Basic boring shit: I took three cabs in Midtown, one in Chelsea, and one in Soho. I did this in the afternoon, when it was still nice and light outside. I tried to complete this long before the evening shift began (it starts at 5).There were probably a lot of different sobstory approaches that I could have come up with to get out of paying these geeks, but my favorite ones seemed to be the following:

Taxi! (a) Pretending that I was from Iowa, this was my first time here in the Big City, and golly gosh gee, I'd forgotten my wallet. () Whatever was I supposed to do? Yeah yeah yeah, I know this goes against any feminist proclivity I'd ever had, but what the heck. I figured it was worthwhile at least trying to play the helpless female just to see what would happen. The scary thing is, it worked. Once. The other time I tried it, I got The Glare From Hell, a glare so intense that it burned right through my shades and made my eyes water and sting. I had to turn away. Luckily, the direction in which I turned happened to be towards the door, which I promptly threw open. I all-but-hurled my body outside of the cab and hightailed it around the corner, cabbie screaming god-knows-how-many expletives behind me. Thank God for my precious Doc Martens. Thank God for my fast feet and for my body's mass adrenaline rushes. So much for the "cute and sweet and innocent" part. I'm going back to reading my Encylopedia of Female Serial Killers book, maybe even catching up on some Susie Bright and some Pat Califia shit. I don't need this innocence garbage no more.

Ditto! (b) Offering the drivers other goods and services that I had in my backpack. () These included, among other things, a nearly-unused white legal-sized notepad; a yellow-and-red-and-green plastic pen that the Apple Corporation had sent me in thanks for me registering my brand-new, $2200 computer; a copy of Pynchon's Vineland; a bag of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers, cheddar-cheese flavored; a handful of change. I offered one cabbie all of this stuff, but he was only interested in the change. Personally, I think he's the one who really lost out in this particular situation. Any jerk knows that a copy of Vineland, in good shape, is worth a least $2.50, even used. And come on now. This was a whole, unopened bag of goldfish in my backpack. This stuff sells for a little less than $2.00 a bag, you know. This was for a $3.00 cab ride! The guy lost out on a great deal, what can I say?

Taxi Three! (b) Telling them the truth, () that I was a "Cyber Journalist" and that I was tape-recording them for an upcoming feature for an Internet Magazine. Did this work very well? I'm afraid not, but it sure was interesting to watch their reactions.

So that was, in a nutshell, my Day as a Taxi Hacker.

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