Before you go any further, read this...
1. an uneducated white farm laborer, esp. from the South.
2. a bigot or reactionary, esp. from the rural working class.
It goes on to say that redneck is A slang term, usually for a rural white southerner who is politically conservative, racist, and a religious fundamentalist. This term is generally considered offensive. It originated in reference to agricultural workers, alluding to how the back of a person's neck will be burned by the sun if he works long hours in the fields.
While I can't say all that fits me to a tee, a lot of it is pretty damn close.
You see, I lost both my parents before I turned 12 years old. I bounced around in a couple of foster homes before moving in with my uncle when I tuned 15. By age 17, I was on my own. I dropped out of school half way through 11th grade so I could go to work full time. Three months after my 18th birthday, I got behind the wheel of a cab for the first time.
I've learned more about life in 28 years in a hack than any philosopher ever could know. I've had multi-million dollar businessmen, celebrities and pro athletes as well as crack whores, drug dealers and murderers in my cab. I refuse to be an airport jockey or one of those guys that only stages at the hotels, so unfortunately, I have to deal with more of the bottom feeders of life than I do the upper crust.
It is the dealings that I've had the bad apples that has made me what I am today...
The Redneck Cabbie.
You see, to escape the madness of the city streets, my mind drifts off (not while I'm driving) to a quiet country town. A place where everyone knows everyone, and a man's handshake is as binding a contract as a person needs. A place where friends gather to down a couple of cold ones and listen to music that you can actually understand the words.
A place where young men don't walk around with their pants falling down over their ass, and young ladies don't have to dress like sluts to draw a man's attention.
I think you get the picture. I know, boring as whale shit to most city folks. I'd be living in a town just like that if it weren't for the fact that there's just not much demand for my line of work in most small towns.
This blog will reflect these feelings. If I seem a little bitter now and then, its just because that wonderful little town is nowhere in my near future, and because the life expectancy of someone in my line of work doesn't extend much past retirement age, all I can do is dream about it.
Friday, November 30, 2007
My question is why any of the civilized nations of the West have anything to do with these whack jobs.
I have a friend up in Minnesota who teaches at an Islamic school, mostly to Somali children. I worry about her after this. God forbid, what would happen if little what’s his name with too many syllables to pronounce goes home and tells his parents that his teacher had a pork cutlet sandwich for lunch? Would we see a likewise demonstration at her school?
You may never think that would happen this country, but there are many areas like the Twin Cities that have many immigrants from Somalia, Ethiopia or even the Sudan. I still think it's only a matter of time before these radicals, living here as our "guests," stage some sort of off the wall protests because some dumb ass suburbanite named his dog Muhammad.
This kind of thing makes me want to rename my dog. Except I have too much respect for the mutt.
(Yes, I edited this post just a bit. When I first heard this story, my mind was racing a bit.)
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I shouldn't be upset that my question did not make it to the candidates. After all there were almost 5,000 entries.
It's a good question, one that was not addressed in this debate. That leads me to believe that the Republican candidates are not interested in giving all Americans access to health insurance, this I guess I'm not too interested in voting for any of them.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
NFL's Sean Taylor dies of gunshot wound
I remember this guy. He was the one that recovered a blocked a field goal attempt against the Cowboys last year. that play set up a game winning field goal for the Redskins. It was a play that sent Dallas into a tailspin, and they almost missed the playoffs after a promising start. I don't remember much from his season this year.
This tragedy hits hard, not only to the Redskins and their fans, but anybody that follows football. This kid had a bright future in the NFL, now it's all gone, thanks to this thoughtless act.
Did Taylor know the attacker? I doubt it. By all accounts, this was a random home invasion gone real bad.
Let's take a moment to pray for for this young man's family.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Later tonight on the Video Rant, I will get into this phenomenon called "Black Friday."
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
This doesn't surprise me at all. Just today, I encountered 2 accidents on the way in to work.
People drive like idiots. It's not just here in Corpus, although I'm not surprised that Texas ranks 25th in the national driver's safety test mentioned here. What does surprise me is that Nevada is ranked 19th. Vegas drivers are the worst bay far. I guess they're better in Reno and other areas of that desolate state.
They say the biggest problem is excessive speed, I believe it. It's noting to see folks running over 90 mph down our main drag in Corpus. God forbid if you're in the left lane (going 5-10 over yourself), these guys will fly up right on your bumper until you move over.
The cops out here aint much better. They have a tenancy to fly up on slower traffic without lights or siren, and expect the rattled motorist to get out of the way.
My industry has a reputation for bad drivers, although most know they have to be careful, otherwise the company's insurance will drop them it they have accidents or too many tickets.
It's really just a matter of taking your time and showing a little courtesy. Really... It only takes a minute or two more of your life to do it the right way.
I think I'm going to take that test.
Just took the test mentioned above. I scored 95% (1 wrong out of 20). Most of it is simple common sense.
Take the National Driver's Test
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I know it was only a week, but after clipping a street sign with the bus Monday, I couldn't help but think, what if that was a kid on a bike I hit. I never even knew I hit the thing until the other trainee yelled "oh shit" when it happened.
So I'm back in the cab for now. One nice thing about the cab business, it's very forgiving as long as you do what you're supposed to do.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
First, this whole bus driving thing is not as easy as it looks. Right turns are especially a pain in the ass. I'm going to wind up owing them for some tires at the rate I go over curbs.
