This evening started out with a visit to the John C. Lincoln hospital near home. Two women emerged when I approached the emergency room entrance. Eventually I decided theirs was a mother/daughter relationship - mom had gone to the E.R. with stomach problems.
The daughter wanted to make her mom something for dinner, but mom was NOT hungry for the fish that was being offered. "you've got to eat", "I'm just not hungry."
I asked what kind of fish, and they said 'salmon'. They did not, of course, offer whether this was wild or farmed salmon. But even that doesn't matter: even though wild salmon does have a lot more antioxidants than the farmed variety, it still gives you fish burps after you eat it. I too would avoid salmon if my stomach was bothering me.
If I was sick, I'd make jello. I told them that this is the kind of protein that keeps me going while taxicab driving. Mom immediately perked up - this was something she could eat.
The next fare of any importance was Eddie, who I picked up at the Yumberri Yogurt store near the Paradise Valley Mall. Eddie had some trouble with walking, and wanted me to drive him around while he looked for his girlfriend. Our first stop was her place of employment, which was the In & Out Burger across the strip mall's parking lot. No girlfriend. Next we went to the CVS (a drugstore chain), again across the parking lot. Still no girlfriend.
Next the passenger thought she might be at McDonalds. This was on the opposite corner of Cactus & Tatum. Eddie got out, went inside, and didn't see his girlfriend there either. Our last stop was across the street, at the entrances to Macy's. First we checked the one entrance, then the other. Eddie's girlfriend was not at either location, so he told me to take him back to where I'd picked him up.
I thought that was a little odd. But as I was surveying the fare screen to see who I could get, the meter buzzed with an offer for a few hundred yards away.
Calming down a different mom
This was a woman who'd just finished her managerial duties at one of the Paradise Valley Mall's big-box department stores. She had the sniffles, and seemed a bit panicked. After a few minutes the story started to come out.
Her boyfriend was supposed to have picked her up, but he'd just wrecked his car. She'd been led to believe that it was totaled. In the background of that conversation, she could hear the wailing of her 16-month-old son, whom the boyfriend was watching. The son had been in another car accident (with her, iirc) months before, and here it was happening again.
When people are overwhelmed, they tend to instinctively put their hands on their temples, or on their forehead. This directs the body to send blood from the base of the brain (fight-or-flight area, or the reptilian brain) to the forebrain, so they can think better. The forehead points can be used intentionally too, and my passenger shared that it did help.
As we approached the area where the accident had happened, she finally made contact with her mother, and learned that the accident was not as bad as she'd been led to believe. She appreciated the ride, and tipped well.
Back to the Mall
I went back to the same mall, and was promptly offered a fare at Chili's. This young woman worked inside the mall somewhere, and just used Chili's as a convenient pickup location, though she likes to eat there too. She is taking some kind of nursing program (w/ communications?) at ASU West, which wasn't as good as the program at UofA.
I don't remember how the topic came up, but my notes say I told her about the problems associated with laser vision correction, and offered some eye exercises that people who find they are becoming more dependent on their glasses find helpful.
There was a No Show, then a Fare Canceled. These are annoying (no-shows more so than cancellations, because they cost me $2), but I do recognize they serve to delay. Picked up a couple at the Desert Ridge marketplace who were going home after their evening at the Yardhouse (noted for having 100's of kinds of beer).
A different Kind of 'Candy'
Next up were three guys at the Pointe Hilton's restaurant. Two of these fellows were visiting for business, while the third lives in Phoenix. The three were going to "The Candy Store", but first we had to go to the ATM at the Bank of America on 7th St. just south of Bell Rd. This is, of course, a different kind of candy as last time.
Two guys got out to visit the ATM. The third guy explained that one of the two was going through a divorce, and didn't want a transaction to appear from the titty bar's ATM. He did not seem especially gung-ho about going - this was something he'd tag along for, but not get too stimulated by the scenery.
The Candy Store Lounge has a closed cabstand, which means that it is limited to that company's cars. The driver suggested a few places I could go for flags - I will have to look up "Sapparo" at Scottsdale & Thunderbird some time.
Two fares later I picked up a guy at a bar on Bell Rd. He said to take him to the Candy Store. I offered that I'd just been there, and he asked about the parking lot - 'candy' isn't nearly as much fun when the lot is packed. I couldn't remember, and apologized.
When we arrived I asked him to tell me what he thought of the lot, which still had spaces. He said it looked like he'd have a lot of fun, that he'd be there until 2am, and that he'd look for me at the QT (gas station) across the way first, before taking the other cab.
Next I found Jason at another bar. First we took his friend across the street to her car. She told my passenger to text her when he got home. I got the impression that he was hoping she'd go home with him, but that did not take place.
Since I was still in the area, and the calls were slow in coming, I went back to wait at that QT. Before long the guy showed up, and I took him home.
... was a cynical young woman at a nice apartment complex. It was someone's birthday party, she wasn't able to spend the night for some reason, and I was to take her to the Motel 6 on Bell Road.
She had to be in Mesa tomorrow by around 2:30 pm, and was figuring out (with ValleyMetro.org on her phone) how she could get there via public transit. She'd need the Bell Rd. bus east for 1/2 mile to 19th Ave south, then could take the light rail to Mesa, then another bus... Would have to catch the first bus around 9am. At this point it was almost 3am - I'd have a hard time waking up after 5 hours, so I offered to take her to the light rail myself the next morning.
I was expecting a call the next morning, but my phone did not ring. I called that last passenger to ask if she was still interested in the ride to the light rail.
Drove up to Bell Road, called to say I had arrived... Wait wait wait. When she finally came out it was less than 10 minutes before the train was scheduled to leave. Figured there was no way to make the train on time, so I took her to Mesa myself. Not happy about that, but there are more important things than a dollar here or there.
She's looking for a job. This was curious to me - how could she afford 2am cab fares, and a room at Motel 6, without a job? She doesn't usually tell people that she gets SSI (disability insurance). I asked what she'd gotten SSI for, because they don't give social security disability just for asking. She said something about getting crippling depression, and that her mom gets it too.
When we got to the other end of the train, where she'd catch the bus to take her to the appointment, I saw a Safeway grocery store. I asked her to follow me to the butter aisle, and I gave a little lecture about the difference between "paint" (margarine) and butter, and told her how important it was to make her cookies with butter.
I told her the reason her baked goods go stale is because the unsaturated oils in "butter substitutes" go rancid quickly. Any kind of butter is better than margarine. I'll probably never hear from her again, but if she makes this one little switch I think she'll do much better.