Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Shift #5

FRIDAY, JANUARY 15 -- Third/Howard to California/Sansome -- $5.35

of getting to my notebook (or computer) as quickly as possible. Sixty-some hours have passed since Friday’s shift, and now I’m staring at my waybill, which shows that on Friday I had a total of seven rides. Six of them went to or from San Francisco International Airport (my way bill is scattered with “SFO” notations). The other ride was my free ride, and for the life of me I can’t remember it. The waybill shows that at 7:50 AM I picked up a single passenger at the Hotel W and at 7:53 AM deposited him or her at the corner of California and Sansome. Next to my notation of the meter reading -- $5.35 -- I have scrawled “Free.” And other than that, I’m simply drawing a blank.

Like all of my thousands of “regular” rides, my free rides do tend to blur together in my mind. I’ve maintained this practice for more than fifteen years. At least one hundred free rides per year. Average fare of, let’s say, ten bucks... At those conservative figures, I’ve given away at least 1,500 rides, with an approximate value of at least $15,000. Cheap, considering all the fun I’ve had along the way, and also considering that the practice has given me a whole new way to relate to the biggest, baddest boogeyman in all of Boogeydom: Money...!


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