Safety is huge there, understandably so. This last week, four hours a day are dedicated to defensive driving techniques. This part hasn't been hard to digest, because I am a firm believer in safe driving.
The other front is the one that concerns me. I miss the freedom and independence that cab driving offers. The daily cash aint hard to live with either.
I do find myself questioning this decision. Not because the RTA is a bad job. It's just when you become used to doing the same thing for so long, it becomes more than just a job, it's a part of your life.
I am taking time over this weekend to evaluate this situation. If I find this is not right for me. I want to get out before they invest too much time and effort into my training.
I guess I'll have to wait and see.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
I don't think Duane Chapman is a racist. I do think that all he is concerned with is getting his reality show back on TV. Otherwise, he might have gone on the offensive against the hypocrisy in today's culture that demonizes any white person for saying things that black people say all the time in the hip-hop-crisy culture.
What's the worst that could of happened? He loses the TV show and goes back and makes his living as a pretty good bounty hunter. On the other hand, a network like Spike might show some seeds and put him back on the air.
Instead, we get this unheartfelt, weak ass apology. Most folks that have been there know that you can take the person off the streets, but you can't take the streets out of the person. Dog Chapman is an uneducated man of the streets, that made well for himself for his balls out style of catching fugitives, not for his educated verbiage. Many white folks from his background talk the same way, myself included. I cannot say I would have handled it much differently than he did if I thought I or my family were being goaded in to a reaction of some sort.
Dog, if you're sorry and you mean it, apologise to the young lady you were directing your vermin toward, and stay off Hannity and Larry King in what is nothing more than a pathetic attempt at damage control.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
November 7, 2007 -- It took Duane "Dog" Chapman 54 years to figure out what the world has long known - he's not black.
The blond-haired bounty hunter explained last night that he thought his prolific use of the n-word was OK because of a bond he shares with the black community. He said that in the wake of the recent uproar it has caused, "I now learned I'm not black at all.
"I thought that I was cool enough in the black world to be able to use that word as a brother to a brother. I'm not," Chapman told Fox News Channel's "Hannity & Colmes."
"I didn't really know until three or four days ago what that meant to black people.
"I never realized it is like stabbing a black person in the heart," he said, choking back tears.
The reality show star - whose series has been axed by A&E - came under fire after a profanity-laced tape surfaced last Wednesday on The National Enquirer's Web site, on which he berates his estranged son, Tucker, for dating African-American teacher Monique Shinnery.
Chapman believes Tucker got $15,000 for the tape and speculated he used it for drugs.
In a videotaped interview with the Enquirer, Shinnery said, "I believe that Duane is a racist because I have heard many times what he says about me - not just this one time, but a lot of things he says and a lot of things he does."
Chapman began crying when he saw Shinnery's clip, and said, "I'm so sorry, honey, I'm so sorry. I'm not like that. I'm very sorry."
When I started reading this, I thought, cool, he's gonna unload on the hypocrisy that makes it ok for black folks to use the "N-word" without any problem.
Instead, he seems to be more concerned about losing his honey pot, better known as his less than entertaining reality show.
You'd think he could have at least got on his worthless son's ass, who supposedly recorded what was supposed to be a private conversation, and sold it to a rag that my dogs are even too good to piss on. Nah... He's just gonna grovel.
More than likely, it's too late. I'm sure A&E will replace DOG with another riveting program, like a cooking show featuring Graham Kerr's and Julia Child's love child.
Monday, November 5, 2007
First day of behind the wheel training at the RTA. Keep in mind, I've never operated anything bigger than a small shuttle bus, in Vegas, that was transformed into a wheelchair accessible van.
This was a completely different animal.
I understand why the RTA requires 6 weeks of training before they turn me loose on the public. As is stands now, I'll want (and need) every moment of that.
I guess it aint all that bad. I only curbed the rear wheels twice in the first hour and a half.
Still got a long way to go...
And I love it...
Saturday, November 3, 2007
My first reaction was to grumble a little bit on this blog and just let it go. After all, this just proves my theory about the stigma associated with career cab drivers.
But something told me to follow up. So I sent an e-mail to the head of the HR department. I told her that I found it surprising that someone with my experience in for hire transportation would be turned down so quickly.
Apparently... So did she.
So, I got the interview, and hit the baby out of the park.
The result... After 26 years (some good, some not so good) of 12-14 hour days, groveling for a pittance of tips, worrying if your next fare is that psycho Hannibal Lechter wannabe you read about in the paper, it's all over. I am now an employee of the Corpus Christi Regional Transit Authority.
OK... I'm just a bus driver (in training), but this marks a big change in my life. Other than the time I helped my buddy open his business up in Wichita Falls (and knew I'd have to fall back on the cab industry), this is this first time I've taken a completely different career path. One that will have good pay (for this area), great bennies (including paid vacation and sick leave) and a professional, no pressure management and support team. To my friends in Las Vegas, all this is without the presence of a labor union.
So, will I turn my back on the industry that has been a huge part of my life for the last quarter century? Lets say there'll be a weaning process. I'll still pick up a shift here and there. I'll still read the stories about the struggles that cab drivers in this country have with getting just a smidgen of respect.
But if I can offer one word of advice to the few of you that still read my ramblings, don't wait until your life is half over to get out of this business. Many of you are smarter and much more talented than I'll ever hope to be. Put that gift from God to good use. Don't waste it on this dead end profession.