Friday, December 15, 2006

Taxi Driver Confessions

Have you ever had one of those surreal experiences that you look back on and go “WTF?” Well, I had one of those recently and I’m still kinda titillated by it.

It was the night of the company party. Free food and free booze, whilst surrounded by the same darn people you see day in and day out. Only everybody is frisky and festive. So this party -- how do I explain it? It’s not like anything was wrong with the party, per se. It’s that it never really seemed to get going. People seemed to be frisky and festive, but the party somehow didn’t lend itself to accommodating that feeling. Leaving everyone with a kind of “Okay, what do we do now?” feeling.

Derek left early since he had been working like crazy, leaving me with Jodi, my sometime partner in crime. Check us out. Doesn’t Jodi look like a total movie star babe?

Since the party was just not worthy of our cuteness, we split and went to Lola’s to consume what was to become my new favorite drink: The Pumpkin Martini. I’m not even that much into pumpkin pie, but OMG!!! These things go down WAY too easy. We hung out with a couple of nice gentlemen who were kind enough to let us cheese in on their table, had some laughs and good conversation, and as the night wore on into the wee hours, I decided to call the cab company on my taxi voucher that our company had provided me and let them know Cinderella was ready to come home from The Ball.

Some time later, the four of us were out in front, waiting for my chariot when a black Lincoln Towncar with black tinted windows pulled up. We all looked at each other and wondered where Tony Soprano was. Then my phone rang -- this was my ride! The window of the car rolled down, and behind the wheel --I shit you not-- sat a living breathing specimen that could only be named Schlomo: big giant bushy beard, likely with small creatures hiding inside it, short conservative haircut, spectacles. He had a very interesting accent, and turns out he was South African. I wanted to hop in the front seat with him, but Jodi, being more pragmatic, insisted I sit in back and be a queen, so that’s what I did.

Getting lonely in the backseat and a tiny bit tipsy after two big Pumpkintinis, I asked Schlomo to tell me about the craziest fares he had ever seen in his car. Having to drive me from WeHo to Encino, I figured this would kill some time. And writers love to hear this kind of thing.

People. Schlomo spilled it ALL. I can't tell you the stories he told me because, come on, this is not a porno site. But he did not hold back any detail. People do some CRAZY. ASS. THINGS. in a cab. We’ve all seen the show, Taxicab Confessions. People, that shit is REAL. I don’t shock that easily, having spent my entire life in L.A. and its vicinity. I think I’ve done and seen a lot of crazy shizz. But my ears were turning red and I was stunned by his stories, stunned I tell you! And his soft, matter-of-fact voice and unassuming appearance just added to the shock value. Schlomo had seen it all and he was quite the divulgent one. Although he didn't mention any names, to protect the not-so-innocent, I suppose.

Well, needless to say, the ride flew by, and I was sad when we finally pulled up in front of my house and I had to bid Schlomo adieu. I pray for the day I am able to have another such interesting cab ride. But until then, Schlomo, if you’re out there, thank you for your supreme candor. Your stories and your style of telling them most certainly made my evening.