Occasionally, I get people that have read my blog who think I am making this shit up. They say, “C’mon… people don’t really behave like this, do they? Are people really this crazy fucked up? You are at least exaggerating a little, right?”
No, I’m not. I don’t have the imagination to dream this shit up. If anything, I am astonished, horrified, and repelled when I encounter these people. And I get “crazy fucked up but not blog-worthy” every damned night.
For the last year or so, I have carried around an old, deactivated cellphone, that I keep charged up and in a neat little hidden place in my car, and if someone seems like they might be blog-worthy, or if they suddenly seem like they might be a problem or even a safety risk, I turn on the voice recorder and I have an audio recording of the ride, easy to download to my computer and to refer to later as I write about them.
So on a painfully slow Sunday night a few months ago, the manager of a nice restaurant calls me directly. Geraldo is a great guy that I drive home two or three times a month, sometimes more. It is always a nineteen dollar ride with a six dollar tip every time, so I always try to accommodate him. Tonight he says he has a patron that needs to go on a long ride that should be about sixty dollars or more, but she only has $45 cash and no cards. This is a severe discount with no tip forthcoming, but on a night this slow, there are damned few $45 rides to be found, and sometimes you just have to burn the gas and add the miles to your car, and go make the cash tonight. If you won’t do it, somebody else will…
As I was debating this ride in my head, but already driving in that direction, I heard a scuffling sound on the phone, like the patron wrestled Geraldo’s cellphone out of his hand, and this female voice says, “Don’t fuck with me, alright? I’m not some new girl on the block, I’m from D.C., ya know, so I know all about corruption and taxi schemes and dispatcher payola and the shit you guys do for organized crime and Rick Scott, so just send Mohammed or Mustaffa or Achmed over here, and let me talk to him directly, and let’s just cut out the dirty money, okay, mutherfugger?”
I said, “Uhhh… Wut?” but she ended the call.
So I pulled up in front of Geraldo’s restaurant three or four minutes later, and my keen taxi driving instincts told me that this was a situation I definitely want to survey first-hand, rather than wait for it to come staggering out the door toward me, so I parked and went inside. Geraldo shakes my hand as I come in, and he says, “I know this girl but I haven’t seen her in years, and I don’t know why she is acting like this… can you get her home?”
Sitting at the bar is an attractive woman about 35 or 40 years old, wearing a pretty sexy turquoise dress and high heels. She looks at me and says, “You aren’t Mohammed… where is my taxi driver?”
I said, “Well, I MIGHT be your taxi driver, ma’am, depending on how the next sixty seconds goes… now tell me again where you need to go?”
She says she needs to go to an address that I know is at least ten dollars past a well-known landmark hotel in another town, so this is a sixty dollar ride or better, but she SWEARS this has never been more than forty dollars before, and anything more than that is just being funneled to crime syndicates, and Governor Rick Scott is getting a fat slice.
Yeah, she seems a little off-kilter, but she doesn’t strike me as belligerent or violent, and she didn’t even really look or sound drunk, and tonight was REALLY slow, so I decided to take care of Geraldo’s patron, in order to maintain our good relationship and make a little money tonight. I told her to hand me the money and I head back to the car, and several of the staffers and patrons had this expression on their faces like she might have made some sort of scene before I got there, and Geraldo slips me a ten for getting her out of here.
A staffer from the restaurant follows me out, carrying a double-height milk crate, like two milk crates stacked on top of one another, but no “floor” in the top one, and it looks heavy. I can see a bunch of CD’s and a boom box on the bottom, some clothing, and what appears to be a bedroll and pillow on top. I opened my back hatch and the staffer put her crap in the back of my car, then I opened the passenger door for the woman, closed it behind her, and as I walked to my door, I wondered, “Who travels with a giant milk crate full of CD’s, a bedroll, and a pillow?”
And in that three or four seconds walking to the driver’s door, the only thing I could come up with is, “Hey, I have a place we can fuck…”
So we are on the way, and I asked her what happened, and she said her car broke down, so she found a safe parking place to leave her crippled car, and walked to Geraldo’s restaurant, carrying the heavy milk crate full of shit. But it was worth it, because she did some sort of “Rock The Vote” event today, and she did her part to get Rick Scott out of the Governor’s Mansion.
And then, she really started talking, and the shit she was spewing was just unbelievable. I turned on the voice recorder on my spare phone within ninety seconds or two minutes of her getting in the car. Sometimes when I get someone interesting in my car, I try to “steer” them into interesting conversations, but this chick knew the fast route to Crazytown much better than me, and I just let her talk. You might hear my voice four or five times… but my last line is pretty good…
So if I told you that this woman hopscotched around topics from blowing Bill Clinton to getting her car repossessed in college to rappers Naz and Tupac and Ice Cube (who, by the way, if you look closely, has two right hands) to Rick Scott killing his dog and feeding it to people by Meals On Wheels to getting thrown out of a Hallmark store to Clarence Thomas to locking down the cocaine market in this county to the email that could have prevented bath salts and cannabalism and that guy getting his face chewed off in Miami to figuratively thinking about skinning people and turning their thigh muscles into jerky and serving it to friends, that would be total bullshit, right?
My audio recording of this woman is 31:22 long. I edited out all the possibly identifying parts of this recording, and even with all that crazy shit edited out, it is still over 14 minutes long. Listen to the whole thing… if you skip 30 or 45 seconds, you might miss the part where she talks about getting an unwanted baby (there’s a lot of them in Florida) and cooking it in a locked car, just so she can get arrested and give an interview to Huffington Post.
No, really… she said that…
It’s an old saw, but it really is true. I just can’t make this shit up…