"When my girlfriend and I broke up, we really went to war over who would keep your book. I won. It's in my bathroom now."
John, Redwood Shores
The Midnight Cabby is not a quick read. It's an exciting read because the stories are straight off the streets. And true. They are a chronicle of the 80's that signal hope for the 90's. Caution, however, some of the stories have a social bite. Taxi driver/journalist, Don Wells, knows his subject. He has been doing a "taxi dance" with the public at night for 15 years. A Navy pilot, a fry cook, a pots and pans salesman, a social worker and a photojournalist, he was all these things until he jumped into a taxi, where he says, "It was love at flrst sight."
"Your story, He's not heavy, is pathetic." - Judy, San Carlos

"Midnight magic in a cab." - The Peninsula Times Tribune, Palo Alto

"Please, please, keep writing... you raise everyone's spirits." - Lily, Redwood City

"Supertanfastic"- Jan, Waitress, Golden West Restaurant, Redwood City

Midnight Cabby
by Don Wells

The Midnight Cabby may be writing about you!
Veteran cabby/newspaper columnist, Don Wells, brings you
taxi stories straight off the streets:

San Jose - Sunnyvale - Mt. View - Palo Alto -
Menlo Park - Redwood City - San Carlos - San
Mateo - San Francisco - Reno - East Palo Alto -
Milpitas - Oakland - Hayward - Fremont - San
Mateo Bridge - Sausalito - Santa Cruz

email: taxitalk@MediaCity.com

Also Available:
The Anatomy of a Robbery
or how to stay in one piece during an ordeal

To order
Send $7.95 (US funds only) plus $2.00 S&H checks on US banks ok (I'll trust you)
or save $1 by ordering both for $13.90 S&H included (US, Canada & Mexico) [note: All other countries, send full price.]
Don Wells, the Midnight Cabby
3790 El Camino Real, #327
Palo Alto, CA 94306

Midnight Cabby - Contents

Bluebirds, Owls, Wimps And Scumbags   8
Six Pennies And A Nickel            10
Heigh Ho!                           12
At Wit's End                        14
In The Best Interest Of Whom?       16
Farewell, Sequoia Hotel             18
A Word From Your Sponsor            20
Yes, There Are No Potatoes          22
You Don't Call Me Bastard Anymore   24
He's Not Heavy?                    26
Your Turn                           27
Deadwood After Dark                 28
The Carlton 105?                    30
All l've Ever Known                 32
Playing The Newspaper Came          34
'You Packing A Rod?'                36
AngerRides The Streets              38
Handling A Bad Cabby                40
One Windfall Night                  42
Lady Love                           44
Male Stripper Reveals All           46
Boom                                48

What Hope Is                        52
Forgiveness, Not Thanks             54
Si Se Puede, Yes You Can            56
Little People, Lotsa Courage        58
Beyond The Mountain                 60
Taxi Bosses I Have Known            62
Taxi Tips                           64
Night Fog                           66
Swimming with the Sharks            68
Hey, Kelly                          70
Christmas                           72
Friday Night Waybill                74
Memories In The Making              76
Wounded Knee                        78
News From Nowhere                   80
Jimmy                               82
Ride With Me, George                84
Count Me Out                        86
Seeing The Shadows                  88
Little Brother                      90
I'll TaKe You There                 92
To The Future                       94
I'll Take You There from Midnight Cabby

I almost threw Jerry out of my cab the first time I took him home from a bar. He had a non-stop stream of invectives all the way: "Use your map. Can't even find your butt. Change your diaper."
"Hey! You talking to me?" I asked as I turned the radio down.
"That's his problem," Jerry shot back.
"Hey man! You got a problem?" I shot back. What am I saying, I wondered? This guy's six feet four, built like a tank.
"Nobody home. Check the bathroom, dummy," Jerry drawled.
Looney tunes. Out to lunch. Gone but not dangerous, I figured. Jerry paid his fare, gave me a nice tip and shook my hand with a bone-crunching grip. Oh well.
But Jerry kept cropping up in my cab, became a regular. You know how it is, like a bad penny, you always attract the thing you dread. Taking Jerry home was getting to be a hassle, admittedly a harmless hassle.
But the thing is, Jerry never talks to me directly or even acknowledges my presence. I gave up on having a conversation with him long ago and just let him ramble: "Answer me! Where are you? Police. Haul 'em in." Mutter, mutter, mutter.

"Surly cabbies
don't go to

And then it dawned on me. Jerry is talking to the dispatcher on the radio or playing like he's a driver talking back to the dispatcher. You can hear only half the conversation on taxi radios-the dispatcher's half.
He talks to everybody else, too. Except me. Rolls the back window down at stoplights and talks to drivers on the El Camino. "Does your mommy know where you are, you sweet young thing?" he says to a woman who looks to be fortysomething. She looks perplexed at first and then covers her mouth trying to suppress a grin.
OK, Jer ol' buddy-Mr. Slick, with your well-trimmed beard-l'm on to you now. It's been so long since l've heard that eccentric, courtly Southern humor, I almost didn't recognize it. You're not the obnoxious drurk I thought you were.
I was ready for Jerry the next time.
"Let's go, Jer, but I have to tell you. We can't get to your house from there. Sorry."
"No way Jose," he said to nobody in particular.
"That's right, Jer. One of Zeno's philosophical paradoxes. To get from point A to point B, we first have to move half the distance. But to go half the distance, we have to go half the half-"
"Hey putt-putt, God don't like it neither," he yelled to a guy on a motorcycle, who turned his head and looked at Jerry with a curious tilt of his space helmet.
"So we have to chop the distance in half each time, all the way to infinity," I said. I figured I had him good this time.
"Use your flashlight, ding-a-ling," Jerry said in response to CIementine the dispatcher's frustration with a driver trying to find an address.
"So it won't matter if we take the scenic route, check out Fisherman's Wharf on the way home, huh? "
"Surly cabbies don't go to heaven," he yelled to a driver.
"I'm going to have to watch your principles. You aren't where you said you were," Clementine said to the lost driver.
"Watch'em good, sweetheart . . . Zeno to Reno-in a pig's paradox," Jerry chimed in.
'There's more, Jer. All them chopped-up halves? They take an infinite amount of time intervals, too. Even if we could get to your house, it would take forever," I said as I pulled up to his house.
"Show him the way to go home!" Jerry yelled to a passing car, paid and tipped me plenty and crunched my hand.
OK, Jer ol' buddy. Next time we're gonna do some Socrates. That 'oughta bumfuzle you.