"What're you up to?" asks my dispatcher.

"Just living it up out here in Beaverton."

"You want to pick someone up at the Shell station?" The honest answer is no. Cabbies are skeptical of convenience-store orders for a variety of reasons, and given that it's 2:30 in the morning on a Saturday, the person at the Shell is probably in for a long wait. If the dispatcher's bugging me about it, they probably already have been waiting a while, or are stuck in some kind of dire straits.

Whatever. My main concern is scoring some brownie points.

I tell her I'll take the call, and she replies that she'll send it over on my screen. The first words that pop up are "GOING TO SALEM," and my smile could illuminate PGE Park.

I race to the gas station and am greeted by a pissed-off young man. Turns out the woman he met on the dating chat line greeted him at the hotel with a pimp and a request for money. It's difficult for me to keep from laughing as I tell him that's the deal with those things, and he's stupefied by the revelation that strangers on the telephone aren't really dying to bed him for free.

He wants to smoke, and he spends the whole trip hollering inanities into his cell phone. I'm fine with all of it—as much as the $10 dumbasses drive me crazy, I could cart around the hundred-dollar ones all night.