For years, my friend Greg Benjamin has used YellowCab666 as his online handle, in honor of an actual taxi in San Francisco. Now, it turns out that the latest cabbie to hold that particular taxi medallion number, Michael Byrne, believes that it's cursed. He convinced assistant commission executive director Jordanna Thigpen to request that the board retire medallion No. 666 forever. Unfortunately for Byrne, the commission voted 5-1 yesterday that the number should live on. From a pre-vote San Francisco Chronicle article:
Byrne, a 30-year veteran driver, was assigned No. 666 only last August, Thigpen said, after another applicant refused to accept the number. Since then, sources said, Byrne has been involved in at least one accident -- even after taking the precaution of having the cab blessed at Mission Dolores.And from a post-vote article:
"Do I believe in the Mark of the Beast myself?'' Thigpen said in an interview. "No. But there is a lot of negative energy around that cab. If we can help somebody out, why not do it? If something's a nuisance, it's our duty to get rid of it, right?''
A commission clerk, who asked not to be identified, said Byrne "had many deaths around him and his family'' and that getting rid of the cursed number "is an idea that speaks for itself.'' Link
"How dare you take Lucifer's number away,'' said Thomas George-Williams, president of the cab drivers union, who was sporting the red horns (at the hearing). "This is a serious issue.''
A cabbie named Tom warned the commission that it was "opening a can of worms" and would soon be deluged with requests to retire other numbers. A cabbie named Barry pointed out that 666 was the address of SS Peter and Paul's Church on Filbert Street, an outfit not thought to be in Satan's pocket. A cabbie named Grasshopper said it was a "bad idea to get into mysticism and voodoo.'' Link