It was nearing three o’clock on a Sunday morning, the hour at which bars disgorge their more dedicated patrons. Eastbound on Irving in Portage Park, when a round-faced woman ran out from the Nite Cap calling, “I’ve got one more inside, will you wait please?” I turned on the meter and waited. The marquee above the door advertised a week’s worth of heavy metal cover bands. She came back out with a blond version of herself in tow. “I can’t believe I got a cab this quick out here, thought for sure we’d be stranded for hours,” she said. “You’re our hero!”

They were probably in their early 40s, dolled up for a night out, with makeup showing the strain of many hours’ service. The brunette gave a Roscoe Village address and we shoved off. I hopped on the Kennedy to skip a few traffic lights and when we exited on Addison, they asked if we could stop at the White Castle on the corner of Kedzie.