or hell, but to say to weed out the losers and non performers out of the pack, so to say,” #25’s passenger said. “It could be like the parable of the talents where all the other stewards multiply their talents, but this moron buries his and is thrown into hell because of his slothfully lazy stupidity, but then we get back to the subject of heaven and hell again. Okay, here’s another way of looking at it…

His voice trailed off as he changed direction and began talking about some other subject. When my passenger was drunk he always liked to talk about religion, and tonight I picked him up pretty well wound, at Hong Kong House. He went to church, but liked to get hammered on occasion. I let him talk and never answered or engaged him, unless he demanded a response from me. Then usually before I could finish my first sentence he would scoff and refute his former position, as if he were ripping my idea to shred’s. Tonight he just talked, and I just listened, until I dropped him off at his house. At least he gave me a $3.00 tip this time, and didn’t threaten to kick my ass because I was a right wing fascist.

When I pulled into the second taxi stall at Greyhound, it was after 1:00 AM, and Dora Dimes, #11 was sitting in the first one. I avoid her as much as possible, since she is a real downer, and keeps hitting on me, even though she knows that I’m happily married. However, it looked like she was asleep, so I sat there and read my copy of Ed Sanders book, “Tales of Beatnik Glory.”

Dimes was sound asleep, but she wasn’t having a pleasant dream. She was having a nightmare about a meteor shower of football stadium sized meteors landing all over the Earth. The radio announced that the meteors seem to slow down as they approached the Earth’s surface, and touch down without any impact, which was very unusual. This indicates that it is some kind of a controlled vehicle, rather than a rock that had been hurtling through space, and just happened to hit the Earth. Also, there were thousands of them covering the entire planet, and as the locations of the landings were computed, it was discovered that they were all perfectly spaced in distance, between each other. Then just as scientists and politicians were becoming excited about the possibility of making contact with alien life, the meteors started to break open, releasing a clear gelatinous substance, that began spreading in a concentrically growing circle from the meteor itself. The clear gelatinous liquid of every meteor covered about one inch in depth and spread out in nearly a 10 Kilometer circumference. It took nearly 24 hours for the circumference to be completely covered, and then to everyone’s horror, they realized that it dissolved everything it touched, including trees, buildings, people, animals, telephone poles, and all organic and manmade matter.

As the first circumference of organic and created matter was dissolved, the slime grew, and broke into anywhere from two to four individual segments that began to spread in new directions. This went on until the entire earth was completely eradicated of all organic life and anything created by it. Through telepathic conversations with the slime, some of the human technologists were able to communicate with their executioners prior to their demise. They were told that the meteors were tools of the servants of the most high God, who had deemed humanity to not be worthy of existence by reading the records of its own history. Therefore, judgment had been passed, and interdimensional scavengers were summoned by the most high God to remove the Earth from its place. First the slime meteors digest all organic life and its creations, and covers the entire surface with a half meter crust that hardens, and makes the planet a delicacy that the Zene can consume.

“Get the Hong Kong House Bar for Tonto,” Lisa announced over the radio. After there was no response for 10 seconds, she repeated

“Number 11, did you get the call?” The dispatcher repeated.

Dora snapped to attention in her seat and grabbed the microphone, “could you repeat that please,” she said.

Since Dora got a call, and I was second down, that meant that I could get one right after her, so I got out my pen and picked up the clip board with my trip sheet pad. Sure enough I got a call, and it was for the Shell station in West Salem, on Wallace Road near the bridge. When I got there a woman waved at me, as she was locking up her car. She was a tall Latino, in skin tight pant, high heels and a tight fitting top that revealed some cleavage. She was going to East Salem, and talked non-stop all the way.

She said that she was 32 years old, but looked like she was 25, and didn’t care if I thought so or not. She owned her own house and rented a room to a 20 year old guy that she had the hots for, and asked me if that was wrong. Before I got a chance to answer, she told me that my opinion didn’t matter anyway, because she would fuck him as a personal challenge, and she never lost challenges. Then she started to hit on me and ask me if I was married, and if I fooled around. She talked so much that I just let her go on to the next subject rather than responding.

