This weekend I was telling my cousins the following story about my (then) most recent cab ride. It was insanely ridiculous and a bit entertaining. Afterwards Shelby insisted it was blog-worthy material so here it goes…
Friday night I partied hard in the Lower East Side with my cousins. The youngest amongst us, Renny, was visiting NYC and celebrating her 22nd birthday so we knew we had to show her a good time. Consequently I got quite inebriated, so much in fact that at the end of the night it was decided I take a cab home instead of the usual train. My cousin Kenny (and Renny’s older brother) found a parked cab with his light on (a lit light indicates an available cab) so after giving me a hug goodbye, he and Renny took off down the street.
Immediately the African cabbie started rambling about how he wasn’t available because he was late picking up his wife and it was imperative that he head that way ASAP. As he was going on his tirade I quickly opened the door and jumped in. The cabbie was pissed and yelled at me to get out. After going back and forth, he drove a block before pulling over to the left, turning off the ignition and getting out. At this point I started getting nervous.
Is he about to open this door and drag me out? I hope Kenny isn’t too far away…
Instead he headed into a convenience store for a few moments then came back out and continued to argue with me, insisting I exit his cab immediately. He also let it slip that he wasn’t married and was actually headed to link up with a young tenderoni. Finally, I agreed to a compromise: I’d get out after he hailed me another cab. “Alright babe. Give me a second. I’m going to take care of you,” he said. Did he just call me “babe?” It was only a few moments before I saw a second cab pull up on the right side of ours. As I exited from the left side of the cab and walked around the back towards the awaiting one, the waiting one abruptly pulled off from it’s parked position, leaving me stranded.
Behind me the African cab driver was rushing to the drivers side of his own cab, ready to hop in and leave me in the middle of the street I’m sure. I’m not having that. I beat him to the cab, hopped back in and really refused to get out this time. The cabbie weighed his options and then completely changed his tone. What had previously been a rude, loud aggressive cretin had become a sweet, purring apologetic gentleman who offered to let me hold onto his cab keys and not relinquish them until after I was safe and sound in a new cab that he was going to hail for me.
After accepting the keys and tucking them securely away into my coat pocket, I found myself walking in the middle of Delancy St, arm in arm with this cab driver, while whining to him about how hard it is being a Black woman trying to hail a cab and get safely home. “I know, I know baby. Don’t you worry. I’m going to take good care of you,” he repeated over and over again. He asked for my name and I gave it.
“Okay Ashley, this new cab driver is going to get you home. Now what’s your number so I can make sure you’re properly taken care of and I can keep in touch with you?” He asked after a second cab finally pulled over and agreed to take me to Brooklyn. I laughed to myself as he fumbled with his phone, clumsily hitting the ignore button to the numerous incoming calls (no doubt from the young tenderoni he was extremely late picking up). After climbing into the waiting cab, I handed him back his car keys and after rambling off a fake number, he proceeded to call me on the spot. I hurriedly closed the door, rattled off my address to the new cabbie and was off across the Williamsburg Bridge headed back to Brooklyn, leaving that ridiculous African cabbie behind.