It's a rivalry like the Yankees and the Red Sox, or Socs and Greasers. The Doormen, the preppies of this lower social class, the guys who play God of the sidewalk, and the taxi drivers who resent them for it.
But just like the Red Sox and the Yankees, there's a human element that allows us to look past the rivalry. I'm sure, at some point, David Ortiz and Derek Jeter had a drink together and laughed at all of the pre-disposed bull shit.
Taxis were used a bunch in my pilot. How was I able to pull that off? I asked one of my buddies. I've become friends with many of them. If you were to pass me on the street at any given night, you may see me trading in my singles for big bills with some regulars, chatting with one of the guys as they have a smoke, or bringing them to the bell desk to give them a bathroom key. We're all working out here, and when it's not busy, there's really nothing to fight over. So since my last Doorman vs. Taxi Driver post, I've eased up on them.
There's that magical time of day where the shifts change. It happens between 4 and 5pm - right before rush hour. Perfect time to not have taxis available. No one can get a cab when they're needed most, but hey, at least fat people can't put sugar in their extra large coffees!!! Am I right, New York???
No, really though-
That part of the day is always the shittiest.
I use the word "cock sucker" about every ten seconds. Every interaction is the fucking same:
Taxi pulls up:
Taxi - "Where they going?"
I try to open door and hear the locks click.
Doorman - "Penn Station."
Driver begins to drive away.
Doorman - "Cock sucker!"
Once in awhile, they'll stop and ask why I called them a "cock sucker", to which I'll respond, "because you're a cock sucker." This usually starts most of my cabbie fights.
It's even more fucking annoying when these pukes spot luggage and think they're going to the airport. They'll pull the cab over through two lanes of traffic, nearly killing ten people, only to have me break their heart when I tell them that the guest is going to Port Authority.
Now, I get their plight. They want to snag a $60 fare before they call it an end to a 14-hour shift. I get it. The problem is, it ends up making me look like an asshole, which fucks up my tip. Most guests just think that I'm incompetent and I can't perform the simple task of getting a taxi to stop for me. Do you think they want to hit me off with a tip after it takes 20 minutes to put them in a cab when two dozen stopped to talk to me first? They're technically taking money out of my pocket, and homie don't play that.
So it was one of those days. And I wasn't having it.
A nice young couple needed a taxi to Penn Station at 4pm. At 4:20pm, I was still in the streets, acting like a raving lunatic and these people were beginning to really sweat that they were going to miss their train. I tried my best to explain it, but I was so worked up that it sounded something like this:
Doorman - "THESE ANIMALS HAVE A SHIFT CHANGE BUT IT'S ILLEGAL AND THEY WANT TO GO TO LAGUARDIA AND I'M REALLY SORRY BUT THESE GUYS ARE SAVAGES."
Not my finest moment. But take a second to imagine having to do this every fucking day.
One of these assholes pulls up in a minivan taxi. He sees luggage, and salivates at the prospect of getting a juicy JFK airport fare to take home. He also made the mistake of not locking his door.
In a snap, I pulled the door open, motioned for the couple to quickly get the fuck over here, and ran to the trunk to dump the luggage before this fuckface could know where he was taking them.
It should also be noted that his on-duty light was on, making it illegal for him to turn down a fare.
My neglecting to tell him the destination immediately made him suspicious. He jumped out of the car. He was about 6'4, weighing in at about 130 lb., if you dipped him in molasses first. A gangly and funny-looking fuck, he dressed in one of those while lampshade-like onsies that some of the Middle-Easter drivers wear. Only his whipped around in the wind like a page from a newspaper when it's floating around gets interrupted by a stop sign pole.
Cabbie - "Where they going?"
I threw the two carry-ons in as quickly as I could, but he was onto me.
Cabbie - "WHERE THEY GOING!?!"
I knew immediately that this was going to end poorly.
Doorman - "I dunno."
Cabbie - "LaGuardia, JFK?"
Again, what he's doing is 100% illegal. You can't pick and choose fares, especially with your on-duty light on.
Doorman - "Penn Station. Don't do this. Just take them."
I was proud that I didn't say anything nasty, because I knew what he was about to do.
Cabbie - "NO!!! No, take the luggage out."
Doorman - "No, take the fare."
