(Not) Getting a Cab in Austin: Part 2

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7am was foggy in Austin. I noticed when I poked my head out the door to look for the cab that, of course, wasn’t there. I waited the requisite 20 minutes and then put in my phone call.

“We’re very busy,” said the dispatcher. “And we don’t guarantee our arrival time.”

“That’s bullshit,” I replied. “I want to speak to your manager.”

“We don’t guarantee our arrival time,” said the manager. “Plus, it’s foggy outside.”

“My cab yesterday NEVER came! I mean, I just really want to know, is a cab coming, or not?”

“Wait 20 more minutes,” she advised. “Call us back then.”

I think not. I woke up my friend, who woke up her husband, who, kindly, drove me downtown.

Two hours later, I still hadn’t received a call from the cab company, which led me to believe there were still no available cabs. But lo! Across the street! During my cigarette-and-coffee break, I certainly did spy four empties waiting for a fare. And I got SO mad. Once more, I dialed the number for Yellow Cab Austin. After listening to three rounds of their hold message, I was in no mood to dally around with the dispatcher – I got put right to the top. And by “right to the top” I mean “to the owner’s voicemail”.

Voicemail? VOICEMAIL??!! You could have popped me with a pin, I was so puffed up. So I did the only think I could do – I threatened legal action. He called me right back, sure he did, and he was VERY apologetic. “This is entirely our fault,” he admitted, and went on to tell me how they’d had some kind of electrical surge in their system that totally fried their dispatch center.

I put on my best business voice. “Well sir, I appreciate your position and I certainly thank you for calling me back. But I wouldย suggest to you that you simply beย transparent with your customers, instead of promising them cabs that won’t ever arrive.”

I mean, I almost felt bad for the guy. One more post, and you’ll see what happens.


Needs an upgrade?

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I’m really in a quandary. I have this broken-ass old iPhone 3G. Yes 3G. I’m probably the last person on the planet to still be using one of these things, and I’ve been planning to upgrade for the better part of 6 months. The home button is sticky. It doesn’t mute ringtones anymore. Last weekend, I dropped it facedown on a granite floor. The pixels are bleeding out and dying. BUT IT STILL TETHERS.

So what do I do? Do I upgrade, and forsake the mobile bliss of the tether? Or do I stick it out until the phone finally kicks it completely? I’d really miss using Facebook on my laptop in my car – you don’t know nirvana until you’ve logged into your bank account while traveling at 80mph in the passenger seat. Comments and thoughts are much appreciated.

 


Is glad she didn’t spend any more time at the bar.

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I heard this thing on the radio the other day about how people drink and drive too frequently, and how a full stomach (and moderation) are the keys to successfully staying under the limit. This occurred to me tonight, sitting barside with my sister sipping a particularly strong vodka cocktail. I was not just hungry, suddenly, but STARVING, and it was nigh on 1am. Predictably, the kitchen had closed, and our route back to her apartment was completely devoid of pizza shops. ย “I’ll just make pasta at home,” I told her, and wished her pleasant dreams.

Now, after such a night of merriment, the last thing one wants to encounter is a sobriety checkpoint. Especially when one has an inspection sticker that expired in July. It was on Rte 16, near the gas fields, and I swung an overly enthusiastic right turn into the industrial complex just in time to see a police officer parked on the curb.

He flashed his lights. I rolled down my window.

“Live around here?” he asked, with a knowing grin.

“No,” I confessed, heart pounding in my throat. “It’s just – my inspection sticker is expired.” I smiled what I hoped was a charming smile and tried to act casual.

“Ah, a guilty one!” exclaimed the officer. “I don’t think they’re looking for that. Anyway, you can’t get out this way – it’s all dead end streets. If they give you any trouble, just tell em your brother in law is stationed down the alley here, eh?”

I thanked the kind sir and proceeded through the gauntlet – a flashlight in your face and an uncomfortable exchange of pleasantries wherein you know the other party is trying to smell your breath. A stranger’s face pushed up inside your personal space. I made it through (no surprise, really), and smoked a victory cigarette to celebrate. Then, when I got home, I cracked a High Life and wrote this post. Cheers, weekend – you’ve started out in splendid fashion.

 


Personification: too far.

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Much has been made of my harem pants jumpsuit. I mean, that’s not MY harem pants jumpsuit, it’s just a for example. MY harem pants jumpsuit is black. I’ve gotten quite the response on Facebook to any and all posts mentioning said jumpsuit (really, the ONLY jumpsuit), so I can’t help but feel like people want to know more.

I bought the harem pants jumpsuit with the highest aspirations. I thought I’d be avant garde and wear it with pin-thin stilettos. Maybe add a scarf. I’d look stylish and edgy, it would be awesome.

But oh, Reality.

The harem pants jumpsuit was maybe two sizes too big, to start. Being on the slighter side, I’d anticipated this, but I was entirely unprepared for how quickly the whole thing lost its SHAPE. One day it was a harem pants jumpsuit, the next day it was a swaddle of cloth at my feet. I didn’t let this stop me, though! I abandoned my notion of ever wearing the HJP out of doors, but started sporting it around the house like a second skin. A second, loose, baggy skin.

Last night, as usual, I was wearing the harem pants jumpsuit. It rides mostly as just “pants” these days – the elastic is too far gone to imagine pulling it up to its advertised height – but anyway, while wearing the harem whatever-it-is, I accidentally sliced open my finger with an exacto knife.

“Awww, shit,” I sighed, realizing the colossal annoyance that was about to ensue. “Ah! Shit!” I cried again, as the pain hit.

Wound up spending 3.5 hours in the East Boston ER, during which I read up on Lightroom, mapped out a data structure for my home backup array, and got a very uncomfortable four stitches. Have you ever been injected right in that little nerve that runs between your fingers? No? Anyway, I wouldn’t recommend it.

BUT! The splendor of the whole thing! I wore my harem pants jumpsuit OUT OF THE HOUSE! Granted, it was only to the ER, and the only other people I saw were B!, the doctor, and a very confused nurse, but still! I feel like HJP and I are on a new path together. Maybe I’ll take her to work tomorrow.


Glad it’s not MY job.

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I’ve never understood businesses that put people in funny costumes and trot them around the sidewalk. Liberty Tax? The gentleman dressed up like the statue does nothing to instill my confidence in your tax prep capability. That Chicken Place down the street? The teenage girl outfitted as Big Bird makes me consider revisiting my days as a vegetarian. Unless you are a children’s store, and the subject in question is wearing a giant puppy suit, this notion that costumed mascots create some kind of uptick in business makes no earthly sense to me.

There’s this rug store on my way to work, and I always kind of feel bad for the place. They’re sort of on the outskirts of town, they always have a sign out front advertising “Rug Cleaning!”, and I’m steeling myself for the eventuality that there will one day be a liquidation sale banner hanging in the window. So I’m driving by the other day and there’s this giant box with legs waving at me.

It was a very confused few seconds before I realized that I was looking at a man in a carpet suit. A CARPET SUIT.ย I mean, really. Take a second to wrap your head around that! Like, someone was actually like, “Come on, Phyllis, let’s get the carpet suit out of the basement. Business is slow, it’s time to make some money.” I’m totally baffled.


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