As a youngster, I was treated to a trip to Disneyland. My favorite experience was called “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.” The Toad was a problematic driver, whose motoring skills resembled something between a rollercoaster ride combined with a trip with my Grandpa in San Antonio, years ago. Back then he would change lanes on the 410 highway without looking. He’d signal of course, but never checked the mirror or looked over his shoulder. My ex-wife refused to ride with him. This piece is an attempt to enlighten our newcomers about the similar thrills related to taxi rides in Rocky Point.
If you use one of Rocky Point’s many taxi road warriors, understanding their driving rules is a good idea for sanity’s sake. It sort of reminds me of one of the opening scenes from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. One member of the Hole in the Wall Gang, Harvey Logan, proclaims himself to be the new leader of the gang. Logan demands a duel with Butch Cassidy, suggesting guns or knives to determine who’ll lead the notorious band of thieves. Butch responds, “I don’t want to shoot with you Harvey.” Harvey concludes, “Knives it is.” Butch says, “Okay, but first we’ve got to establish the rules.” Logan shouts, “Rules in a knife fight?” Butch shrugs his shoulders and smiles, “No rules you say,” then proceeds to kick his enormous adversary in the crotch and yells, “Someone say one, two, three go.” Sundance quickly responds, “One, two, three go.” The knife fight was over in seconds and Butch continued as the leader of the gang. What does this have to do with a Rocky Point cab ride?
There are different rules that apply to taxis in this city:
• Taxis generally ignore stop signs. If there are vehicles waiting at a four-way stop the taxi will take the right of way and dart out in front of other vehicles coming from all different directions.
• Speed limits are rarely enforced against taxi drivers.
• A taxi passing another vehicle on either side of the road at any speed is okie-dokie.
• Circumventing potholes, even if crossing into on-coming traffic on a two lane road is expected.
• Speeding to the front of a line of cars waiting to turn left or right is considered acceptable.
• Charging fees posted in pesos, but then miraculously switching to dollars at the end of a ride is an interesting twist (thirty pesos may become thirty dollars). The local police will straighten these problems out. Our new police chief is a law & order type, and doesn’t tolerate extortion. Always ask how much your taxi fare is going to cost.
If you call a cab waiting time can be five minutes up to an hour. Just hold your horses, the delay will be worth it. Remember, just strap yourself in and listen for, “One, two, three go.”