Wednesday, November 02, 2005

the promised cab driver story

it must have been about dusk sunday night when i struggled up to the curb. my plane out of milwaukee had a few small but confusing delays, and i had three huge suitcases, two carryons and a purse. i was wearing an old sweatshirt and circles under my eyes. i guess i looked uncommon enough experience for me.

maybe that is why i did not blink when the taxi driver looked me up and down and shook his head before he loaded my suitcases into the cab.

as i closed the door, he said over his shoulder: "no, no need to tell me where you want to go. you are student. you are going to university."

"ah...yes," i said. "midtown manhattan."

"you are going to the film school," he said approvingly. "you are going to bigshot school."

"well, kinda..." the guy's wearing a turban; think i'll leave the 'yeshiva' part out of it. "my dorm's on madison and--"

"oh, you go to jewish university!"

at this point i began to wonder if we would ever leave la guardia.


"i thought so. i look at that girl and i say oh no, it is one of those girls. one of those students. good girls, but not businesswomen. you must become businesswomen.'



"alright already, i go! sheesh! have patience! listen, you are already going to new york for many months, right? no, you no have to tell me. i see it in your face. you are young girl. is very nice, but you must have sense. must have sense! i know what you are thinking. all you young girls think same thing. you think, oh, new york, is great city for dancing. yes?"


He slams the steering wheel impatiently with both hands. "NO DANCING! if you want to succeed, no boys and no dancing! i see all people in my cab, all sad young girls, and they not study, only they go out to dance. then what happens, what happens, you tell me--i know! i see it! then they think oh, i want to become businesswoman and become million dollar woman, but can they? no. no, they cannot! because they not study enough. and i say, why you not study? why if you want to graduate and become business woman, and make million dollar, NAME YOUR OWN DOLLAR, why they not study? and they say 'oh, a boy is nice to me.' now look at me. are you looking at me?'

'well, i'm actually looking at the highway. i think--look over there, does that look kind of like an accident to you?--'

'look at cab driver. boys is not nice. boys is wickedest things in the world. wicked, wicked creatures. believe nothing they say to you. now you, you are nice girl, you can become great business woman in the world! what you need with boys? NOTHING. you need only to graduate and become rich and number one woman in the world. then you can be making all the money, you TELL the boys what to do. that is the strength of women in america! you not silly girl who know nothing. you can be most powerful and rich! just listen to wise cab driver who know everything. ok, you no have father, you father, maybe you are cooking for him, cleaning for him, whatever, at home, and he is looking out for you. now you are in new york, that is not so.'


'Beep beep to you too! these people, so impatient all of them! they not see i am making a point? look. listen to me. you no have father, i will be your father.'

in my head a little voice goes: ABORT! ABORT! ABORT!

'look at me.'

He stops in the middle of the highway. he just stops. admittedly, the traffic is not moving very fast, but it is moving.

i look at him, nodding desperately, motioning to the wheel.

'boys,' he says, pausing for a minute to reflect on this, as the cars try to make their way around us, 'boys want to hurt you only.'


'Ok! ok! there is time, sir, time!' he makes minimal adjustments to the steering wheel without looking. 'i have three daughters. three of them. listen to the wisdom of your father: i say to you that boys will hurt you only. so i tell you what you say to them. you say, thank you, is very nice, but you not be nice back. you say i am great business woman, i am studying in university, i have no time for you. i must make a million dollars and graduate. no dancing, no marrying. no marrying! look at me--"

"do you know where my dorm is?"

"look at me! no marrying! only when you are great business woman--then if you want to, ok! ok? you understand me? you understand? yes? good. ok! now, you are from where? milwaukee? how you like football game?"


Blogger tuesdaywishes said...

You know, he does have a point, and it's the plot of most drugstore novels. Smart women do stupid things when men are around. Aren't you glad to be in an all-women's college?

7:37 PM  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

I like this guy.

8:23 PM  
Blogger persephone said...

Oh fudge, I am laughing, laughing.

Welcome back to New York. :)

9:13 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...


Ah, one of the few parts of this God-forsaken city (or is that forsaking God city?) that I like. The pure comedy.

Welcome back. :)

10:03 PM  
Blogger Safranit said...

That was just great. If any guys bother you just tell them about your father with the turban, that is a bit more threatening than PT ;)

11:50 PM  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

I will get a turban.

7:12 AM  
Blogger Doctor Bean said...

Why you mocking wise driver? He good man. Very good man. I hope you tip very big, especially because you will be rich business woman.

12:26 PM  
Blogger fudge said...

oh, at this rate, i will be the richest businesswoman in the world.

9:56 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Balabusta said...

maybe you can get the turbanwearing cab driver to drive you to J2 at 1 a.m.

He probably knows where that is too.

7:45 PM  
Blogger 30cal said...

They never get so serious with us nice jewish boys. i have no idea why. we never hurt noone. :(

1:37 PM  
Blogger torontopearl said...

Did you happen to have a hidden microphone in your sweatshirt?
You captured every fine nuance of this cabbie...and presented them wonderfully well. Forget being a fine businesswoman, "You be fine journalist!"

10:26 AM  
Blogger Chaikers said...

omg rele this was so hilarious i just HAD to send it to my brother! haha histerical!!

7:58 PM  

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