“Dude, it takes forever to get a cab out here on Friday and Saturday nights.”
I picked the guy up at a bar in Northeast Portland that, by a quirk of the company’s arbitrary zone boundaries, happens to be a mere three blocks away from a zone where you can get a cab three or four times more quickly.
“It’s just because I’m small-time out here, man,” he continues. “I know how it works, believe me, I know. Nobody gives a damn about the working man, you’ve gotta have money to get a cab, I bet that downtown you can get a cab just as fast as lightning!”
“Actually, that’s not really—“
“I know how it works,” he cuts me off. “Me, I’m just some guy who works for a living, but Pat Benatar gets a cab whenever she wants.”
“Well, you know, I think Pat Benatar doesn’t—“
“Oh yeah, Pat Benatar doesn’t wait long for a cab. Pat Benatar calls a cab and they put it out and you guys all run to get her!”
“I can tell you how—”
“Yeah, you guys all just want to get Pat Benatar, I know how it works—”
“Listen!” I snap. “If you’d just shut up about Pat fucking Benatar for 45 seconds, I could tell you how to get a cab faster! It’s just that your zone—”
“I’m not really interested in all that technical stuff,” he drones on. “But Pat Benatar....”
I crank the stereo.