Soccer Dad & the People in Your Neighborhood: True Tales of an SLC Cabbie


SLC cabSo I was parked in front of Port O’ Call around 10 p.m., playing Tetris on my crappy phone and listening to the divine sounds of Television on Local Imposters when two dudes got into my cab, disturbing my happy little microcosm. They were extremely well dressed, extremely rich and extremely handsome. Oh yeah, and they were total yuppie assholes. I took them to a restaurant in Sugarhouse, waited for them to eat, and then took them back to their hotel (The Grand America, of course). On the way to the restaurant, they ordered six escorts over the phone (three blondes and three Latinas (“salt and pepper action”) to meet them back at their hotel at midnight. Six!?!? They also each individually waved wads of cash in my face that were at least two grand thick and made condescending comment after condescending comment about my lowly station in life. Yes, the thought of offing them both and then dumping their fancy-ass corpses in the west desert did cross my mind. As is, though, I simply accepted their $150 for the $40 fare (yuppie assholes sometimes tip very, very well), left work early, and tried to make last call at Murphy’s. I needed a tall beer and an isolated barstool to help get my mind off of starting a class war.


After parking cab #32 (I had gotten the minivan, pretty awesome) and turning in my paperwork, I checked my Burger King Spongebob Squarepants watch. 12:08 a.m. I had walked to work in an effort to combat my getting-worse-’cause-I-quit-smoking manboobs, and, irony of ironies, I didn’t feel like paying for a cab ride downtown. I was going to have to walk fast. Of course, after leaving taxi headquarters on 700 West and 1000 South, I found a train blocking my way. Worse than that, it wasn’t even moving. Fuck. I started walking northbound, parallel to the idle train, when it hit me’ dude, I’m a pedestrian. I can just step through this thing, right? I walked a little deeper into the switchyards off 800 South and 600 West and looked around. Nobody. OK. I stepped up onto a ladder on the side of a particularly friendly-looking boxcar and then the train began to move.


“Oh cool,” I thought, “I’ll just ride this shit to about 200 South and hop off. I’ll definitely make last call now.” I really didn’t think that a train could accelerate much in five-and-a-half blocks, but damn if I wasn’t wrong. By the time I had snaked my way through the middle of two boxcars and grabbed the ladder on the other side, we were passing 400 South and going at least 20 mph. I looked ahead and deduced that the train was turning west up there by The Trapp. If I didn’t hop off soon, I’d end up at the Great Salt Lake. I looked at the gravel speeding by below and cursed my idiocy. 300 South. I waited for a break in the gravel, some nice soft grass maybe. But there were no breaks. No grass. Oh shit. Okay, 200 South. And then … there was a break. A giant patch of mud. And a 1… a 2 … and a jump … and pump legs mid-air and maybe I’ll hit the ground running …