I was driving cab, back in the day when it was all radio dispatched and flagging, long before digital technology.  In those days the driver and the owner would split the shift’s take 50/50. However there was always the tips and for some drivers, the prospect of trips that wouldn’t be booked. That was all covered under the ambiguous term “side money”, which mainly referred to $$ kept off the sheet.


My friend TJ had picked up one of those grand old Cadillac limos a few months before.  It was a classic Mafia don’s wheels; black and long, rather mysterious and somewhat threatening.  One day he happened to be around when it was time for me to go to the cab stand and report for my shift.


We drove up to the busy headquarters of the cab company and stopped.  I was in the rear seat, wearing my usual cabbie’s outfit of jeans and a leather jacket and a black leather cap.  TJ happened to have on a suit and some headgear that approximated a chauffeur’s cap.  He pulled up, jumped out and ran around the limo to open my door.

I sauntered out to the consternation of the assembled throng of cabbies at shift change.  I walked over to Dick, the dispatcher who ran things, and said, “You know Dick, side money was real good last night, real good.”  “ Car 92 again?” After he picked himself up off the floor he said “Guess so, just get it all on the sheet tonight kid”.



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