She told me that her 20 year old border would sometimes bring young women to his room and then he would have noisy sex with them. She said that he told her that he wanted her to hear everything, even the bed springs squeaking. When we arrived at her house, it was nearly 2:00 AM, but her 20 year old border was sitting outside on the front porch with an attractive young woman. The fare came to $18.80 and she gave me a $20.00 bill and told me to keep the change.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dream On

Number 52 was back, after a scheduled 2 week absence, when he became the leader of the council of 12 that was dispatched by the NUC. They met on Mars, or should I say, in Mars. Martian civilization moved underground nearly half a million years ago, after it realized that its atmosphere was quickly deteriorating. After Cehydran, the first underground city was constructed, others quickly followed, until the entire population either excavated or perished. The meeting was scheduled for the 245th of Tarqeq, by NUC time, and became a time of concern. The opposition had dispatched a front runner to Earth and a decision had to be made.

Earth had been suspicious of Mars for years, after it found out about the methane emissions. The underground civilization that the inhabitants of Mars created, produced waste that had to be discarded, in the form of gas. Although atom disintegrators were used, there was always a certain amount of residue methane that remained, and it was easier to release it into space than taking the time and energy to go through the atomizing process 2 or 3 more times, to annihilate every molecule.

The Martian’s aren’t human, but of another species of sentient life. The NUC is able to bridge the gap between species because of teleo. The Martian’s are neither teleo or beresheet, but sympathize with both. They realize that if Earth evolves into an overmind, then its orbit will be available, and that they may be able to move their world back to the surface, but they never let such things effect their opinions.

Now that Trevor was back, he began to search the minds of his passengers for traces of the ICUD’s presence. He quickly found out that Oooaaioo eeeoooui was working as driver #69, with Universal Cab and was using the name Jim Owens. It was too late for the ICUD to pre-empt the NUC, but they could initiate a miscarriage, by damaging enough minds with beresheet to initiate the abortion process.

Trevor learned a new truth at the meeting, that the other 11 confirmed. The prophet, called the son of God, who was named Jesus, was the only earth human who ever achieved teleo. It was believed that He was imbued with the essence of the overmind, as a prophecy of what was to come. He is the ultimate example, that is nearly impossible for pre-teleo humans to become. The ridiculous notion of stopping war, hate, killing and other normal activity for life on earth, can only become a reality when teleo has occurred.

“Number 52 get Copper John’s for professor Marshall,” the dispatcher announced over the radio, breaking Trevor’s concentration on the meeting.

“I confirm,” he answered, and then buckled his seat belt, as he turned on the dome light and wrote down the call on his trip sheet. After he started his van, and headed to Court Street, where he connected with Commercial, and double parked in front of the bar, with his flashers on while he went into the establishment and saw professor Marshall, in his usual place at the end of the bar, drinking a glass of wine, while he was conversing with a beautiful young woman who was in her late twenties. He is an 83 year old retired college professor, who has been going to the bar that a former bank became, since over 60 years ago. Today it was the local gang banger wanna be rap dance club in the city of Salem, but that didn’t detour Professor Marshall, even after one of the head bouncers quit because of all the fights that he had to be involved in.

One of the bouncers helped to get Professor Marshall out, and once he was on the street, he managed to walk to the cab with #52’s assistance. Once they were underway to his home, he talked about how people today didn’t care that they were losing their humanity by neglecting the arts.

“It should never be so in a sophisticated civilization,” Professor Marshall emotionally exclaimed, and continued, “I remember when I was in graduate school, how we would play 78 rpm records of classical music and anyone in my small group of friends could immediately identify it. How many can do that today? Probably none! Oh sure they can tell you if it is Led Zeppelin or Metallica, but what happened to Chopin and Shubert?”

When they arrived at his house, professor Marshall paid for his $7.30 cab ride with 2 $5.00 bills and Trevor helped him to the door. As usual #52 waited until Professor Marshall got into his house to leave. After about 5 minutes Trevor got back out of his cab as asked if there was a problem to which Professor Marshall embarrassedly pointed to his inside out pocket containing his house key. Trevor cut open the pocket with his finger and removed the key container and sealed the pocket back up, before the professor realized what was happening.

“This is like one of those mindless sitcoms that pollute the minds of our population,” the professor said.