I was doing my best calm-voice. The guests were standing right there and saw him being aggressive with me, and that's really the only way for me to come out of this in a positive light.
Then he went and said this:
Cabbie - "NO!!! Take it out, you fucking BUM!"
Doorman - "Did you just call me a bum?"
He grabbed the suitcases and took them out.
Now, what I did next probably wasn't the most mature or professional thing.
Cabbie - "You fucking BUM!!!"
Remember a while back when I said that I chew gum at work because it helps get out my aggression? It also comes in handy for revenge.
With the minivan taxis, you can climb in through the trunk and into the backseat, so with the trunk wide open, I can throw something from the back, through the little window that divides the cabbie from the customer, and have it land in the front seat.
What do you think I did?
Doorman - "Bum... Bum?!?! Ok, watch this..."
I, ever so calmly, took the gum out of my mouth, curled it up in to a little ball, and lobbed it into his front seat.
I wish I could tell you what his face looked like, but I was too busy ducking from the fist that he threw at me.
Just in time, I was able to dodge his attempt to punch me in the jaw. I never in a million years thought it would actually happen, but a cabbie finally took a swing at me.
More shocked than anything, I didn't swing back, but just stood there.
Doorman - "Did you just try and punch me in the face?"
I guess he surprised himself, because he also just stood there with his fists in tight, veiny balls. Knowing full-well that he's fucked for attempting to assault me, and seeing that he'd lost his nerve to try and hit me again, I decided it would be fun to fuck with him:
Doorman - "I'm calling the police."
The second I took out my cell phone, the man went fucking ballistic.
Cabbie - "I DO NOT TRY TO HIT YOU!!! I TRY TO KNOCK HAT OFF YOUR HEAD!!! YOU FUCKING COCK SUCKER!!! YOU ASSAULT ME WITH YOUR GUM!!!"
I would never call the cops for something this stupid, so instead of dialing a number, I tweeted something along the lines of, "Just had an interaction worthy of 'Doorman vs Taxi Driver: Round III. Stay tuned." I had already won, and this whole situation was amusing me, so I, ever so calmly, pushed it a little further:
Doorman - "I don't know why you tried to hit me. All I wanted to do was get my people to the train station!"
This made him turn to the sidewalk in hopes of a supporter. He was going fucking crazy, and I was loving every minute of it. This is every tip these assholes blew for me. I was taking one back for the team.
Cabbie - "THIS MAN THREW HIS GUM IN MY FRONT SEAT. IT HAS YOUR DNA ON IT!!! IT HAS YOUR DNA ON IT!!!!"
It has my DNA on it.
Doorman - "Okay, so when the cops get here, you can give it to them to have forensics analyze it."
Cabbie - "MOTHERFUCKER!!! FUCK YOU!!!"
He ran like a bastard to the car, and dove head-first into the front seat to find the gum. The sounds of his muffled screaming from inside the car as he kicked his dangling legs like Winnie the Pooh stuck in a giant yellow log has tears of laughter streaming down my face as I type this out.
I figured this would be a good opportunity to let my guests know that I was still trying to get them a taxi.
Doorman - "Sorry folks, this guy is a real monster."
They were fucking loving this.
Guest - "Dude, no worries."
Cabbie emerged from the car, triumphantly hoisting my gum in the air with his bare hands like he'd just won a fucking Oscar.
Cabbie - "THIS IS THE GUM!!! THIS IS THE GUM RIGHT HERE WITH YOUR DNA!!!"
With no supporters and no airport fare, he realized his defeat. He took the gum with him, probably to take it to court, and got back in his vehicle. But not before showering me with more profanities that would make pimp blush.
I got my people into a taxi, and the guy threw me a five.
Guest - "Thank you for the New York moment."
For the next hour or so, I couldn't help but laugh at the though of him in a courtroom, representing himself, and presenting a ziplock bag marked "Exhibit A" holding a little red piece of Watermelon Trident to the jury.
Was I wrong for doing that? Yeah, probably. But nobody calls me a fucking bum and gets away with it.
I reported his taxi for refusing a fare while on-duty, and as you learned in the original Doorman vs Taxi Driver post, he has to show up to the hearing no matter what.
I think I proved victorious in this one. That puts me in the lead:
Doorman - 2
Taxi Drivers - 1