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originally published January 2008

New Years Eve many prefer to leave cars home opting to rely on old faithful taxis. It’s what my best friend and I did because he chose to drink and I don’t have a car. Our plan was low key compared to the wild and elaborate plans of others. I was ready early. We arrived at his place by 9:00pm so he could shower and change. I was redialling every number I could. At 10:15pm North West said an hour wait. We decided to wait in the car at 11:05pm (we were in a basement apartment and it was stormy) to be sure not to miss it. By 11:35pm it was apparent something was up so we called. They claimed one had been there and it would be an hour for another. We started dialling frantically, deciding it was imminent we’d ring in the New Year in a Kia instead of with family. Finally – a City Wide could get us in five minutes.

That car managed to get us to mum’s by the “FOUR!” in the countdown, shouting the rest as we fell over one another into her porch. The visit was short lived. Knowing how it’d been to get the initial car we asked the driver to radio and send a new car to my mum’s. He hesitated, making it sound like the most strenuous task imaginable. He argued he wasn’t dispatch and couldn’t guarantee anything. Fair enough, I dropped the request for a little extra help on a difficult night and said we’d call; frustrating as it was being that I had work and diligently called hours earlier only to be met with refusal for trying to reserve one in advance.

Back in mum’s porch I was hugging her, cell to one ear with my partner and cordless to my other calling City Wide back. It rang first dial, so we ordered a car and he radioed. But, because he radioed so fast – the same guy hadn’t moved on to another job yet – no 15 minute wait. No time with family. We couldn’t risk not getting one later. New Years Eve 2008 is literally that one second for me this year. The driver turns the meter on again so I say, “Well for $3.00 of idling we could’ve had at least five minutes.” He replies, “Ah well its New Years Eve, people are meant to spend money,” shrugging it off. I didn’t like someone else taking license to spend my money so I passed back, “well it’s fine for you, you’re making it and I’m spending it.” We waited outside as coworkers showed up excited, sharing our stories. The above was mine.

Not the end of taxi dealings that night though. Remember my best friend that decided to drink? When I finished my opening set at 3:00am let’s say he was a little soused and befuddled. For an hour and a half I held him up against a wall waiting. Coworkers finally got a Budgen’s and it showed as promised. But the driver refused to take him. I can completely understand that from their point of view. I’ve taken my share of taxis and heard stories. I have tremendous respect for what these drivers do. They move people when they have to get somewhere. But this was New Years, my best friend clearly had to go home, I was clearly sober and even offered to go with him, take the guy to his door, then get brought back to the club to play later. There was no additional responsibility on the driver than normal. When we thought he was considering, we lifted him up into the seat and the driver actually pushed him out.

We got him home safely by 5:00am. One of the owners of the club and I brought him at a point where we could both get away. That never should have happened. It got me to thinking that while I have such respect for the good and dedicated drivers that have helped me over the years; there are also others that even it out. They’re not all in any one fleet, but the fleets are certainly responsible for choosing who drives for them and in return the drivers represent their brand. On a night that everyone really needs to work together to keep everything smooth, those were pretty big hiccups. At least there’s that one second and getting to dj an awesome night with great people for good memories – here’s to ’08!

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August 2020
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