“They have to get their ideas from somewhere,” #52 said. After he called his clearance in Trevor called down on Amtrack, where he found #25 sleeping in his cab. He walked over to the cab and felt his mind with his own, but didn’t perform teleo. He saw the dream that Bob was having.

As I drove down the 8 lane main street of the unfamiliar city, I began to fight the growing feeling of fear swelling in the pit of my stomach. My passenger had convinced me to drive him to downtown Beaverton for free. He told me that he had a message that would transform the world and needed to rendezvous with fellow revolutionaries who would be spearheading the effort with him. When he spoke of revolution, what he was referring to was the upcoming war between Christianity, along with its Hindu, Buddhist and Sunni allies against fanatic Shiite Islamic Jihadist’s. On the hour drive my passenger talked non-stop about the coming war and how it had been percolating, since WWI ended.

“Remember!” he told me, “before WWI, the world was divided between the Christian and Islamic nations, along with all the heathen cultures. Communism was but a parenthetical delay, to allow the Islamic Jihadist’s to stock their arsenals with weapons, ammunition and propaganda, while the Christian West battled with its own heresies. Now the 2 sides are preparing to array themselves against each other, as the next great battle between cultures is fought. There can only be one, and that one will be the victor, on every level.”

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Self Fulfilling Synchronicity

Sometimes you can influence synchronicity, but that isn’t necessarily a positive thing, as in the case of how Monday night became connected to my thoughts from the past couple of days. First I pick up a guy on the East side of town who’s going to Denny’s on Market. On the drive there the conversation leads to me having retired from the post office and he asks me if I worked at the one in Salem.

“That’s the one I retired from,” I told him.

“Did you know Bill Layman?” He asked.

Not only did I know Bill Layman, but I just bought a used car from a guy named Bill Layman, who I didn’t ask if he was related to the one at the post office. Then after that he told me a joke.

A destitute man went to a church and asked for help. The pastor listened to his story and then said that he could help him financially, but that he could also help him spiritually. Then the minister asked if the man had ever been baptized, to which the man replied that he had not.

“I normally baptize in the river behind the church,” the pastor said, “would you like to be baptized now?”

The man nervously said okay, and they proceeded to step into the river, where the pastor ducked the man in the water and baptized him. When he raised the man up he asked him, “did you see Jesus?”

“No,” the man answered.

Then the pastor put the man under water a second time and when he raised him out of the water he asked him again, “did you see Jesus?”

For a second time the man answered, “no!”

So the minister put the man under water for a third time, holding him under a little longer. This time when he raised the man back up and asked, “did you see Jesus?”

The man answered, “no!” Are you sure that this was the last place that you saw him?”

I found out that my passenger had been a minister of music in a number of churches, including Nazarene, Assembly of God and Foursquare, but did not currently attend church. I shared a brief summary of my story with him and dropped him off a little after 9:00 PM.

Around Midnight, I got a call to pick up Roger at the emergency room. When Roger got in the cab, he was wearing a hospital nightshirt, and reeked like a homeless person who hasn’t taken a shower for a couple of weeks. When I asked his destination, he told me that he was sleeping between some buildings near Fred Meyers on Market and Lancaster, so I told Dotty, the dispatcher that I would get her the address when we arrived. As I drove Roger, he told me that he just got divorced and didn’t have any place to live, which wasn’t that bad, except for when he got drunk. He said that he had a credit card and might as well use it. At that point we were about half way there, and I knew that I would not get paid.

Rather than running the credit card over the radio, I drove him to the Chase ATM at Fred Meyers and told him to get cash. After a couple of tries, the ATM printed out a slip that said that he had a zero balance in his account. So I told him that the ride was over, and told Dottie that I had a no money for $11.50, as I remembered that my last blog entry was about this subject.

The night had been slow, when at 2:30 AM, I got a call for Denny’s on Market, to pick up the former minister of music that I dropped off earlier. On the way to his house he told me another joke.

