Lost and found

I always pre-trip my cab.  That means I look everywhere and clean it out, check tire pressure, check the body of the cab for damage I don’t want to be blamed for, and sometimes vacuum it before each shift, not each trip…  cabbie lingo is sometimes counter-intuitive.  At the end of my shift I always check the interior for trash, lot items, and money.  The tire pressure and vacuuming are usually only things I do before my shift.

Sometimes what I find is empty plastic cups of melted ice water left over from the night before (people leave bars a lot with a to-go water when they’re feeling REALLY wasted).  Sometimes it’s paper plates from the late-night pizza by-the-slice shop.  Sometimes it’s money!  Yay money!  Most of the time it’s nothing special, though.  I take pictures.

Found in cab

I love quarters!  And… toy balls.

Found in cab 1

Sometimes it’s really random.  I don’t normally go to Mr. Roberts, but I was happy to spend these drink tokens when I found them.

Found in cab 3

Sometimes what I find is pretty weird.  A face sticker, menstrual cramp soothing pad, and $10!  I found $25 in a cab under a seat a few days after this and counted myself very lucky.

We used to have an infamous passenger who would search the cabs for change.  I think he had suffered some severe head trauma earlier in his life and didn’t talk much to people, but he was particularly laser-focused on his quest for change in taxis.  The first time I had him in my cab (when I was a rookie and didn’t pre-trip as much as I do now) he dislodged so much garbage from under my front seat and the front passenger seat while rocking the cab back and forth while I was driving, distracting me and annoying me at the same time, that I told him “Any money you find in here belongs to me,” each following ride I had with him.

I had to stop at a gas station after dropping him off that first time to clean out the back of the cab from all the skittles, paper plates, and candy wrappers.  He literally reached INTO the bottom of my front seats.  Other drivers would tell stories of how he would be shoulder deep into the crack of the back seats, seeking change.  One driver said he found a $5 bill and was so shocked and awed when he brought it up to look at it…  the driver snatched it from his grasp and said it belonged to him because it was found in his taxi.  I had only threatened at the beginning of the ride to prevent him from starting is enthusiastic and vigorous quest for quarters.  Another trick myself and other drivers used was just telling him to put his seatbelt on and sit still.

There are those that wanted to see just how excited he would get, though.  They would throw a penny over their shoulder and watch the excitement.  The passenger would think it was just the tip of the iceberg and be consumed with the treasure hunt.  A dispatcher or two would assign the call and even say over the air “throw a penny over your shoulder,” as an endearing joke with the driver.

This passenger passed away last year or the year before.  I still think of him fondly (and maybe a bit ruefully) as I get into taxis as a passenger myself, barhopping.  I always peek under the driver and front passenger seats for a bill.  I would give it to the driver, of course, but the thrill for me is finding it.  In my top 5 things in this world:  finding money.


About yellowandblackmail

I pick people up and take them where they want to go.
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