Disclaimer: This is exactly the sort of example of buffoonery that will be filling this blog with content aplenty.
As far as state capitals go, Augusta ME (2012 estimated population: 18,946) isn’t the most bustling place. I knew this when I accepted the job, and honestly I’m looking forward to seeing how the small-town lifestyle treats me after living in a comparably massive city for the first 28 years of my life.
So on my first Friday night in town I wanted to mix with the locals a little bit and absorb some culture. Okay, and a bunch of beers. That’s really what I wanted to absorb. The most popular area with folks my age (and of every age, I’m guessing) to have a few brews to kick off the weekend is a little town called Hallowell, a couple of miles south of Augusta. It’s an easy five-minute drive away from my current temporary digs but, being the responsible citizen I am (with a foreign driver’s license and a rental car to boot), I opted to get a taxi to take me out drinkin’.
So I punch “Augusta ME taxi company” into Google on my phone and am presented with a list of options. The first time it gives me a map of the other Augusta, in Georgia, with a bunch of company numbers, but I’M TOO SMART TO FALL FOR THAT!
I re-Google and get a rundown of cabs in my version of Augusta, finding it difficult to go past Speedy Cab of Augusta. I mean, I’m hungry and thirsty – who better to choose than someone “speedy” right? I touch the Call link on my phone and it flashes up a number which I summarily ignore and touch Yes to dial it.
In hindsight, the dispatcher did sound a little more ethnically diverse than the 99 per cent Caucasian population of this small town implies, but what the hell do I know? He tells me my cab will be 15 minutes and I said I’d wait outside.
Fifteen minutes goes by and I head out into the frozen tundra to wait. And wait. And wait. It’s -12*C at this point, and I go back into the house to wait more when three of my fingers drop off due to frostbite. A minute or two after I go back inside, my phone starts ringing. A nifty trick with iPhones in the US is that they’ll tell you what state the caller is dialing from, or at least what state their number is from, based off the area code. This one?
“Hey buddy, taxi’s here. Where are you?”
“Listen man. I’m really sorry but I think I’ve booked a cab in Augusta Georgia, not Augusta Maine. I’m an idiot.”
Both he and the cab driver I eventually got to come pick me up thought this was hilarious.