A man buys a horse from a minister, and asks if there is anything that he needs to know about the animal. The pastor tells the man, that the horse follows two commands. “When you say ‘praise the Lord,’ the horse will immediately run full speed. When you say ‘amen,’ the steed will immediately stop. After the man purchases the horse he begin riding it all over the open range. Every time that he said, ‘praise the Lord,’ the horse began running, and when he said ‘amen,’ it came to a stop. The man was happy with the horse’s performance and one day when the horse was galloping at full throttle the man realized that they were approaching a precipice that plunged thousands of feet into a canyon.”

“’Whoa!’ The man said, but the horse kept galloping at full speed. ‘Stop!’ The man screamed, but the horse kept charging ahead. After he exhausted every command he could think of he prayed and asked God to forgive him all his sins and ended the prayer with ‘amen!’ When the horse immediately stopped at the lip of a precipice, to the man’s relief, he emotionally exclaimed, ‘praise the Lord!’”

All in all it was a slow night with a couple of good prescription runs, but tips were in the toilet, setting a record low with only $7.00 for the night. I booked $177.00, but #3 barely broke $100.00, so by comparison I did okay.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

That’s All You Get

Almost every cab driver will get burned at some time or other, even if they only drive a short time. Theft of service crimes happen all hours of the day and night, in all 4 seasons from Spring, through Summer, Fall and Winter. They come in a variety of different types. The first are runners, which were covered in an earlier blog entry. Then there are people who end up having no money to pay the fare, but say that they want to. Maybe the boyfriend, father or friend that was going to pay, isn’t home, or they don’t have the money either. Then there are those who go into their house or apartment to get the money and never come out, and there is a pit bull in the yard leading to the door. Then again maybe they just refuse to pay and act like you are a criminal for expecting them to.

All three of these examples are an everyday reality for a cab driver, but this time we’ll be covering examples of #3. As driver #25 I’ve had a few episodes where my passenger would disappear into their abode, without ever returning. The first time that I remember it happening to me, it was when I picked up a woman at the apartments on Sunnyview that are occupied by mainly Latinos. She wasn’t Latino, or was very Americanized with light skin, but I picked her up at around 3:00 AM, after a Latino gentleman escorted her out to the cab. After the attractive forty year old woman told me her address, I drove her there, and she gave me $5.00 and went into her condo to get the other $2.50. Unfortunately, I was new and didn’t get the unit number and didn’t pay attention to where she went. After about 10 minutes of waiting, I realized that I had been had.

Then there was the drunk from the Silver Dollar, right after A-Cab went under. He was going to a trailer park in Keizer and said that he always took ACab and that Fred, who was #27 was his driver. I told him that ACab went out of business and that some of their drivers were now with Yellow Cab. He said that he’d buy the driver cigarettes, and pay $10.00, and asked me if I smoked. When I told him that I didn’t he told me to pull into the Smoker Friendly outlet we were coming up to. Then he got out, while I turned the time meter on and watched him walk up to the wall about 10 feet from the door. He had his back turned to me and his hands in front with his head down. After a minute, he proceeded into the store and when he came out the meter was over $5.00, so it would probably run around $25.00 to get him to his place. He handed me a pack of Marboro Red 100’s and I handed them back to him, saying that I’d just throw them away.

“Okay, I forgot,” he said, “you like Camels, I can exchange them.”

By this time I was starting to get concerned about his behavior and asked him if he still wanted me to drive him.

“Yes!” He told me

“Okay,” I said, “but it’s going to cost you more than $10.00. It will be whatever the meter says,” then I asked him if there was a way that he preferred to go, and he said, “take Hawthorne to Chemawa.”

As we got into the dark and semi deserted part of the trip, and my passenger began to tell me, “All your going to get is $10.00,” I pulled over and was going to tell him to get out, but then I remembered the last time I tried to get rid of a drunk passenger on a deserted road, after giving me problems, so I just asked him, “do you want me to drive you?” He motioned with his hand to go on, and said, “go!” So I began driving again, and after a few minutes, the meter was over $15.00 and he began to more emphatically tell me that he was only going to pay me $10.00. His vociferous exclamations evoked a mixture of emotions from me as I proceeded to his trailer park. When we were on River road, he told me that I better not call the cops on him because he’s friends with all the Keizer police.

