Taxi Tales:

New Year’s traditions, sexual advances from prisoners and other North Idaho fun

By Louie de Palma
Reader Road Warrior

Two days into the new year I find myself parked at the Dairy Depot drive-through while a very belligerent customer of mine loudly demands a can of chew, a tall Pabst Blue Ribbon and three condoms. He then informs the nervous clerk the condoms are indeed to be used on me, for his intentions are to use his last free night “wearing me out” before going to prison for a year the very next morning.

It was then I realized my mistake in cutting corners with my New Year’s good luck traditions. You see, New Year’s Day I substituted eating black eyed peas for listening to The Black Eyed Peas, and instead of eating collard greens, I had a green Tabasco-flavored Slim Jim. Having hardly slept in a few days catering to the holiday rush, this was the best I could do. Clearly it had not worked in bringing me good luck or fortune.

This was not the first time I’ve had to deal with sexual advances while sleep-deprived in my cab. Like all humans who deal with bullshit for money I am practiced at grinning and bearing, bearing and grinning, while skirting a near-disastrous situation with ease and comedy. I informed the clerk that the gentleman was not my type and that I had a latex allergy so the condoms were not necessary. Everyone laughed, and the situation relaxed. My customer asked me if I wanted a juice. I declined, and he called me a homo. That was that, and we were on our way.

Another time, I was waiting for a woman to finish her business with her probation officer. I found myself chatting with my client’s sister who chose to wait with me. She was a dapper lady whose mullet and overalls were on point. At first the conversation was mild as she commented on the man mowing the snow with his snow mower and how she was a registered ninja. I was impressed to say the least. Then she told me a story about how she was jumped once at a bus stop and stabbed twelve times in the head with an ice pick and did nothing to defend herself. We both agreed that her sensai would be ashamed of her. But her main concern was that she might leak water out of her head when she drinks. I comforted her and assured her I had seen nothing leaking so far. Suddenly the mood changed and she became very complimentary, informing me of my handsome wiles and how strong my name is. I tried to ignore it, but then the conversation took a jiggly turn. She informed me of her fantasy to take someone like me hiking someday and fill a sleeping bag with Jell-O and do the deed out in the woods. I couldn’t help but ask: What kind of Jell-O? She didn’t care. So I politely informed her I was more of a pudding guy, and that I didn’t think it would set right out in the hills. She still insisted on giving me her address and telling me her door was always open any time day or night.

I was able to evade these two customers fairly easily. The jail bird dude managed to sneak a few kisses on my cheek as he called me a little b#@ch, but I honestly think he was just trying to get psyched up for a new lifestyle and culture. It was very brave of him, however unsuccessful he was, to try some research before entering the prison culture.

The advances have not always stopped with these humorous sexual encounters. I’m getting assaulted on spiritual fronts as well, constantly under fire from New Age crystal meth tweakers incorrectly telling me my astrological sign and mis-charting my aura and good energies. They all say they can sense that I am a great person with a super mellow vibe and that good karma and great things are coming my way even if they have my sign wrong. It seems somehow these people got mixed up in their New Age beliefs, mistaking crystal meth for one of the earthly crystals with healing properties. These hybrid beings all seem to have one tragic flaw. They believe fully that if they have good vibes and project happy feelings the word will work things out for them. However, they also do a lot of drugs. That inhibits them from doing normal adult stuff like holding down a job or maintaining relationships. They’re ultimately unable to grasp what’s happened to them because none of it was in their astrology chart. This doesn’t stop them from being super complimentary and insisting on telling you absolute astrological truths about yourself.

In addition to New Age spiritual assault, I get a lot of standard Christian, Mormon and Jehovah witness spiritual assault. It really isn’t as bad as the tweaker nonsense. They are usually a lot less self-pitying, and they tend to ramble more. It’s mainly very rehearsed stuff that requires little response, making it easy to tune out. One sweet lady, on a plus side, had been to speaking directly with Jesus about me. I don’t want to give anything away or risk it not happening, so I can’t talk about it, but it’s sounding like things are gonna be pretty good for me, she says.

I can’t say if I’m 100 percent positive it was my botched New Year’s good luck tradition that made this stuff happen to me. I mean, it could be construed as good fortunes and getting lucky, but I somehow doubt it. Next year, I’m definitely eating regular black eyed peas and collard greens. In the meantime, I’m thinking I’m going to need a bodyguard to collect money for me and protect my assets. I’m accepting applications now, preferably someone like Kevin Costner form “The Bodyguard.”

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