MAN, I HATE THAT
“Looking into your eyes, I see more than I came to
(from Peter Gizzi’s “Another day on the pilgrimage.”)
SATURDAY-NIGHT CAB RIDE HIGHLIGHTS
Me: Can you take me to 2500 Smith Street please?
Cabby: Sure. Lot of gays live in your neighborhood.
Me: Yeah. I guess they do.
Cabby: But you aren’t a gay, are you?
Me: … No.
Cabby: (Smugly satisfied at correct guess.) Me neither. I like gays, it’s my job to like them. But I’m straight person myself, so occasionally it’s nice to see the straight people. You know, you gotta have equilibrium.
Me: I never thought of it that way.
Cabby: What was going on in there?
Me: A dance.
Cabby: What kind of dance? Everybody looks nice.
Me: Lindy. A bunch of people are in from out of town for an exchange.
Cabby: Yeah, you look nice. All dressed up.
Me: (Shifts uncomfortably in seat.)
Cabby: (Leans out window jovially, calls to young guy walking down the street.) I got another one! (Extends hand.) Gimme five!
Young guy: (Pulls eyebrows together).
Cabby: (Motions with hand.) Gimme five!
Young guy: (Gives reluctant five.)
Cabby: That’s the last guy I dropped off.
Me: He didn’t seem too enthusiastic.
Cabby: Yeah, “I want a cab ride, buddy. Not an experience!” Heh….
(Swipes his hand over face, yanks ear, and rubs eye in a single rapid motion.)
(Minutes pass, Cabby talks incessantly in surprisingly intelligent albeit coked-up fashion. I learn he is 53, I learn he attended the same college I did, I learn he lived in Mexico with his wife and son, I learn he is higher than a kite looking for God in a tornado.)
Cabby: Wha? (Almost hits another car at a four-way-stop intersection.) Whoa. He blew that stop didn’t he?
Me: No. (Consider getting out of cab for 27th time since I got in. Decide Cabby will follow me up the street and begin to pray.)
Cabby: So what do you do?
Me: I’m an editor.
Cabby: For what?
Me: A little magazine.
Cabby: What magazine?
Me: A little magazine for Web developers.
Cabby: How much does that pay?
Cabby: ‘Cause my night vision is going, and I think editing would good for my eyes. That type of thing is good for your eyes.
Me: Actually, it’s really bad for–
Cabby: I have a son, Mark and he’s in school and I proofread his papers. I feel that’s something I can offer him, you know, to take his papers from… you know, to the next level. Like by editing them.
Me: Yeah. I’m on the right.
Cabby: How much do you make?
Me: Uh, about (Can’t believe I’m telling the cab driver my annual salary.)
Cabby: That’s pretty good. How could I get into that, because I do a lot of editing around, you know?
Me: (Gets out of cab.)
Cabby: (Talks at gunfire pace for an eternal three minutes with no pauses for air.)
Me: (Closes door, walks to gate.)
Cabby: (Rolls down passenger window, continues briefing me on his editing skills).
Me: (Nods, closes front door. Locks front door in every manner available. Leans with back to door like character in horrible Julia Roberts flick about a single girl fighting her way through the urban jungle. Has some ice cream to cement the deal.)
When a cat misbehaves you squirt a light mist of water in his face so he learns not to do something again. A societal equivalent would be so satisfying. When the girl at the coffee shop orders “a caramel frappucino with semi-dry foam,” you could just tap her on the nose with a rolled up magazine and say, “NO, Tiffany! Bad. NO.”
OVERHEARD: EXASPERATION ON THE J-CHURCH
Situation: After arguing with his father for a few minutes, a three-year-old boy is finally allowed to hold onto the pole instead of sitting down next to dad. Then Enthusiastic Drunken Bum takes an interest.
Enthusastic Drunken Bum: (Yells teasingly.) You’d better hold on!
Boy: (Glances in EDB’s general direction, pretends not to hear.)
EDB: I say, you better hold on!
Boy: (Turns back to EDB.)
EDB: You better hold on, there!
Boy: (Ignores him.)
EDB: You better hold on!
Flipping through a book on slang, I came across this:
Shout at (one’s) shoes To vomit.
LADIES NIGHT EXCERPT
Lady 1: I actually once wrestled in hot oil with another woman.
Lady 2: What? How did that come up?
Lady 1: It’s not as bad as it sounds, it was for an art project.
Lady 2: Riight. “Art.”
Lady 1: It was supposed to be kind of like a spoof of oil wrestling, but it was kind of weird because they asked us to fill in at the last minute so we didn’t really know what the piece was about.
Lady 3: Were you naked?
Lady 1: No, no. They just told us to wear a bikini or underwear or whatever we were comfortable in. It was kind of scary just before we went on. I’m thinking, “I’m about to get up in front of all these people I know and hot oil wrestle with another woman.”
Lady 2: No way. That makes you rad. That’s when your stock totally shoots up.
Lady 4: That’s when you go IPO.