just got back from california and experienced my most irritating cab ride so far. we’re on the interstate and things were going ok until the city seemed to be awfully close by. but i thought, hey, maybe there is just some weird on ramp for the interstate up here or he missed the last one. nope, to get to albany park, which is at the end of the brown line and something like 20 blocks from the lake, this guy takes me all the way out to lake shore drive and heads north from there.

this is the totally wrong way to go. i can’t think of a more unreasonable route to take. but i decided to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. maybe he’s new to the city or doesn’t know where kimball is (unlikely since it has it’s own off ramp on the interstate) and just wants to take lsd because it has a montrose exit. whatever. i try to let it slide, even as the meter moves past the amount that should’ve had me on my doorstep and we’re only at belmont.

we get to my corner, $12 over what the fare should’ve been and this guy tells me his credit card machine doesn’t work. he then gives me this long agonizing explanation about something or other, but it doesn’t matter what it is because the point is, i’m not getting out cash for this guy and i KNOW that cabs have those little carbon sheets for credit cards anyway. he offers to drive me to an atm for free. i try to be nice and explain that i didn’t want to make a big deal about it but he took me way out of the way and the fare is a lot higher then it should’ve been and there is no way i’m going any FURTHER out of my way unless he knocks the fare back down to where it should’ve been before his ‘scenic tour’ of chicago. eventually, after making sure to tell me what a risk he’s taking by accepting my credit card without waiting for authorization, he does the carbon receipt thing. he then has the balls to ask me how much of a tip i want to give him. i say three bucks, because i don’t want to leave him with nothing, and he is obviously displeased by the amount and makes me repeat it. then he asked me for a phone number in case my super-risky credit card didn’t go through (gave him the work number), didn’t bother to say anything as i got out of the cab, then hung around outside the building for about 5 minutes. what was he doing? waiting to see what apartment i’m in so he can come back later? i can’t believe that cab ride cost me $50.