Ricky Menace

I work for the biggest cab company in OC. Been doing it for 10 years. At first, it was tough because you gotta get a lot of permits. But once you do that and get the hang of it, it's easy, like driving your friends around, but for money. A lot of people think all you do is get in a cab and drive, but it's not just that. You have to know all the tourist attractions, all the shopping malls, and generally have to know where to take people —there's a lot of suggestive selling involved.

We service the airport mostly, but for extra money, I work the after-hours bar circuit, picking up drunks. When you're working the bars, there are drunk girls all over you, wanting to do things like touch your hair, which can be interesting. I try to stay away from picking up people who are using taxi rides to make drug runs. And the hookers.

I try not to talk to people unless they want to talk. I don't blab. But I'm always hearing about people's relationship problems. You'd be surprised how many people are willing to spill their guts out to you, a total stranger. There are interesting people, though, people who you wonder what's going on in their lives. I picked up this lady once in Huntington Beach, just drove her around for an hour, to nowhere in particular. All she did the whole time was stare out the window, didn't say a thing. And once I was working Disneyland, this young couple got in my cab. They were dressed like they just got married, but they didn't look too happy and didn't say a word to each other.

The main reason I do it is because it's so flexible. It allows me to pretty easily make my own hours so I can do music at night. Everybody who gets in my car either knows who or what I'm involved with. There'll be a stray Motorsoule flier or something, and people will ask me questions.

As told to Rich Kane

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