You don't have an American cab driver very often, and you very rarely have a ladydriver, so imagine my surprise this gorgeous morning when my cab was hosted (Hostess'd?) by Shonna from Indiana! This is Shonna's second week driving a cab, see. She says it is really hard work, "These guys work really hard!" (She kept referring to cab drivers as "these guys.") Shonna said her passengers have been "rather restrained" so far.
At 14th and 6th Shonna said, "Oh jeez, look at THAT!" and pointed out a cop with a big-ass machine gun on the corner. We tried to figure out what army he was in (we KNOW we're in a war on terror, Mr. O'Reilly, but it just seemed weird at that particular spot.) Shonna thought the bank had been robbed and I thought he was guarding the entrance to the D train. Anyhow we kept going.
Shonna's cab is really, REALLY clean. She is a clean type of person, she explained. She says the tips are really pretty good. "Across the board, who do you think the worst tippers are," she challenged. I expected her to call out some ethnic group.
"The worst tippers are professional women in their 30s. How about THAT?" I said you would think they would wanna help another sister out and Shonna said, "Yeah. NOT."
Shonna is almost a valley girl from Indiana. Or someone you'd hear on NPR. I thought I was in a cash cab or some kind of HBO hoax. Shonna slammed on the breaks in front of Bryant Park and I almost slammed my face on the barrier. "Shoot," she said.
She works from 4:30 in the morning to 4:30 PM. She said her body is revolting against her. "These guys have to work 12 hour shifts to make 100-150 a day," she told me. "It's a real eye opener."
The fare was $8.60 and I gave her $11. She said, "Have a great day!" and I will never see her again.
P.S. Tonight is a great new Top Chef Masters!!!