Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Cabcharge, muthafucka! Last week I was at the office and on my way to the loo, I overheard a conversation in one of the upstairs offices through the ajar door. I should add that our new office is in an Arts Precinct, and quite a few of the other tenants are byzantine arts-admin bureaucrats whose work is all about brokering grants and liaising with artists and generally facilitating shit. So I overheard this woman saying in the most Prue-and-Trude voice, "Well, just take a Cabcharge!"

Wow. That's the kind of life I want to be leading. None of this walking through the public transport dead zone to get to goddamn North Melbourne. I recounted this corridor-to-Damascus moment at our editorial meeting, and we agreed that, fuck interstate and overseas expansion, further events or increased print runs - we will only be a bona fide arts organisation when we get Cabcharge! Penny even put it on her to-do list as a joke. It's still there. By god, I will not rest until we can rap:
Jeremy: Lonsdale and Swanston!
Me: Step on it, sucka!
Jeremy: What you wanna do, Mel?
Me: Cabcharge, muthafucka!
So today I began my investigation. Initial reports were unfavourable. It might be okay for large bureaucracies and corporations, but not for magazine start-ups that struggle to fund each issue. Cabcharge extorts a service fee of 10% of every booking. Even if a month's fares work out to less than $60, there's a minimum service fee of $6 (or a minimum of $72 in service fees over a year). That's on top of the cost of the trips themselves. But there's good news: they give you the Cabcharge dockets and charge cards for free! Oh good. I'm glad we don't have to pay to obtain the basic materials that enable us to use their service.

In order to live this Cabcharge dream, I will need to implement a money-making scheme of Macchiavellian proportions. Perhaps it's time to bring back the Disco Beer Ghost Tour. Any further suggestions would be welcome.

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