When I pulled up to his address, he got out and threw a $10.00 bill at me and said, “get the fuck out of here.” When I didn’t immediately move, so I could verify the address, he began to jump up and down and scream for me to get moving. When I told the dispatcher what happened, he said to call 911 and have the police collect the money. When the police finally arrived they told me that the guy was a nuisance and that they were at his house nearly every week for something. They wanted to know if I wanted them to arrest him or just get the money. I told them that I just wanted the money, and they left to get it. About 20 minutes later they returned with the remainder of my fare, and it all happened in less than an hour.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cycles, Seasons and Patterns

Back in pre-ancient times, before creation occurred, in 4004 BC, according to Bishop Ussher, the world was made up of primarily agrarian civilizations. This was after the age of the hunter/gatherer, and the mother goddess was still the primary deity. Then humanity began to build cities with walls and war became a refined art as civilizations became more politically sophisticated and expanded their territories. At that time religion was still in its primitive stages and none of the modern religions, like Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam were born yet. These primitive religions, which worshipped the mother goddess, followed the yearly seasons, so the year began with the Winter Solstice, moved to the Spring Equinox, then to the Summer Solstice and ended with the Fall Equinox. This went on year after year, decade after decade, century after century, until millenniums passed by. Humanity understood that life moved in cycles and rhythms, in a circular direction like a Mandala, so it’s earliest religions were based on them.

As modern religions burst upon the scene, based upon the entheogenic visions of the primitive ones from which they evolved, they embraced the truths found in their predecessors. Many of Jesus’s parables talk about recognizing the way that nature teaches us about cycles and seasons, and He relates it to the spiritual dimension. So here and now in the year 2010, we are approaching the end of summer and the time for seasonal change with the fall harvest festivals associated with the equinox, like the Octoberfest or Halloween.

There are cycles, seasons and patterns found in the taxi cab business too, just like all human endeavors, and they merge with the ones that already exist in nature. After driving for a 7 year period, one see’s the patterns that are peppered in the fabric of reality, as they are interwoven into everyday life. Business is always better in the bad weather of the winter months, than during the summer, because people don’t like being cold and wet. There are always more fares and bigger tips at the beginning of the month, whatever month, than at the end, because of welfare, retirement and social security payouts occurring at that time. There are also patterns in passengers, incidents that occur and synchronicity frequency.

The difference between a seasoned cab driver and a novice, is their ability to reach into the recesses of their memory for similar experiences to base decisions on, like an incident that occurred Saturday night, when I got a call to Copper John’s, in downtown Salem, at around 2:30 AM, at the peak of bar rush. I was supposed to pick up Bruce, and when I pulled up to the bar, there was a crowd of at least 20 people standing there, with some of them waving at me. When I stopped and unlocked my doors 4 guys and one woman, who all appeared to be around 30, opened them and got in. A rule to make sure that you get the right person, is to ask them their name rather than telling them who you are there for, in case they lie, but I didn’t care, so I asked if it was for Bruce and they said yes, in a tone of voice that seemed insincere. After everyone was in, I turned around to the back seat of the 4 passenger sedan that I was driving and saw 3 guy and the woman, plus the guy who was sitting up front with me.

“I can only drive 4 people,” I announced.

“There are only 4 of us, look,” the guy sitting up front with me said, as he pointed and counted, “1,2,3,4.”

Then I pointed at him and said, “5.”

“We’re freezing,” the woman said, “we’ve been waiting outside for the last 45 minutes for a cab.”

The temperature was probably in the low 60’s, and I told her, “you should have called for a van.”

This initiated complaints that they weren’t told that they would need a van. So I told them that the law and the company demanded that I only drive as many people as I had seat belts for, and I only had 4. In the worst case scenario I could lose my job and license, along with a ticket and a fine, I told them. They told me that they only lived a few blocks away, but when I asked them their address it was in North Keizer, which would run about $15.00, and was 5 miles away. So I asked them to let me call a van for them.

“I’ll give you a $40.00 tip if you take us,” the guy sitting next to me said.

I thought about it a few seconds and said, “okay, put the money in my hand and we’ll be on our way.” I really didn’t want to go, because the last time that I overloaded my cab to help out my passengers, they called up and complained about something that didn’t even happen, and the boss confronted me about their lie. There are those who promise you a big tip and then when you get them there, after risking your job they renege on the tip. So I took a chance that he was bluffing and would come up with some excuse to not give me any up-front money.

