Monday, March 06, 2006
So a gay cowboy gets in my cab...
This is Elliott and Allen, two of my friends from the garage. They're standing in front of a retired roof ad for a band I never heard of but I thought it was funny -- and kind of stupid -- that they're called "Train" and their album is called "Cab."
On one of the lockers behind them is this old sticker advertising the defunct NYC Taxi Drivers Union. Believe it or not, taxi drivers once had a union that sort of protected them, sort of not, according to the old-timers. Apparently the union lost what little power it had and faded away after the taxi leasing system was put into effect. The quote above the image of the hands says, "It's nice to be nice." Perhaps the union would've survived if their slogan told drivers it pays to be nice.
As for my shift tonight, it wasn't great. In fact, it was pretty fucking slow. Early on I picked up a middle-aged guy from Penn Station who unloaded a whole story about how he just broke up with his boyfriend of 15 years. When I asked why, he told me that the boyfriend had begun doing a shitload of crystal meth, staying up all night having sex on the internet, and just generally acting like an asshole. I asked, "How'd he get into doing crystal?" He explained simply by saying, "We have a house in Fire Island." That explains everything. (For those who don't know, Fire Island is a predominantly gay beachfront party town on Long Island where lots of guys go to get away from the city, relax, have sex, do drugs, and/or engage in other forms of debauchery.)
Once the big awards show was over, a very drunk gay cowboy flagged me down. I'm not kidding. He was wearing a cowboy hat, a fringed suede jacket, and cowboy boots. He was so wasted, probably from trying to drink away the pain of losing to "Crash," that he could barely tell me where to go. I said, "Where to?" He responded, "Down the street." I might've enjoyed having a gay cowboy in my cab, or even this city boy dressed as a gay cowboy for Oscar night, but it's just no fun when people can't tell me where to go. "Okay, which street? Do you know the address?" He was having trouble speaking, but finally managed to slur out an intersection that made sense.
When we pulled up, he said, "Where's the gay place?" When I told him I had no idea what he was talking about, he replied emphatically, "The gay place. There's a gay bar around here somewhere." I looked around but only saw some shitty bar & grill type place that definitely looked straight, so I just said, "I don't know, but good luck finding it." It was a bit rude of me, but there was no way I was gonna get stuck driving around looking for a bar with someone that drunk. He spilled out of the cab mumbling some unintelligible jumble of words and I just drove away. The incoherent drunks are always annoying, but I guess if there had to be a theme to my night, I'd rather have it be "Brokeback Mountain" than "Crash."