Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thank you, come again....

Today I sat in Coop's bar on Decatur talking business with a veteran of the Quarter.  I listened to the war stories like a grunt transfered to Afghanistan from Iraq.  This guy was a hardcore dysfunction junky like myself, having tended bar, bounced doors and hustled at some of the most twisted drinking establishments in New Orleans. He's seen so much of what would cause a middle America to need therapy over after witnessing, it's just wallpaper to him.  I'm not totally green. For five years I drove cab on the Jersey shore.

I got so I could tell what the drunk college girl had to drink that night by the smell of her vomit on my backseat. I've had Belmar PD bounce the head of a drunken Guido off of the hood of my cab while cuffing him, leaving a greasy face print of a grimace on the hood.  I've heard a good friend and coworker scream on the dispatch radio that he had been cut during a robbery. I've driven up on lawns at 3 in the morning to avoid a head on collision with some drunk swerving into my lane because "he could make it home ok." 

Abusive and belligerent drunks picking fights, threatening and pissing me off to the point where I spun the Crown Vic around and gunned the engine aiming for them after I kicked them out onto the street. When my dispatcher said they called him saying I tried to run them over I responded calmly "Who are you going to believe? Some drunk asshole that I had to kick out of my cab or your loyal driver who comes in every night and makes you money?"

 "I have a seat belt and airbag, it's not my car and I hate this job, go ahead, start shit."

Some of my favorite moments were the times I literally threw tip money into the face of customers and telling them to go fuck themselves. I once dragged a drunk from my backseat onto a side walk and rummaged through his pockets taking out my fare plus a very generous tip. I rolled him over face down so he wouldn't choke to death on his own vomit. That was the responsible thing to do. Yea, ok I kicked him in the ass once as I returned to my cab. Once you work in the service industry catering to the likes of the French Quarter or the Jersey Shore, every other profession seems boring.

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