aachannoichi (aachannoichi) wrote,

A random conundrum

Sometimes the strangest things pop in my head when I have the worst headaches.  This is one of those times...  And note to self, I really should take something for this monstrous headache before my brain actually explodes and the remnants ooze out of my ears.

But anyway, gather round children.  It is time for a short Philadelphia story which brings me to today's very random question.

Once upon a time in a pretty awful area of my hometown Philadelphia, there use to be guys who would stand around all day and say, "Hack-a-cab"!  For the uninitiated, a "Hack cab" were the Uber drivers of yester-year.  Decades before apps, smartphones, and Uber/ Lyft/ ect., there were these random dudes who would drive you door-to-door from Broad Street and Olney Ave (I say that location, because that was where I would always see them) to wherever you needed to go.  They generally had a pretty set price and you didn't need to tip them.  The catch 22 of the "Hack cabs" were you never knew what you were going to get, i.e. a safe journey home, robbed, murdered, or trafficked into white slavery (not to make light of such things), but it was a crap shoot is what I'm saying.

I took my chances on a "Hack cab" once.  I think it was in February and I brought home a cake for my mom's birthday and since I didn't drive at that time, I had to take the Orange Line to Broad and Olney then the 18 bus home.  Well that Saturday the 18 stop was swamped and I was hoping most people were waiting for the 26 I think it was, but no, everyone was trying to crowd onto the 18.  Well, I had a cake to protect, so I said a soft prayer and opted to take the "Hack cab" guy back to my parents house.  Both me and the cake made it safely, but I was freaked out about getting into a car with a complete stranger and leading him to my parents house...  It was a pretty dicey proposition, especially when you factor in no smart phones (I think I had a cell phone at that point in time) or a way to track the driver should anything happen.

So with that being said, I wonder if the "Hack cab" guys still exist in a modern world where people have Uber and the like?  I'll be going to Philadelphia in late April, so I'll have a chance to find out myself, but I'm not sure if I can handle being on Broad and Olney to find the answer, but I do wonder if they're still there and still shouting, "Hack-a-cab"!?
Tags: bwuh, what?!

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