Sunday, October 16, 2005


I didn't expect anything much when I stepped into the cab. Anything more than the usual expectation, that is - being taken to my requested destination in the most expedient manner possible. But right from the get-go, this cab driver was....quirky. This driver was an asian male, probably in his late 40s or early 50s. Fair amount of bling on the front dashboard - gilt box of kleenex, those ceramic little gold cats with one paw raised, a red and gold paper lantern swinging from the rearview, that sort of thing. But after living in Toronto for a few years, I definitely prefer a quirky driver to a driver that tries to hit on me, so I figured everything would be fine.

It was a longer-than-usual ride for me - from Broadview/Danforth over to Stones Place on Queen West - and we both relaxed into the drive and into the tunes on the radio. The driver's station of choice was Q107...that's right, Toronto's Classic Rock Station. And boy, was he enjoying it. There had been mild steering-wheel drumming and head-nodding since I entered the vehicle. The most popular song was playing when he first picked me up (Pink Floyd, Comfortably Numb) and involved a combo of windowsill/steering wheel/dashboard drumming. Good times. I didn't think it would get much more involved than that, when all of a sudden Janis Joplin's 'Piece of My Heart' came on.

I have fond, fond memories of Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits album - the one that features her sitting on a motorcycle on the cover, wearing a headband and shades and a big, silly grin. My parents had this record when I was a kid, and my lullaby of choice for ages was 'Summertime'. So when the driver immediately reached over to turn the volume up a little bit, I was into it. After four seconds with no comment from me on the volume shift, he reached over and turned it up some more. And four seconds later, even more. By this time I'm cruising in a seriously rocking cab. As in, people on the sidewalk are staring, looking incredulously at the source of the music when we stop at a traffic light.

It becomes rapidly apparent that my cab driver knows all the words to this song. This is my kind of cab driver, I think, and join in on the chorus (did I mention the few drinks I'd had?). He clearly approves, turning up the volume even a little bit more, nodding his head at me in the mirror and singing along in his super thick accent, bringing in the full driver's seat drum-kit when appropriate.

We rock our way westbound, and the song ends maybe two blocks from my destination. As soon as the song ended, he turned the volume back down, and I told him where to pull over. I checked the meter and gave him much more money than it read. We nodded to each other and I left, having exchanged all of ten spoken words.

"That's right, cab-driver man," I thought, "kindred rock spirits clearly have no need for simple conversation."


Blogger HB said...

hee hee:-) this reminds me of a norwegian national lottery-commercial. the taxi driver only accepts passengers who know the lyrics to "ballroom blitz". And then the commercial punch line "national lottery millionaires aren't like other millionaires".

8:50 AM  
Blogger Monsieur Bonhomme said...

it ain't a punkinpalooza without the e-dawg... you in dawg? your presence would be sick/ill

1:48 PM  
Blogger ers said...

Sorry bonhomme darlin'. I'm really hoping I can make the next chateau event. Hope you managed to have a gourd time without me. har har harrrr.

8:20 PM  

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