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JULY 11, 1999

The day the flood took place was July 9, 1999. 

The day was quite normal, it was a weekday which means I work the 12 noon to 12 midnight shifts and I mean work, pedal to the metal and not very many breaks in between.

At about 10 in the morning the sprinkling that had started was anything but unnoticeable but no alarms went off.  At eleven thirty in the morning the clouds began giving birth to big chunks of rain drops which turned into liquid pellets as they plummeted to the Las Vegas streets and then proceeded to splatter water all over the faces of the unknown tourist in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Even the hookers started to look like wet kitty cats as they walked from one side of the street to the other using their high heel shoes as a dry retreat on the heel of their feet.  But their little bitty toes still got the worst of the wet splatters on the pavement.

With all the alternate routes in place after the cloud burst getting to work was no joy ride for my personal vehicle this type of weather was made for taxis that could float. 

The abuse my personal vehicle received which  involved in transporting me to the taxi yard  had put the grand master taxi driver like little old me 20 minutes behind schedule which was not bad considering all the streets that were blocked off and the increase of population  which always worsens while fighting the up stream battle of traffic.  

The common day tourist has an unbearable time driving a rental car in this town but for a real taxi driver like myself it was only another day at the office using shortcuts alleyís, front lawns plus side walks  in order to arrive at the slave drivers dungeon slightly on time.

After doing all the pre-checks and entering my torture chamber on wheels which was situated on the property of the Frias Corporation my taxi light flipped to the on position and I was considered available. 

Unleashing the realization of reality that this day contained I decided to bring along my trustee old digital camera in order to capture some of the drama that would take place within the city that considers itself a Jewish small nation right along with a Jewish mayor to boot...

Todayís goal was to float as close to the strip as possible and take some really neat pictures so you could go to my website www.taxibabblemouth .com and click on Las Vegas in a picture and scope out some of the action.

As I was traveling east on Tropicana avenue and arrived at the Las Vegas Boulevard intersection there was about one to two feet of water already accumulated at the major crossroads in the blood line of the Las Vegas strip this left me with no choice but to follow the other vehicles that plowed through the shallow water which simultaneously created what man named a wave which tuned into many waves all over the streets of Vegas. 

One thing you can be assured of in situations like this is that God promised that the entire earth would  never be covered with water again and by initiating that promise he created a rainbow but, ever since the fags stole or should I say ripped off the rainbow from God Iíve always wondered if he would ever renege on his promise.

As my mobile journey through the wet intersection was completed the Chrysler mini van taxi I was driving stalled and left me with no other alternative but to get my feet wet and start pushing the taxi to safety and after many exhausting breaths the taxi beached on the Tropicana  Hotel  and Casino property. 

The high tech radio embedded in the dash of the taxi was still functioning at normal levels of operating range so I got on the horn and asked the dispatcher for a tow truck,  the dispatcher responded by saying you have 30 other taxis ahead of you. This means 30 other taxi drivers were going through the same dilemma I was currently going through which means if I want to make some money I better think of something fast!

Meanwhile the first instinct of a first generation Mexican American taxi driver like me is to sit in the driverís seat of the taxi and look like somehow I belong there. I was not alone a uniformed blue collar worker who was wearing blue walked near my taxi and stopped.  He busted out with the demand that he needed a ride and now!  I replied with I truly understand your needs at the moment but my taxi simply drowned and does not want to function any longer. 

My next instinct was to open the hood and pull out the spark plug wire and check for water damage as I gave the engine a few cuss words and plug the wires back into their position of operation and cranked the key my livelihood was restarted alongside of the engine.

As the engine proceeded with the warm up noise and the condensation began exiting the exhaust pipe I hollered at the tired workman who just asked me for a ride and was sitting at the bus stop and asked him where he was going and he claimed his destination was Boulder City which is a $50.00 dollar ride so I collected the money up front and off we traveled.

Boulder city is sitting at a higher elevation than Vegas so at the moment this was a dream ride in order to escape the flooding in Vegas and it would give the water time to reseed.

As we were driving along and minding our own business and subconsciously seeking relief from the flood waters of Vegas and the stench of the Las Vegas police we began talking about the down falls of child support which he was a current member of that club then how corrupt the police are in Vegas and then we began talking about how Boulder city  inserts real live plastic dummies in their cop cars and sets them in the median of a highway  so people think that cops are actually on duty but are really in the casino doing who knows what.  Itís kind of like a farmer who makes a scare crow to scare away the birds from eating the corn.  I replied with yeah, I did notice the other day that cop looked like a manikin.  So itís a real plastic cop being himself a dummy.

So we both agreed that the boulder city cops were fakes.

Now returning to the flood after I dropped this guy off, reality was hitting me again, I have to work in a flood tonight.

On the way back to town I noticed a manhole  cover bouncing up and down and water was spurting out like a scene out of yellow stone national park this visual demonstration of water coming from the depths of the city  kind of sent a chill  up my spine as if Satan was trying to retrieve hell into his current home called Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

Our current dispatcher who calls herself the channel three dispatcher got on the radio and has instructed all drivers to pull to the side of the road  and shut down all the taxis until further notice because our insurance company does not want to cover us for at least three hours.

So I decided this was a good time to go home fix some lunch.  Watch a little television.   As soon as I turned on the television  there was footage of cars floating in the water people being air lifted out of there cars and all kinds of mayhem  which created absolute chaos as if this was a battle field. It was kind of graphic so I turned off the television and continued listening to my jaw bones chewing my food it sounded better than the television at the moment.

