Sometimes when you are driving a cab things just get worse and worse as the night moves along. Of course there are other days when nothing seems to go wrong and your night is filled with pleasant passengers with whom it is a pleasure to meet and the money stacks up nicely ( everyday is payday when you are driving). Last night was one of those bad nights.
I had spent the day with a friend running him around on different errands before actually starting to work at night and I only got three trips last night (I wasn’t trying that hard anyway and didn’t feel like working too hard on a slow night and enjoyed the company of my friend).
My first passenger was a real downer; I mean I don’t know what could have happened to get anyone with a heart and soul more down. I pulled up to Children’s Hospital and picked-up a mother, teenage daughter, and a six year old boy hooked-up to a breathing machine and took them to the Ronald McDonald House. The boy was a cute little skinny kid from the South and was in St. Louis awaiting a lung transplant. He was supposed to get operated on that night and get new lungs; but apparently the lungs that he was supposed to get died as they were being shipped to St. Louis.
I have no problem picking up passengers from gay bars and nightclubs, and I get along fine with my gay passengers when we treat each other with respect. There are a few gay passengers who are some of my favorite people to pick up and I look forward to riding with them; this guy wasn’t one of them.
The guy kept on touching my back and saying that he knew me from some club and I had to turn around and say “ muthafucka you don’t know me and I aint been in no fuckin club” and that cut the conversation short as I delivered him to another club.
I went to see a friend of mine at Maryland House in the CWE and ending up sitting for a while and shooting the shit with an eclectic group of an Israeli, Palestinian, Tunisian, Mauritanian, Mexicana, a Swiss woman a Russian woman, an Irishman, and an African-American singer. Driving off I decided that I would take another fare and that was the big mistake.
The next passenger I picked up at the Hi-Pointe Café (next to the movie theater and home to some good hip-hop shows). I noticed that when I pulled up that there was a fight between a white man and several black people but I could see what was happening What I did see is that the white man was heading for my cab and he got in and said with a perfect Irish brogue said “I need a bottle man, where can I get a bottle?” The gentleman had already had a few bottles (too many) I could tell and I didn’t want to see him drinking anymore but I decided that I would take him to the Pin-Up Bowl on Delmar to get another drink as he requested.
On the way driving up Skinker he began yelling “I hit those two fucking black cunts… I gave them a fucking southpaw…I am the fighting Irish….I fought the niggers in the Bronx and Ill fight them here… I was a boxer in Ireland” anyway, you guys get the point (he won’t be getting an NAACP Image Award any time soon).
When we pulled up to the Pin-up Bowl I could see a large group of well-dressed black men standing outside and my Irish passenger was yelling “ Ill fight the black niggers” and I turned to him and said “ maybe it is better that you get that bottle somewhere else”.
I took him to the Schnucks (a large supermarket) on Lindell and a bottle couldn’t be bought because it was too late and he said “Ill just have to steal it” and I told him” no you don’t have to do that because I have an after-hours connection where I can get you a bottle” and I was true to my word, if not my deen, and got him the bottle just so he would shut the fuck up (which he didn’t). (He also wanted to bet me 20 bucks about his chances of beating up both security guards and I declined).
Driving on Kingshighway towards Highway 40 I pulled up next to a black man at the light and he was driving a car with spinning rims, a loud system, and some kind of a pimped-out paint and interior job. My Irishman just could not leave it alone and yelled out of the window “that’s a nice car, did you steal it?”
On the highway things calmed down and he told us stories of Ireland and his life in London, his hatred of the British, his love of the IRA and his mother. His philosophy on women was espoused “when you love a woman you have to treat her good; but you have to let these dirty fucking whores know who the man is”. Next he began calling friends and reciting poetry and telling them of his friendship and the calls included calls to Ireland and he asked people to check up on his mother. Then he got poetic with one friend who told he was lucky to have a friend like him, and that they both traveled the lonesome road, and said “a man only has three things in this world and those are his word, fresh air, and opportunity and without that he is dead”.
Shortly thereafter my night came to an end, alhamdudilah.