The following report, offered by my friend Amber on her blog, is at once disturbing and important to share. It fits into the context of the several conversations that have taken place here (and in the comments section) about street harassment and the ongoing, seemingly never-ceasing harassment of women overall.
UPDATE [1:00p, May 7, 2014]: A comprehensive update about this incident, and Yellow Cab and its owner, can be found here.
Just to warn you, the language gets fiery, gross and intense and actually pretty scary..
Amber reports that on Saturday, May 3rd she was standing with a friend outside of the restaurant she works at in Portland and a taxi from Yellow Cab pulls up:
[The driver] rolled down the passenger side window and yelled out to us, “Hey ladies!” We both looked over assuming he was going to ask us a question… maybe he’s lost? Maybe he needs to know if said restaurant is still serving food? Maybe. But nope. Here is what he said: “Ladies! So, this guy (points to the passenger), it’s his birthday today and I told him I would find him some nice girls for his birthday!” My best friend, being who she is responds immediately with, “Well, too bad for him. We’re not nice.” Meanwhile, [I have] been thrust into the ear ringing, adrenaline pumping, red rage and stands there staring… dumbfounded. He laughs and says, “All the better! Come on! It’s his birthday!!” Of course the passenger and his two friends in the back laugh and clap… so, I say, “Drive on. Now.” He doesn’t and proceeds to say, “WHAT?! What’s wrong with you? Just get in. Have some fun!”
Obviously startled and off-put, Amber writes that she leaned into the cab:
I lean over into the window, real close to “birthday boy” and say in the tone my mum uses the statement “I’m very disappointed in you”, “Drive on now before it gets ugly. You’re on dangerous ground right now.” The driver laughs and says to me, “Ooooooo! Do that again! Your angry face is fucking hot!” WHAT??!!
“Oh, baby! Yea! Do it again!!!”
“Right.” I pull out my phone and record the phone number to Yellow Cab (207-518-3563) and calmly ask him his name.
“Why you need my name? You gonna call me? Just get in!”
“John. HAHAHAHAHA! It’s John you miserable cunt” Good luck with being awful to everyone in your life. I’m sure it’ll get you far in life, bitch.”
Amber says that she dialed the number for the company in order to file a complaint:
“Hi, I would like to file a formal complaint against one of your drivers please.”
“Sure! Hold on a minute, let me get a pen. Can you tell me his name?”
“Oh! John! Yes, I know him! Can you give me the fleet number and license plate number?”
“No, unfortunately I can’t, but he’s heading towards St. John street on Congress with 3 male passengers.”
“Hmmmm…well if you don’t have a taxi number or plate number there isn’t much I can do.”
“Uhm. Ok. I would still like to file the complaint.”
“OH! SURE! Tell me what happened! …and why you’re so angry!”
Amber reports that it is around this time that she started to get an odd feeling, and realized that the voice of the dispatcher sounds a lot like the one of the driver she had just encountered. She then finishes recounting her story to the supposed dispatcher.
“Oh, that’s a very good story! No wonder you’re so upset! Because you’re a miserable bitch and you want to make everyone around you just as miserable so you can make yourself feel better. You skinny whore. No wonder you don’t have a boyfriend! You know I would date you, but I don’t like skinny ass cunts! You know what you should do?? You should drive to the grocery store right now. No seriously, right now and buy a zucchini because that’s the only way you’re ever gonna get any!”
“Okay. Wow. I need your name now, I guess.”
“Fuck off cunt. Go to the store. Get a zucchini and make sure it’s the smallest one you can find, because your pussy is small.”
NOTE: I almost started laughing because a. The situation was too ridiculous to be happening and b. Uhmmmmm… wait… isn’t that a good thing?!
Alright. I just want you to know that I will make sure everyone I know is privy to this situation and not to use Yellow Cab ever.”
“Ok whore. Wait. You have a television show?? What are you a rich white bitch with connections?! How are you going to do that?? Yellow Cab is EVERYWHERE! We’re viral cunt! You can’t do anything about this!! Go fuck yourself with that zucchini!!”
“And now I am going to call the police on you. Thank you.”
“Yea. Go call the cops bitch! You can’t do anything about this you angry, miserable bitch!!”
Amber reports that she called the police, but that their urgency regarding the matter was minimal. They were going to try to find the driver and “give him a talking to.” Amber finishes her report with:
So this is me filing my formal complaint against Yellow Cab. You can share this with everyone. Please. No one needs this scumbag driving around.