Tuesday Dec 29 2009
Too drunk to drive?
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
Your secret’s safe with taxicab drivers who are happy to take you home
Vic Macy doesn’t drive and tell, but he revealed he has come across “interesting” people and situations in his 28 years as a taxicab driver. “I know so many stories about people in Auburn but I wouldn’t dare to even go there,” Macy said of revealing some of the backseat conversations he’s overheard. Macy, who has owned Sierra Cab in Auburn since 1981, once picked up a customer only to drive them across the street. He suspects that the “novice” drinkers — those who have just turned 21 — will be the rowdiest as per usual this New Year’s Eve. However, Macy says he and his fleet of drivers will gladly take home just about any celebrant on what is the “busiest night of the year” for his transportation company. “The biggest thing to me is when I look at your paper the next day there wasn’t anybody in an accident,” Macy told the Journal. “We were able to get people home safe and that’s the main thing.” Phil Rightmer has been a driver for Macy for the past two-and-a-half years and said his backseat occupants on New Year’s have run the gamut. “There are those who are polite and there are those you have to help them get to the door because they don’t know which key to use,” Rightmer said. Rightmer said drivers “carry plastic bags with us all the time,” for revelers who may have partied too hard, but Macy added that they’ve been lucky that they haven’t had to use the bags too many times. Rightmer said his passengers have included some who talked about aliens taking over the planet to one who propositioned him on a ride home. Rightmer, who has been married for 22 years, said it was “so off the wall” when his 30-something-year-old female passenger, who he described as “very drunk,” leaned forward and asked him, “would you like to kiss me?” “The answer was no, I’m married thank you,” Rightmer said, laughing. While Rightmer said sometimes he’s been a little envious picking up celebrants and taking them to and from their parties, the benefits of earning some extra cash and helping to keep the roads safe outweigh that feeling. “If I’m giving somebody a ride who shouldn’t be driving, then I might just be helping save a life,” Rightmer said. “That’s the most important thing.” Macy added that having a home address handy is also a good thing. “At the end of the evening we just hope they know or remember where they live,” Macy said. “There are a lot of people we take home who are pretty happy. As long as they can remember their address, we can usually get them home.” Jenifer Gee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. ---------- Drinking and need a ride? — Sierra Cab of Auburn: Call (530) 885-2227 — Designated Drivers Association: Call (916) 335-5555 between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. and a team of volunteers will come to drive you and your car home. — AAA Tipsy Tow: Call (800) 222-4357 or (800) AAA-HELP between 6 p.m. Dec. 31 and 6 a.m. Jan. 1 and a tow truck will tow a car for free up to the first 5 miles. Charges apply for subsequent miles. ---------- Taxicab tips Vic Macy, who has been a cab driver in Auburn for 28 years, said the biggest tip he’s ever received was a car. In the early 80s, Macy went to pick up a couple in Newcastle. Their station wagon had broken down on the way to the airport and they didn’t want it anymore. “They said the pink slip’s in the glove box and here’s the keys,” Macy recalled. “They said, ‘Take us to the airport,’ so I did.” Macy said he fixed up the vehicle and used it for several years as his family car. ----------