Comedy and tragedy in the life of a cabdriver


By Steve Kim - Posted on 15 August 2008

There was a cabdriver who picked up a fare at 4:30 in the morning at the Red No Five bar on Halsted and Hubbard Street. You should know that this is a very expensive bar, with a large cover charge and very overpriced drinks and very pretty people who have money who go there. His fare was a young white American male, dressed very nice. He was going right up Halsted St. to Webster, at 2200 North.

When the cabdriver pulled up to the intersection at North Avenue (1600 North), he stopped at the stop light. Then all of a sudden he heard a ‘chunk!’, and he looked around and saw his passenger got out and closed the back door and was walking away very fast! He was beating the fare!!

Now this cabdriver was not normally an angry person, and it was only a $6.35 fare so far. He had people beat his fare before, and he forgave them. Sometimes they are poor, or drunk and stupid, and it’s only money after all. He had a good night that night, and he can still go back to Red No Five before they close at 5 AM.

But then he thought again. This passenger was dressed nice. He was not so drunk. He was young and had money. This cabdriver was not crazy to chase him, but he was a little upset, and annoyed, and decided that he would have a little fun. He should not get away with it for nothing! So he turned left onto North Ave. and pulled into the train station, to follow the passenger. The passenger then turned the other way and started to run a little. The cabdriver turned again onto Clybourn and then back onto Halsted, to chase the passenger. Now the passenger was running back the other way again! He looked nervous!

The next thing you know, a police car came west on North Avenue, and saw that something was happening, so they turned on their siren (R-r-r-r-r-o-o-u-u-h!!) and lights and stopped the running passenger! The cabdriver pulled over his cab and went over to the police to explain what was happening. The police officers were amused. They told the young man he had to pay. But first they asked the cabdriver, “You know, if you want to press charges, we can take him to jail for the night. It is theft of services, you know…”

The cabdriver thought about it for a minute. It WAS only $6.35 on the meter, but for once, this time, he thought the passenger should learn a lesson. After all, he had money, and he was treating a hardworking cabdriver like he didn’t care at all! So he told the police officer, “Ok, I will press charges this time.” And so the police took the passenger to jail!! For a $6.35 theft of services charge!

I bet he will never do that again!