Wrong Ballpark

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It’s 6:45pm on a Monday as I arrive at Addison and Clark. Wrigley Field sits silent, free of fans that would be crawling over every available surface were it a game night. Two girls in full-on White Sox regalia come running my way. I roll the passenger window down and one asks,

“Are we close to Sox Park?” “Nowhere near,” I answer.

The game is starting in fifteen minutes and they’re all the way across town. They ask if I can take them and I say, “Of course. It’s what I’m here for.” We make our way to Lake Shore Drive and turn south while they tell me how they ended up at the wrong ballpark.

“He dropped us off in front of Wrigley and that’s when I started to think something was wrong. He was like, ‘See? I get you here fast!’ He didn’t say sorry or nothing. We don’t really know our way around the city too well...”

He’d picked them up at Union Station and insisted on a flat rate of $20 when they asked to go to Sox Park. Not only had their cabdriver overcharged them by a couple dollars, but he’d taken them in the exact opposite direction.

“I think he went the wrong way down a few one way streets and he kept screaming at all the other cars while going 60mph. It was scary.”

They’d come in from Naperville to meet some guys at the game. Instead they were now late and paying for a second (unnecessary) cab ride. I try to make them laugh about it. My opinion of their other driver is even worse than theirs. Guys like that make all of us look bad. I tell them to make sure and take down the cab number and call the city the next time they think something is off.

“Do they still charge full price if you show up to the game late? Our friends are already in their seats,” one wants to know.

“Well, it’s Monday, so it’s half-price night already,” I say.

“We know. That’s why we came down.”

I suggest they tell the guy in the box office their story and maybe throw in a few tears. What guy wouldn’t want to help out two pretty girls? They laugh, saying they like that idea, telling me they know how to cause a scene.

We stop just past 35th Street on Wentworth so I can run their credit card. Their first driver refused to take it. I wonder whether the guy did anything right at all. They say this was their best cab ride ever. I thank them and suggest they call the city to let them know that as well. I watch them run to the park’s gates. Not all cabdrivers are crooks; some of us even know how to get to the right ballpark on the first try.

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