One night my driver was sitting in the taxi que in front of one of the local clubs. Out comes a woman looking not too happy at all. She gets in the cab and asks him to take her to an address in St. Louis. Before the driver can pull off, she tells him that she came to the club with her boyfriend and another couple and that her boyfriend is acting like an asshole and hitting on other women in front of her. The other couple doesn’t want to leave to take her home. She says she left her purse at the boyfriend’s house, so they need to go there because that’s where all her money is. For some reason, the driver took her.  She didn’t say anything the whole ride. They arrived at the address in St. Louis. She told the driver to wait, that she was gonna go get her purse and then he could take her to her house. The house they were in front of  was one of the older ones that has glass panes on either side of a glass front door. She walks up to the front door and peers in. Her purse is sitting on a table in the foyer. My driver thinks she must have a key. She doesn’t. She is wearing cowboy boots. She proceeds to start kicking the glass front door until she shatters it.  She goes in through the shattered door and grabs her purse from the table in the foyer,  turns around, walks back through the shattered front door, down the front sidewalk, back to the cab, gets in and tells the driver take her home to her house. The driver was sure that someone had called the police, because the neighbors were peering through their curtains watching the whole escapade. Sure enough, as they pulled off of the street, they passed a police car going to the house. They weren’t pulled over though, and she made it home, Paid her fare, plus a nice tip.

Later that week, the driver and I were in a store in St. Louis and he starts poking me. “Hey! hey!, see that girl over there? That’s the chick that kicked in the front door.”

I looked over to see this tiny little girl who weighed about 85 lbs. soaking wet. She looked like an angel.. Moral: Don’t piss off an angel in cowboy boots.

One of my more “unique” taxi drivers was an African witchdoctor.

He would, at certain times of the day or evening, look at the sun through a hair comb. If he happened to be driving at the time, then he would drive while looking at the sun through the hair comb.

He would also put on a construction hard hat and circle his cab while making cutting motions in the air with a pair of hedge trimmers. He did this primarily at the local casinos and strip clubs. I got many desperate calls from casino security imploring me to make him QUIT doing this, because it was unsettling to the casino’s patrons. He apparently also did this at least once at the airport (post 9/11). I heard about that later, after the fact.

No one would do anything to him though because after they learned that he wasn’t crazy- he was a witchdoctor,(I would tell them this after they called to complain and tell me that he must be barking mad…) they were afraid he would shrink their heads, or cast an evil spell on them. So they would say…”can’t you get him to move just a little off the property???”

 He was a wonderful man. Very kind, hard worker, and I liked him a whole lot. I did tell him that he might want to reconsider the hedge clippers though; because I was afraid the casino was going to have him arrested. He then switched to bouncing a soccer ball with a hard hat on.

 People would repeatedly take his cab though. He charged extremely low fares.

For MORE crazy driver stories see: And now the Drivers..who said just the passengers were crazy.

Caller: I need a cab     Me: Where are you? Caller: I don’t know  Me: What town are you in? Caller: I don’t know Me: Well I can see by the caller ID that you’re in ______________( town withheld) , so do you have an address? Caller: wait one minute…..(talking to some one else in room) hey! hey!, what is your address here?  Oh  okay. (talking to me) the address is _________. How long till you come? Me: about 15-20 minutes. Caller: ok I’ll be outside.

