Cabdriver confessions: Patrolling Oklahoma City streets

Oklahoma City cabdrivers recount passenger stories and tell why they enjoy their work.
BY TIFFANY GIBSON tgibson@opubco.com Modified: July 31, 2011 at 10:52 am •  Published: July 31, 2011

Cabdriver Judie Curry doesn't like picking up drunken women.

“They just have awful attitudes,” she said.

“They're always in a bad mood when they get in the cab.”

Curry, 59, has been in the taxi business 15 years, six as a night shift driver. Her clientele has ranged from prostitutes and intoxicated women who have been fighting with their boyfriends to criminals to casino nomads.

“I met a lot of very strange people,” she said.

“We're better than bartenders because they figure they can literally tell us anything and they're never going to see us again.”

Curry said a few stories of inebriated women still are fresh in her mind. She once picked up a woman at Reno and Meridian Avenue who was yelling at a man before she got into the cab.

The woman started kicking at the man with her high-heeled boots before getting in the car. Curry said she knew right then it was going to be a difficult ride.

“She started cussing and fighting with me,” Curry said. “I pulled into the gas station and kicked her out. She called the police, and I told them what she was doing and they took her to detox.”

Where's my car?

In addition to sending unruly passengers to the detox center, Curry has a track record of picking them up there the next day.

In spring 2000, she picked up a woman who didn't remember anything about the night before. The two of them spent three hours driving around, trying to find the woman's car.

“She had been in Bricktown so we started there. We went clear to Moore and she was finding stuff in her purse, different numbers,” she said. “We finally found her car at the Habana Inn.”

Regardless of the call, Curry said she enjoys meeting diverse people and taking them to their destinations. Most of her work now is doing contract rides for Medicare and Medicaid patients through Yellow Cab Co. She plans to drive another three years or so before retiring.

“It's a lifestyle. You get spoiled,” she said. “When I worked in an office, you had to ask somebody's permission if you want a day off. With this if you don't want to go to work, you don't have to, but you also don't make any money. You have to be self-disciplined to do this.”

Behind the wheel