You never forget your first puker. Within a month or two of starting this job, I got a call to a tavern nearly an hour after bar close, so I assumed I was getting a waitress or some other staffer. The parking lot is almost deserted of cars, but there is a young guy standing out front with a bicycle. I pull up and he turns back to a little courtyard beside the bar and gestures to somebody back there to “come here”. I get out and the guy says to me, “Hey, I just need to go a short way, but my girl can’t drive… can I throw my bike in your trunk?”
Most drivers hate sticking a bike in their trunk, and it happens more frequently than you might think. Good rule of thumb: someone with a bike probably isn’t going to tip worth a shit. But even though this young guy is on a bike, he looks clean and well-groomed, he’s polite, and he’s probably not a dishwasher or a barback somewhere. He’s dressed kinda “urban” in a ball cap, baggy shorts, and casual shoes, but they are nice shorts and nice shoes… he looks like he has money, or at least a decent job.
Then, in my peripheral vision, I see his girl… being carried out by two guys, with her arms slung around their necks, head lolled back, semi-concious at best. She has thick, curly blonde hair, wearing a short skirt with a slit up one leg, slutty heels (previously removed and carried by one of the guys), and a backless, loose, and plunging halter top sorta thing that showed off her well-done boob job quite nicely. This was a top that requires you to remain sober when wearing it, staying mindful of your pose and posture. But when you are wasted and not paying attention, your tits are pretty much on full display. Perhaps that was the plan all along, given the bolt-ons she was sporting…
Anyway, the guys plop her down on a concrete planter that is conveniently just under ass height. One guy is bracing her, keeping her upright. The guy with the bike says, “Thanks, guys, I got this now that the taxi is here… thanks for your help…” Two quick bro-hugs, and the guys get in their car and go. I open my trunk and get the guy’s bike wrestled in, and just as I was about to strap down the the lid, I look over just in time to see the girl keel over sideways, bounce off the top rim of the planter, and fall onto the pavement, doing a 180 degree roll midflight and landing flat on her back. It sounded like a 120 pound bag of loose porkchops hitting the street… the wet smack of meat on asphalt.
She’s out cold, lying on her back, one erect silicone tit out of her blouse, legs akimbo, no panties, and no pubes. She has a pair of matching 5-point stars tattooed on either side of her pudenda. What is with the stars, anyway? Did some porn actress or pop star popularize that? I see these stars on porn actresses and strippers, and now everyday slutty chicks at the dance club have them… on their asses, on their hips, on their shoulders, on their ankles…. what is up with that?
Rather than rush to her aid, the guy with the bike just looks at her, and says under his breath, “Fuuuuuck…”
I say to the guy, “Dude, she looks like she needs an ambulance, not a taxi…”
He says, “She’ll be OK… we just gotta get her back to my place.”
I said, “Why don’t you drive her car?”
“Can’t… got a dooey (DUI) a few months ago. We aren’t going far.”
I said, “How much money do you have? If she pukes in my car, it’s a hundred bucks.”
“A hundred bucks…???”
“Damn right it is a hundred bucks,” I said. “If she spews, my night is over. I won’t get to make any more money tonight, plus I have to pay to get the car steam cleaned. On top of that, the day driver will have to take the day off while the car dries out, so I gotta throw him a little money, too. Have you got it?”
He opens up his wallet and shows me about 200 bucks. So we pick up the girl and plop her in the back seat, where she promptly slumps over on her side. I go back to the trunk to bungee the lid closed, and she yacks. A lot. A tremendous volume of vomit. Her thick curly hair actually served as a filter to catch most of the big chunks, but the seat and the floor are soaked with puke, and my stomach is twitching from the stench.
The guy says, “Fuuuuuck…” He fishes his wallet out and gives me 5 twenties. He pulls the girl out of the car, sits her on the pavement with chunky vomit dripping out of her hair and off her face and off her tits, and I am off to the 24 hour car wash to spend the rest of my night steam cleaning the car.
Since that night, I have carried a 3 gallon plastic bucket in my trunk that has my Car-Vac, paper towels, Lysol spray, bungee cords, flashlight batteries, and other assorted items I find useful in this job. If I pick up anyone that looks like they are a puke risk, I dump all that shit out in the trunk and make them hold the bucket all the way home. I call it The Bucket Of Shame, and it has saved from cleaning puke out of my car at least a half-dozen times. And even if they don’t end up needing it, their friends usually have a lot of fun razzing them about having to hold The Bucket Of Shame. People have taken pictures of their wasted friends holding it after a hard night of partying, and I am certain that it is on FaceBook more than once…
Of course, the real tragedy here is that I have a job where carrying a puke bucket is a good idea… the shame is mine.