Monday, March 1, 2010


Shift #26

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 10 – Hotel W to UCSF Medical Center -- $13.00

SHE IS AN OFFICE MANAGER in a hospital department that deals with AIDS patients. She woke up this morning in the North Bay and caught a “casual carpool” ride to Second and Howard. At 7:17 AM she jumps into my cab and says, “I’m running late. I need to open the department at 7:30. Do you think we can do that…?

“Hey, is this a Prius? I don’t buy what they’re saying about Toyotas. This morning before I left home they played the 9-1-1 tape of that guy in LA who said he was in his Prius and the accelerator was stuck and he was going 90 miles an hour on the freeway. I’m sorry -- that was fake! Did you hear it? He tells the operator, ‘My car is going 90 miles an hour!’ and the first thing she says to him is, ‘Is it a Prius?’ Now that was a setup. Sounded so phony -- why would she say that, first thing? No, I’m sorry – uh-uh, that ain’t right. Something’s fishy there…”

I tell her that we drivers at Green Cab are pretty mystified, too: “We’ve been driving these Toyotas -- Priuses mostly -- for three years now, and we’ve been singing their praises. These are great cars. But ever since January, when Toyota started getting all the bad publicity, we’ve all been standing around the cab lot scratching our heads and asking each other, ‘Have you ever had any problem?’ "Nope -- have you? And none of us ever have."

I tell her that a couple of weeks ago I borrowed a neighbor’s camcorder and filmed five of my Green Cab colleagues (youtube link below) driving their Priuses single file down Lombard Street, the “crookedest street in the world.” I sent it to Toyota and told them they were missing a great opportunity -- they should send a film crew to interview the grizzled, veteran cab drivers of San Francisco, and use the city as a sexy backdrop while we gave our heartfelt testimonies about how much we love our Prius cabs.

“That’s right,” my fare tells me. “Everybody knows that something’s fishy on this. It ain’t right. In the end, you’ll see. Something’s fishy.”

My fare likes 1) that we reach UCSF at 7:28, and 2) that there is a surprise little twist at ride’s end.


NOTE: You can skip the first 1:40 or so.


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