It started out as a typical day- twelve hours at the wheel of a Yellow Cab in Chicago. I leased it for twenty-four hours, but I usually worked about twelve. I was getting tired and heading in the general direction of home. That was my system- once I reached my quota (about $150 or more), I would head toward home, but if someone flagged me down, I’d take the fare. But this night, I’d wind up doing a hit-and-run- and get away with it.
I was southbound on Ashland Avenue, about 5300 north. Some guy in a dark 4-door cut me off and slammed on the brakes for no apparent reason. As I swerved around him I noticed he was looking at me, and yelling in my direction. I never saw the guy before and couldn’t figure out why he had it in for me. Maybe he just hated cab drivers, I don’t know.
I didn’t think much of it, and just went on my merry way. He burned rubber as he took off again and pulled up beside me, going about 30 mph as I was. He cussed me through my rolled-up window, but of course I couldn’t hear him. I tried to ignore him, but he quickly floored it, cut in front of me again, and slammed on his brakes again. I swerved to avoid him (again), and now wondered what the heck was on his mind.
I still didn’t lose my cool, yet. I just looked at him like he was crazy as I passed him again. Now, he was beginning to get on my nerves, and the thought of dragging him out of his vehicle and giving him the ol’ Jack Demsey crossed my mind. But I remained civilized. He didn’t though.
Again, he cut in front of me and slammed on the brakes. This time, his car turned sideways a little, blocking my lane, and I barely stopped before hitting his car. He jumped out of his car and threw a bottle at my door. Then he jumped back into his car to take off, I thought…
before he could get back to his car, I had a few seconds to react. I grabbed a bottle of iced tea I had, stepped out of my car and slung it at his car as hard as I could. As soon as it left my hand, I was getting back into my car. It’s a good thing too.
He reached in his door, grabbed something, and walking very methodically toward me, I saw him throw several bottles before I realized he still had an arm full of them. I ducked and floored my taxi. I turned the wheel to the right because there was a side-street right there. I went careening around the corner and the side of my taxi hit a parked car.
I kept it floored and got the heck out of there. At the end of my shift, I dropped my cab off thinking they will surely see the dent and nail me. But I got lucky and they never noticed it. So, I got away with a hit-and-run, plus the damage to the cab was not discovered so I got away with that. And all because I lost my temper.
I should have simply turned the corner as soon as he tossed the first bottle. But I wasn’t going in that direction.