There are some experiences as a cab driver that are almost unbelievable. This is one of them. The story of Indiana Mike takes place over several days.
Day 1: It had been a long night for my driver and he had just settled into bed after working the night shift. I got a call for a pickup from a bus station that was right around the corner from his house. The fare was not really going that far, so I asked him if he was up to one more short run. He said sure and went to pick up the fare. He picked up a guy who wanted to go to a local bar for a drink. He took him about 3 blocks to the bar, the guy wanted him to wait, so he sat outside for about 30 minutes until the guy came back out. The guy then wants to go to another bar in a neighboring town. Off they go. More wait time. They then proceed to the next stop – a Chinese restaurant in the town where he originally picked him up. He was pretty lit by now, and wanted company. My driver went in to the restaurant to eat with him. They finish their meal and the guy says he wants to go to his home in Indianapolis Indiana. He pulls out a was od money and says “I got 2 thousand dollars…will this get me there?” Indianapolis is about 4 hours from where he was, or about roughly an 800 dollar cab ride. Now 800 bucks will perk even a half dead driver up, so off they went. They made a couple of gas station stops along the way. with Mr. Indiana getting more and more drunk. About an hour and a half into the trip, he starts getting mean. Saying to the driver “I’m gonna kick your ass n*gger…”, My driver just ignored it, but was starting to keep his eye on him. He had him sitting in the front seat, so that he could keep him within arms reach. All of a sudden, Indiana balls himself up and attempts to kick my driver in the face. My driver says “Dude, if you don’t quit I’m gonna pull over…” Well, about 10 minutes later Indiana tries it again, my driver sort of restrained him until they were able to pull over at a rest stop. Once they were stopped the driver pulls Indiana out of the cab and says “look we ain’t goin’ any farther ’till you get a grip!” Indiana takes a swing at him. The driver, whose objective was to complete the fare and get his money, was just trying to get him calmed down so they could proceed. But Indiana is out of control. He is kicking at the driver, hollering and cussing, and trying to fight him. My driver got him in a submission hold and slammed him into the side of the cab. He was still trying to break free and kick him. The scuffle attracted enough attention that someone called the cops. The state police came, my driver released him from the submission hold and Indiana promptly tries to kick the cops. They told him to calm down, or he was going to jail. He didn’t, and they arrested him. My driver returned home and we thought that was the last we would see of Indiana Mike.
Day 2: I got a call to pick up a guy from a local department store to drop off at an address in town. When I arrived, this guy gets in the cab and opens a shoe box. He asks me “What do ya think of these?” I said I thought they were ok. He says “I had to get new ones…look what happened to my other shoes (he shows me the scuffed toes of his current tennis shoes)…I think the cops did this (scuffed his shoes)..I think they drug me behind the police car…I don’t really know what happened…I woke up in ______ ( town about 2 hours away)jail. I was bloody and my shoes were all scuffed up. I took a cab back here….I think the cops beat me up. The last things I remember, I was sittin’ in a chinese restaurant eatin’ with some big black dude…..” I dropped him off at an address in town, and immediately called my driver and said “hey… I think just got your guy Indiana, he’s back but he doesn’t remember anything.” Later that evening….
We get another call from a bar in town to pick up a guy that they want gone a.s.a.p. The same driver goes to pick up. It’s Indiana. He tells the driver what he “thinks” the police did to him. My driver says “dude, I did that to you…you were out of control…trying to kick me in the face …swinging on me…I got you in a hold and pinned yo uto the side of the cab. You still kept trying to twist around and hit me. The state police came and told you to calm down or you were goin’ to jail. The cops arrested you cuz you kept tryin’ to punch ’em. You were still fightin’ the cops when they threw you into the cruiser.”
He wants to go to Indianapolis again. This time my driver won’t let him drink. But, he manages to sneak the little tiny bottles of liquor in his pockets and is pretty wasted by the time they arrive in Indianapolis. They drive around for a while because he can’t find the house he grew up in. They stop at a store and he staggers in to buy liquor. When he comes out, he somehow climbs into a van full of Mexicans. My driver tails them because he knows Indiana has a pocket full of cash, and he doesn’t want anything bad to happen to him. After a half a mile the Mexicans notice my driver tailing them and they shove him out of the van. He rolls out of the van on to the street, manages to stand up, staggers for a few feet, and then notices my driver in the taxi. He gets back in the cab and says”damn, thanks dude…I think they were gonna rob me. Man…. take me back to _______(the town that they started in)”. Back they go. The driver drops him at a hotel. For the next 3 days he calls twice a day to go to the gas station a block down from the hotel to buy liquor. On the 4th day…
Day 4: Indiana calls and says he wants to go back home to Indianapolis. My driver picks him up and they start out to Indy again. This time they make it, and he drops him, relatively sober, at a hotel in Indianapolis. We haven’t heard from him since. We don’t even know what his name really was. We just tagged him “Indiana Mike”.