I arrive at the address and this 20 something guy, gets in the cab. He is covered in blood and dirt and vomit. His hair is all over the place and his nose still has leftover blood dried on it. He says “I have 35 dollars how far will that get me?”   I said “where are you TRYING to go?” He gave me a town about 70 miles away from where we were. “I ain’t gonna get you THERE. ” I said. “It’ll get you about to the shopping mall.” I had to ask what the hell happened to him. He told me he had gone to Sauget with his buddies for a night out. He was drunk and his buddies wanted to go home, he didn’t. The last thing he remembered was being at the gas station in Sauget and fighting with his buddies about not wanting to go home yet. He told his buddies “F#ck you!” and  got into a car with some black dudes, who told him they would take him to a party. He said the next thing he knew , he woke up in the backseat of a car in _______( a town 30 miles from Sauget, where I picked him up).  He went to the house the car was parked in front of, to ask to use the phone and this kid, some 12-year-old ,answered the door. He asked her could he use her phone. She asked him why he was so dirty. He told her that he woke up in the back seat of that car our there…to which she exclaimed “that’s my DAD’S car!” The kid told him her parents had just left to go shopping, but that he could come in and use the phone if he wanted. That was when he called information and got our taxi number. He said the kid told him her address and now he was sweatin’ it because he was gonna have to call his wife and have her to meet him at the shopping mall. I told him that he better not go INSIDE the mall looking like that, or you’re gonna have security on you. He looked down at his clothes , he hadn’t realized he was covered in various body fluids and dirt. “Sh*t ..how’d I get like this??…Did I get in a fight? …..Damn.” I said God must have definitely been with him to crawl out of that kid’s dad’s car unnoticed by dad. Then to have to good fortune to have the kids parents walk right by him unconscious in their car to go shopping and leave the kid home alone. He was blessed that the kid answered the door, cuz only a KID would have let his dirty bloody ass in to use the phone after learning that he had just gotten out of her dad’s car. An adult would have either beat your *ss, or called the cops. No, the kid lets you in to use the phone. “Damn…” he says” I really don’t hope my wife doesn’t kill me. Can I use your phone to call her? What am I gonna say to her??” I told him the best advice I could give him was that for the next 5-10 years, WHATEVER she says about this incident just say “Yes, dear…”

Five years ago a bowling ball in a bag appeared in our office. I asked around about it. One of the drivers said that a fare had asked him to hold onto for him. There it sits. Once a year, I get a call from a guy who says ” This is Mike Mustard. Do you still have my bowling ball?” For the first 2 years, it took me a couple of phone calls to figure out what the hell he was talking about. By year 3, I just said “Yeah, we still have it. Do you need to come get it?” “No”, he said, “I was just checking to see if it was still there.” Every year, same call to check on the bowling ball. I guess we will keep it until Mr. Mustard dies or gets it, or we die.

Driver picks up a women from an address in town. She is pretty drunk , but wants to go to a bar a few miles down the road. She climbs into the taxi, which is a minivan, and sits in the rear bench seat next to the door. They proceed to go to the bar. You have to take the highway to get there. They get on the highway and are cruising along doing 65 mph, when she looks at the driver and says” F*ck..your Black…I can’t ride with you..your Black…” and before he can even react, she opens the sliding door on the van and jumps out. She hit the shoulder of the road and bounced off down the highway embankment, rolling into the woods. The driver screeched to a stop in the middle of the highway and left his van there. He ran, in a panic,  down  the highway to the nearby rest stop to get the police. He was afraid the woman was dead, and that they would think he killed her. He explained what happened to the police and a state police officer took him and drove him back to the spot where he left his taxi. The cop went down into the woods where the driver had seen the woman roll. When the cop found her she was conscious. She was just scraped up and bruised, but otherwise unhurt. She was still babbling about not being able to ride with a black guy. That she just had to get out of the cab because the driver was Black. The state police carted her off in the cruiser and told the driver to go home and calm down. He now religiously makes sure the child locks are engaged on the back doors. She is also in the phone bank as “Jane-Jumper Child Locks Always”.

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”.

One Friday night at one of the local nightclubs, a rather smallish white guy stumbled out of the doors to the club, and passed out in front of the club on the railroad ties that were placed in front to control the traffic flow. Soon after, two really large black women , also drunk, exited the club to go to their car. They spied the little white guy passed out on the railroad ties. They both looked at one another and smiled. The larger of the two grinned like a hungry wolf, and said “girrrl…we gonna have us a white boy tonight!!” They then proceed to stagger over to the still unconscious man. They each grabbed a foot and proceed to try to pull him to their car in the parking lot. When that didn’t work, one of the women went to get the car to drive closer , making it easier to get their prize into the vehicle.  She pulled up next to her friend and the unsuspecting and still unconscious drunk. They proceeded to roll him towards the car. After two rolls, they were huffing and puffing and sweating. These were some real big women. 5’10” 450lbs. They were both in stiletto heels .The effort of trying to manipulate dead drunk weight in heels was too much for them. They gave up and left the dude still unconscious in front of the taxi que lane. All the taxi drivers were roaring with laughter at this sight.

Shortly after the two women abandoned him,  the guy regained consciousness and staggered into my cab. He was asking me how he managed to get into the taxi que lane, flat on his back with dirt all over him. I said “Dude, you were almost a big girl sammich tonight.” I proceeded to tell him the events that took place while he was passed out.  The look of horror on his face told me that for at least a couple of days, he might not get THAT drunk again.