Tag Archives: taxi cabs

Police story

I hailed a cab to take me to downtown last night — nothing unusual about that. But as soon as we pulled away from the curb, there was a flash of lights and sirens behind us.

From another cab.

undercover taxi police carAn undercover taxi cab police car.

I didn’t even know they existed! But my taxi driver said the police have undercover taxis, town cars — you name it — all waiting to take down unsuspecting lawbreakers.

Which filled my head with this scene:

A New York City bus pulls up to a stop. But it’s not a real bus — it’s an undercover police bus! Filled with SWAT team members. All armed and dangerous. Who run out of the bus and into the streets.

That’s all I got so far. But I like it.

To be continued…

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All roads lead home

We all know it’s a small world.  The song says so.

But sometimes the universe puts a big ol’ exclamation point on it.

I flew home to New York City late Saturday after a trip to Chicago and got in the cab, prepared to doze during the drive home.

My cabbie had a different idea.

You see, he was a talker.  He asked about my trip, what I did for a living, where my hometown was.  Since I’m a talker, I reluctantly abandoned the nap and chatted with him instead.

(He had a French accent, so it wasn’t a hardship.)

Turns out my NYC cab driver, who hails from a French colony in Africa, attended Southern Illinois University and had a roommate from Paducah, Kentucky — a stone’s throw from my own hometown.

Coincidence?  Sure…but what a fun one!

Universal language

Cabbies usually hail from other countries in New York City.

It’s part of the local charm.

And while some people might find that a hindrance to conversation, I’ve never let it stop me from chatting up the taxi driver on my way back and forth to the airport.

But last night, I was in Tulsa, the heartland of America.  I was expecting Billy Bob to pick me up on his tractor and drive me to my meeting.  (I say this with all due love and respect; remember, I grew up in Kentucky.)

But who was my driver?  Eni, from Jamaica, with an accent so thick, you would have thought he had arrived just that morning, even though he has called Tulsa home for eight years.

Eni and I exchanged only the basic pleasantries until he discovered I was originally from Kentucky.  Then he asked, with some excitement,

“Did you go to the University of Kentucky?”

When I said with great pride that I had, Eni talked non-stop for the rest of the long cab ride — with tremendous knowledge and enthusiasm, I might add — about the UK Wildcats basketball program.  He is a huge fan of Coach Cal and knew our record this season as well as if not better than I.

Eni knew a lot about basketball…and American football…and the Olympics.  In fact, our shared love of sports became our common language, even though we sometimes had to struggle to figure out exactly what each other were saying, since his English was a bit broken.

When Eni picked me up at the end of my meeting, he had updates on the Olympic women’s figure skating still in progress.  You can bet if I’m ever in Tulsa again, Eni will be the cabbie I’ll call.

Every two years, the International Olympics Committee brings the world together through athletic competition.  Last night, I experienced first-hand how sports can be a bridge.