Monday, August 10, 2015

Taxi Confessions

A woman drove into our parking lot, pulled into a stall and bumped into the disabled parking sign. It folded back under the bumper of her cobalt blue PT cruiser then sprang back into place when she backed up an inch or two. She got out without checking her bumper and walked to my door. She stumbled once or twice taking a slightly indirect route.

“Hi there, got your ID?”
“Yup” she said and handed me her wallet with the ID showing through the little plastic window. She was in her 30s, definitely old enough to know not to drink and drive. I wasn't sure if she was drunk or had some sort of disability, which would explain parking in the disabled spot. Maybe a little of both.

“How’s your night going?” I asked.
“Had a couple drinks already?”
“How many?” I asked.
“A couple” she lied.
“Well, you’re a little stumbly. I’m going to let you in but I’m gonna keep an eye on you. And I want you to drink some water.”

I handed her back her ID and stepped aside. She walked to the bar and sat down. A moment later a Jager Bomb and a Pint appeared in front of her. Perfect.

Time passed, she got up to dance by herself. She did kind of a strip tease, slowly taking off her long sweater. She got her arm caught in the sleeve and turned round and round in a circle trying to free it, but never quite catching up to it. Eventually she freed herself and returned to her strip tease. It looked like she was trying to take a shower with her clothes on, randomly squatting down to pick up the invisible soap she’d dropped. She was starting to attract attention.

Eventually a guy walked up to the dancefloor and started chatting her up. They sat down together and had a drink, she leaving her sweater and wallet on the dancefloor.
The night thumped on.  At some point I carded two larger women in their late 30s, and quite flattered to be ID’d. They went in, looked around. Suddenly the larger of the two came flying out and ran to her car.

Her friend trailed but stopped for some reason to explain it to us. It turns out it was the other girl's husband that was now chatting up our stumbling dirty dancer. He was supposed to be out meeting a friend. I got the impression that the wife came out specifically to keep an eye on him.

Meanwhile Dirty Dancer had gone back to her spot at the bar, blissfully oblivious to all of this. The wife came in and tore a strip of the husband and they all went outside to fight. A few minutes later his buddy showed up to find everyone in the parking lot arguing. He left immediately. I was worried the large wife was going to try and take out her frustration on the relatively small, drunk Dirty Dancer. I explained to the wife's friend that I didn't think Dirty Dancer realized what was going on. The friend caught my drift and said they were leaving anyway. 

At this point we had cut Dirty Dancer off and the bar staff were feeding her water. I told the guys that I would have them bring her out when the next cab showed up. She was having a hard time sitting without falling and I certainly didn’t want to have her try and drive. 

We got her outside and I asked how she was. She was fine.
“Can I get you a cab?”
“Alright, there’s one over here” I said, leading her to the line of cabs.

The sliding door of the van opened and she stumbled trying to get in. I gave her a hand up. The cabbie then said “Do you have cash? I don’t have a debit machine”
“Well that’s a problem” she said.
“No it's ok, there’s a bank machine right there, I can take you there and you can get out some money in the drive thru” he said.
“NO! I’m not paying extra because you don’t have a machine!” she said.
“Oh I won’t start the meter until you get your money out” he replied, trying to make things right.
She looked at me for confirmation, so I explained it to her again.
“No,” she said,  “He doesn’t understand his machine”
I looked confused, the cabbie looked confused. “Do you want to try another cab that has debit?” I asked.
She nodded.

At the same time a group of guys was passing us.  One of them had overheard the tail end of our exchange and said “Hey, that one takes debit, the one we just got out of” pointing to a taxi.

I turned and said thanks. The guy had a thick wad of 20s in his hand. “Shit, nevermind” he said, leaned in and handed the cabbie a 20. “Is that enough to get her home?” he asked.

“Yes!” said the cabbie.
Relieved this was resolved, I started to shut the door, when she said “I don’t want your money”


“It’s ok, I won a shitload at the casino” said the guy and walked on towards the door.
I looked at the girl and she seemed a little overwhelmed by so much happening. I asked if that was ok and she said sure. I closed the door and walked away, shaking my head.

Halfway to my post I heard the cabbie yelling to me. I turned.  He was waving, frustrated. 

“She wants ME to pay HER” he said shrugging.
“She says I owe her 20$, you talk to her” he said.

Well shit. How is this my problem again?? I headed back to the cab.

I could see movement through the windshield. Suddenly I realized she was climbing over the seat, falling onto the back row. Then she climbed over the back seat and fell into the cargo space of the cab. She looked like a marine going over a log obstacle in basic training. All of this in a short skirt and heels. The cabbie gave me a 'What the hell is going on!?' look. I opened the door and stuck my head in through the side. She was still hiding in the back.

“Hey there” I said.
“Hi” she said plainly.
“Whatcha doin’ back there?”
“I don’t feel comfortable being in this vehicle anymore” she replied, matter-of-factly.
“Ok, you wanna get out?”
“Yes” she replied from her hidey hole.
“Ok, we’ll open the back door for you”

So we slowly opened the back door, stuffing our hands up underneath to keep her from falling to the pavement. She swung around and eased out. I waved to the cabbie to leave it with us, he was off the hook.

“I’m gonna walk” she declared.
“Yes, I think that’s best” she decided.
“Ok, well, you’re a little drunk and stumbly and I want you to get home safe”
“Yes, I’m stumbly” she said.
“I’ll tell you what, you can come back inside and drink some water if you want and maybe sober up a little before you walk home. Is that ok?”
“Yes” she said.
“Ok, cool, but just water, no more booze ok”
“No booze” she said.

I let the bartenders know the deal, parked her on a bench and kept an eye out.
Almost immediately some dick head wandered over and started hitting on her like a vulture picking at the drunkest carcass he could find. He kept trying to buy her drinks and the bar staff kept telling him no. Eventually he went back to his perch with his greasy friends. Before long she met a new group of guys who began chatting her up. The vulture eyed them all jealously.

Eventually someone bought her a tequila. Before she had a chance to drink it CT intervened and got her outside. She broke her end of the deal. She said she understood.

I took her to where the cabs were and she decided to smoke. She was joined by some other guy who had been chatting her up inside. The vulture came out to see where she’d gone, angry to find her attention directed at another male. Feathers ruffled, he waddled back into the bar, looking for his next victim.

Eventually she got into a cab and was gone for the night. I have no idea how she paid.

The next day I stopped into the bar for breakfast and found her car was gone. I don’t know if she came back and got it, or if it had been towed for being parked in a disabled spot.  Either way, I’m sure we’ll see her again before too long.