After lunch I returned to my torture chamber and seated my self in the driverís seat of the taxi.   All a sudden the trusty radio dispatcher relayed a message to all us taxi drivers and informed us we could return to our previous mode of operation. I then proceeded to the corner convenient store to pick up some drinking water and noticed  two on duty taxi drivers playing the poker machines then proceeded to break the news to them that the insurance company now said they could go back to work.  They looked at me all pissed off!  Picked up their bucket of coins and cashed the family jewels for paper money and proceeded to enter their torture chamber. Itís only fair if I have to deal with the elements they should also carry out there taxi driver duty in the same fashion.

There were people everywhere wanting a taxi.  I figured with business this good I was going to have a killer night.  This kind of weather provided an enormous array of pictures for my web site.  So, I set my camera at a low resolution which would enable me to capture ninety five pictures versus the normal twelve pictures I usually take on a slow night. I figured I had about thirty minutes to take great pictures of the roaring water before it would recede.   So, I thoughtÖ

Driving by the famous Hard Rock hotel and casino my camera snapped a few pictures.  Then instinctively the taxi which concealed my body as the driver headed to the airport to pick up a ride.  I picked up a family of five.  They kind of acted like the Simpson family on television and my thought was how television affects the everyday actions of society. 

This very active family wanted to go to the Harrahís hotel and casino.  The preset subconscious navigation system embedded deep into my subconscious decided to avoid the strip because it was currently a raging river consisting of numerous unbearable traffic lights.  The events that began to soothe my deep desire to avoid the strip persuaded me to head along Koval Lane which is a side street at the intersection of Koval & Winnick. 

A very unforgettable site emerged which consisted of  a salt and pepper team, a white guy and black girl who were holding hands as if in love dramatically began tip toeing through the very wet intersection holding their shoes in their free hand. 

The salt and pepper team walked right in front of my taxi and this action caused me to slam on the brakes or else they would have landed on my windshield like a bug about to splatter its guts all over my clean glass. 

I was forced to stop!

 Or else call the undertaker! 

As my fully loaded taxi van came to an abrupt halt which contained the rambunctious family that I personally plucked from the airport; at that moment the right front tire of the taxi immediately began the sink process directly into the liquid mud that supported the tire, engine, taxi driver plus the tourist.  The lovely family from the airport was forced out of my taxi by these very real  unforeseen elements that their travel agent did not bother to mention which originated from mother nature and the somewhat happy family proceeded to walk to their hotel in the mud.

I called the dispatcher for a tow truck.  The dispatcher replied with the same answer, there are 30 other taxis waiting for the same tow truck...

My thoughts concluded the best action to take was to dig myself out or wait the rest of the afternoon and night guarding a taxi in the mud. 

As the sun started to lose altitude the desire to make a buck while  proceeding forward in my personal pursuit to attain happiness  was strengthened to the thought  of waking up surrounded by a new day without floods on my taxi shift created more motivation for the rambling brains cells that occupied my present existence on this unique earth we all live on.

Resembling a man recently ship wrecked on an island behind the one and only Treasure Island hotel and Casino I started digging with my hands with sticks and whatever else I found.

I pre-positioned rocks and planks of boards under the front wheel drive Chrysler American made mini taxi van without renowned success. The wheels kept spinning and I was moving no where, very fast!

A passing city road construction worker who had a two way radio rambling simultaneously hanging his head out of  a four wheel drive pickup  was cruising by at about five miles per hour and I asked him for a pull or push.  His reply was, no way!  My previous subconscious fighting days as a teenager resurfaced and my vocal cords spurted out a tremendous array of vocal vocabulary words which simply reverted to the cuss out position and the words rolled off the edge of my tongue which somehow convicted and convinced that employed construction worker it was his fault for not paving Koval lane for the last five years and him and his buddies were responsible for  leaving up the road construction signs simply to piss off taxi drivers and collect over time pay. 

The construction worker disappeared for 10 minutes then returned with an army of friends and an enormous bull dozer and the reconstructed simulated Hogan hero crew began the process of pulling me out of the mud...

The construction workers simply did not have a rope. 

Their actions produced an unsuccessful  attempt to rescue this unique Mexican American taxi driver which was concluded as another failed mission by the Las Vegas road construction workers so in order to deal with the pain this very unique crew incurred  fulfilling their daily duties, the entire labor force continued  marching forward on the path of righteousness which leads to the local bar they normally hang out utilizing the tax payers hard earned cash.

 

Many people stopped and offered to help but there was not much that could be done without a rope. 

The reason is all these new cars are made of plastic and if you try pushing or picking them up they fold like a coke can, in other words there is no bumper just plastic.

The cops stopped!

Looked at me!

And started laughing then drove off.

All a sudden! 

An old man with no voice came to my rescue with a rope, he lives in the apartments on the east side of Koval at the intersection of Winnick he was watching the show from his balcony.

I tied the borrowed rope to the bottom of a Van that belonged to a tourist on vacation who offered his services for free.

  My Thanks! 

 Again! 

To all the people that stopped to help, as for the cops that stopped and laughed at me as all I can say is your day will come...

You can see more pictures of the flood by clicking this link to: Las Vegas in a Picture!

                     

 

 


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