Sure enough he told me that he was going to pay by debit card, so I said that he could stop at the ATM across the street, to which he balked and then demanded that I drive them to their house since I already incriminated myself by agreeing to break the law in front of witnesses. It wasn’t the first time that a passenger tried to blackmail me into doing what they wanted, but that was the last straw with this group.

“Okay, that does it,” I said, “I’m not taking you, so get out.” Then I called the dispatcher and told them that my passengers needed a van, since there were 5 of them. Dotty told me to see if anyone else needed a ride before I left.

As my blackmailing passengers exited, the guy next to me, who appeared to be the group mouth, said, “I’m going to call Yellow cab and complain about you, what is your name?”

“You don’t want my name,” I told him, “it’s #25. That’s a 2 and a 5.” I heard him talking into his cell phone after he dialed, as a couple of guys peeked in and asked if I was now available. I told them that I was, and I drove them down to the fairgrounds, but it was over for the night, so the streets were deserted. My current fares were so drunk that they were barely conscious, and the guy sitting next to me seemed to be trying to be confrontational with me, but he mumbled and I couldn’t understand what he was saying. When I got them to their place, they paid me and gave me a $2.00 tip.

I decided to get gas before I picked up another fare and drove to an Arco to fuel up, since I’d be off in an hour. When I was exiting the car to pay for my gas, I saw a $20.00 laying on my armrest. I picked it up and put it with my wad of big bills. I wouldn’t know until I added up my book for the night whether it belonged to a passenger or I dropped it. Honesty isn’t always the best policy when you don’t have all the facts. Like the time that I gave a woman a $5.00 bill that I thought she dropped, only to find out at the end of the night that I was $5.00 short on my cash, after adding up my book. I always keep a running total on tip, and add that to my trip sheet record.

When I went into the Arco to pay, the Mexican attendant who was filling my tank came in for a few seconds to lay a $20.00 bill on the counter in front of me, while the cashier clerk was in back. Then he walked out as I looked at the $20.00 within reach and thought larcenous thoughts, while remembering that cameras caught every action, so that what was done in darkness would be brought out into the light.

My last passenger of the night was one of my old co-workers from the post office, that I picked up at Duffy’s hanger, a favorite haunt of the post office crowd, since it’s the closest bar, to the main office, on 25th and Mission. At first we didn’t recognize each other, and I even suspected that he could be a problem, but suddenly we were talking and he asked me if I was retired? One thing led to another, and I suddenly turned to my fare and said, “Patrick Fortune.”

He looked at me and I had to tell him, “it’s Bob Gersztyn,” and he remembered who I was, unlike Jim Moran, who I drove numerous times after working with him for years and he doesn’t remember me. It’s real blow to your ego, when someone that you knew for years, and had a good relationship with, doesn’t remember your even when you explain everything to them. However, the reason why was terminated was because of a drinking issue. One time Jame’s McGrory called me to drive him and we had a great conversation about gone by postal days, as we drove from Jammer’s to the Pink Elephant. So Patrick grilled me about being a taxi driver and asked me if I could just drive around, to which I responded, “that’s my job.”

He had me drive downtown and I pulled up to the Beanery where I have a rock & roll exhibit on display, through September. We sat in front and he looked through the window as the meter ran and he said that he would be retiring soon and wanted to see about getting a job as a taxi driver, because it seemed like fun.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Adversary

Oooaaioo eeeoooui arrived on earth nearly 6 months after Trevor Netzreg. He was the forward scout for the “Interdimensional Consortium for Universal Domination,” better known as ICUD, the “NUC” Near Universe Coalition’s arch enemy. They were anti teleo and obsessed with creation, regardless of the utilitarianism of what was created, because it was nothing but food to them. If the ICUD controlled a planet by the time that the NUC arrived, it was annihilated. Oooaaioo eeeoooui took the earth name of Jim Owens and began to drive a taxi cab for Universal cab, one of Yellow Cab’s many competitors, as #69.

