According to a new report, your NYC taxi driver may be on drugs. Have a nice trip!
As news comes in that more cabbies than ever are testing positive for cocaine and marijuana, we’ve rounded up some of our strangest cab experiences.
Thu Mar 27 2014
Ever been in a cab that was being driven a little erratically? Of course you have—you live in New York. If it looks like your driver might be a little wired, don’t be surprised—according to this story in the Post, the number of drivers fired for drug use more than doubled from 2012 to 2013. The grand total last year was 51, with 16 others already losing their licenses this year.
This got us thinking about all the weird and wonderful (okay, mostly just weird) cab rides we’ve taken in this city, and whether or not our cabdrivers in each case were crazy, or just high as balls.
“When I was a college freshman, I was on my way to the airport with a friend, sitting in pretty bad traffic. A bad, littering truck driver nearby threw an empty plastic water bottle out the window, and it accidentally hit our cab. Our driver jumped out, the truck driver followed suit, and pretty soon they were brawling on the hood of our cab. (I should note that the meter was running the whole time.) With our luggage stowed in the trunk, my friend and I didn't know what else to do other than just sit there. Eventually, the men pried themselves apart and got back into their respective vehicles. We advanced a little and then (I'm not sure what set them off), they got out of the car, went at it again and then desisted. Eventually we made it to the airport and—because we were young and stupid and flummoxed—paid for our ride in full. We were just happy to have made it out alive!”
“A few years back I was taking a cab to my boyfriend's place and the cabbie—middle-aged, Middle Eastern, photo of family on dashboard—asked if he could come up and have a threeway with us (sight of boyfriend unseen). I demurred, but as I left the cab he cheerfully noted that he would masturbate that night thinking about it, which I guess was kind of flattering. More polite, at least, than the cabbie who picked me up outside the Townhouse, drove me home without saying a word, and then reached back and grabbed my junk while I was trying to pay. For some reason I did pay anyhow, and even tipped. I was flustered. Also, a cabbie this past fall had hard cider in the front seat asked me (1) if it was like/tasted like beer, and (2) if you could smell it on someone's breath. Disconcerting!”
“Coming back late one night, I got into what must be NYC's only disco-themed taxi, decked out with colored lights on the ceiling, fish bowls and plants adorning the partition and behind the seat and the Bee Gees blaring on the radio. In my exhausted state, it was an utterly surreal experience!”
“I was taking a cab from Williamsburg to Park Slope late one night, and I have absolutely no idea how it happened, but somehow I ended up in a very long conversation with the driver about string theory and particle physics (because, obviously, I know so much about those things). I kind of assumed he was stoned and I would have forgotten all about it except that I must, at some point, have given this man my card (I am a very friendly drunk), and when I got to work the next day, I had a message on my phone from the driver, asking if I wanted to hang out some time, and also that he couldn't remember the name of the book I'd recommended, just the author's name, but he couldn't find it because he wasn't sure how to spell ‘Michel Houellebecq.’ I did not call him back. I still feel guilty.”
“Given that before my move to New York I'd lived in northeast Japan, where my house was broken into by a pervert while I was on vacation, and Berlin for several years before that, I didn't think I was super-naïve to the ways of the city. But I was proved wrong, several months after arriving in Gotham, by the cabbie who picked me up in the Village and took me to JFK on a meandering joyride through what must have been every quasi-suburban neighborhood in Queens. When I arrived at the airport two hours later, and paid the guy the $97 showing on the meter because I was so grateful to get out of the car, that was the end of my innocence. My family and I just about, but didn't, miss our flight to Athens for my brother's wedding. Bastard.”
“Last summer, I fell asleep in a cab after a few too many fancy cocktails in Nolita. Prior to cab snoozing, I had instructed the driver on the proper route home to Prospect Park South. When I woke up 20 minutes into my ride, I realized that I was passing Avenue U (far too many letters deep into the Brooklyn avenue alphabet). I asked the driver why we had gone this far and where exactly he thought he was taking me. He shrugged. I asked him to turn around or pull over so I could find another cab. He refused both options, so I called the police and told them I was being held inside a cab, against my will. At that point, there was a lot of self-righteous yelling and my Negroni buzz had faded. We were soon pulled over by a nearby police unit and both of us explained our stories to the officers. Somehow the police let me stay inside the cab (real heroes) and the driver finally took me home. I paid for 3/4 of the trip and parted with, 'I'm sorry things worked out this way for us.'"
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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)