Several years ago, when I drove a taxi on the night shift, I came upon many unbelievable fares with weird requests. One of the stories that has never left me was so out of character, this week I want to share it with you.
It was a rainy night in Winnipeg, and about 4am, I came up to a red light at a major intersection. Clinging to the light standard was a gentleman who was dressed shabby and looked homeless. I was concerned about his mobility, so I put on my hazard lights and approached this fellow.
I asked him if he was alright and able to walk. He indicated that he was having trouble because of his arthritis. Now imagine a hobo, with a matted beard, rotten teeth, and dirty damp clothes with no jacket.
I felt empathy for him and asked if I could drop him off somewhere dry and indoors. He replied in a southern Texas drawl that he would appreciate a taxi since no one would stop for him. Oh really! This guy has money?
I helped him into the taxi and began my questions, “First, do you have money for the cab fare?” He digs into his pocket and pulled out a wad of US dollars exceeding $5000. I counted it for him.
This was the request of my hobo friend. He wanted to pick up a girl at one of the massage parlours and then I would return him to his Private Jet. I would wait for him to finish with the girl and then return her to the parlour. That was the trip.
He immediately paid me $500 US for the fare. He explained that he owned lots of oil wells in Texas and had no idea where he was. At his insistence I put the money away, turned on the meter and pulled up to the massage parlour. I went inside and asked for a volunteer, and found him a cute brunette.
She jumped into the taxi and couldn’t believe her eye’s what I brought her. That was until he gave her a $500US deposit. Now we’re off to the airport.
I pull into the private jet parking and he points out a Gulfstream jet. I approached the plane, honked the horn and out comes a young lady to assist my fare. Before he leaves he asked me to take another $500US for following his instructions and reminds me to wait for the girl.
I asked his attendant if he was for real. She explained that he was one of the wealthiest Texans she new, and he heard about Winnipeg and wanted to see it first hand. She also explained that the hobo look is real. He likes to look penniless.
About an hour later the girl returned to the taxi ,very happy with her payment and I returned her to the workplace.
Forest Gump said, ” taxi driving is like a box of chocolates. You never know what your going to get.”