Number 69 had been driving for nearly 2 weeks before he was able to ascertain that the NUC agent know as Trevor Netzreg was working for Yellow Cab, as #52. It was when he got a call to pick up a passenger at “LaDonna's” the sleaziest strip club in town, that he got the information. It had been a slow Monday night, the last week of August, so it was slow, and most cab drivers were desperate for a good run, to turn their night around. So when #69 entered the club, he tried to act the part of a desperate cab driver anxious for a high dollar trip.

After #69 told the female bartender that he was looking for Ray, she went into an adjoining room, and after she came out she said that Ray wanted #69 to go inside. When he entered, he found his fare on the floor with a completely naked woman straddling him, as she moved from his face to his crotch.

“Did you call for a taxi?” Number 69 asked.

“Yes,” Ray answered. “Have a seat, and enjoy the show.”

“Then I’ll need to start the meter,” #69 said.

“Yeah, go ahead and start the meter,” Ray said.

After he returned, #69 sat in a chair in front of the stage that the naked stripper was rubbing her posterior in the face of his passenger. He found it interesting that these heterosexual beings should place so much importance on the act of procreation that they should erect so many temples dedicated to it. After Ray was done slobbering all over the woman’s derriere he turned to #69 and asked him to wait until he was done with his drink.

“You don’t mind if I pay you tomorrow, do you?” Number 69’s passenger asked.

“We normally get paid at the time that the service is concluded,” #69 said.

“Oh, it will be okay, ” Ray told eeeoooui, my regular driver Trevor, #52 always lets me slide.

Eeeoooui told Ray that he would have to call the dispatcher to confirm his veracity, at which point Ray said that he was just kidding and had the money. He said that #52 worked for Yellow Cab, but he was off this week, because of some kind of a convention he was attending, and he let the bar tender call for a cab. Number 69 saw inside Ray’s mind and knew that it had been touched by teleo, and that #52 was a NUC agent. After a few more women disrobed and Ray gave them varying amounts of money, which they greedily snatched up. Ray told #69 that he had been in the Marines from 1977 until 2010, and he was now collecting a pension.

“Can you still cry?” He asked #69

“Yes,” he said.

“Good,” Ray answered, and began talking about how he was now broke and would have to fight his brother, who was twice his size and as mean as Adolph Hitler and Osama Bin Laden combined, for some money to pay for the ride. When they finally arrived at Ray’s apartment on Rickey street, the meter was at over $28.00. Ray got out of the car, and as he walked by an elderly man opening the door to his own apartment, he told him to get fucked. After a few minutes Ray came out and had $570.00 in seven bills in his hand, and handed #69 a $50.00.

“Is my mouth bleeding?” Ray asked.

“No, it looks fine,” #69 said.

“Well, it feels like it’s bleeding,” he said. “Will you drive me to Stars?”

Eeeoooui told him that he would drive him wherever he wanted to go, so they began driving to the strip club on the other end of town. On the trip there Ray began to talk about the eventual economic collapse of the Federal government of the USA, because of the influx of illegal immigrants, and the communist policies that are being put into place by the current administration. He explained that states would become like countries, and some would form alliances, with guarded borders, and passports required for entry. He said that there were already underground cities being constructed, and soon domed cities would appear, with force shields that were impenetrable by air launched weapons. The governments would vary from state to state, but eventually stability would occur, he said.

By the time that they arrived at Stars, the meter was at $42.70, and Ray told #69 to keep the change, as he exited and announced that he would be calling for a ride back home in a couple of hours, when he was broke again. Eeeoooui thought about how Ray was prime ICUD material, with his obsession with the creation process. He thought that it was ironic for a species of life like humanity, to be recruited by the NUC, when they were clearly anti teleo in their nature. Of course until the gestation period for transformation was over, an abortion or miscarriage could still occur. Then if the NUC could be prevented from annihilating Earth, the planet would ripen until it would be devoured by the interdimensional scavengers that feed off pre-gestation or aborted overmind potentials, which the ICUD was an agent for. These interdimensional scavengers are simply known as Zene. They are nearly invisible, until they become excited by site of a pre-overmind, that they will be devouring. The purpose of The ICUD is to prevent the universe from spawning new universes for the sake of longevity, so the Zene may continue to thrive and grow, as they travel from universe to universe and dimension to dimension devouring everything with teleo potential.