No matter who or where you are, the scenario is always the same: It’s Saturday night, you’re leaving the club, smeared mascara, broken & discarded high heels, hearts aflame with the rush of knowing that you’ve once again had the best night of your entire life with the people you care about most, the cab driver is waiting, wildly misplaced strands of hair pasted recklessly against your forehead with scintillating sweat, Jessica is still in the bathroom, you pile in the cab anyway because Jessica’s basically rich and crying probably.
Sound familiar? Dance moves butchered like a Korean housecat? Phone numbers traded as coolly as congratulatory locker room spankings? Wolf Blitzer impressions performed as vigorously as sex in a music festival port-o-potty? Uh-huh. You see how that works? We’re quick to recount the parts of the night that yield perky brunch conversation, yet we conveniently ignore the sole moment that could make the salt from our fallen tears turn a Bloody Mary into a fucking Margarita Bloodbath. Well, I say insecurities are like small animals: it’s better to take care of them than just spending every day of your life trying to suffocate them.
The besties have been dropped off, you’re the final stop. Resting thick in the air is a lingering fragrance rich with afterthoughts of confessional outbursts spilt carelessly like drinks on a dance floor, flatulence finally liberated after hours of pounding pleadingly on tight inner-anus walls, and a smoldering cross-eyed lust blazing betwixt you and the girthy stallion hitched taut in the driver’s seat. You’ve arrived at your destination and nothing at this moment could get between you two – not even the protective plastic screen that’s technically between you two. The meter reads “16.75” but you’re thinking “69” and, though he’s the one providing the service, you’re the one pining for a big tip. You pay the man before exiting the car and waltz seductively up to the driver side window as he counts your chaotic pile of crumpled bills. You lean in to softly press your exfoliated visage to his platinum underbite. He growls and drives off cursing in another language. You stand aghast in the street as humiliation piles up like phone calls from Jessica. Not again.
Needless to say, it’s certainly not the first time the signals flaring between you and the coachman of your Hickey Carriage went miscalculated and garbled before zeroing in on your merciful eyes and blinding them with yellow-toothed rejection – and you can bet your sugar-sweet ass it won’t be the last. Sure, the wounds of this betrayal run so deep it makes Julius and Ethel look like Johnny and June, but before we play all fast and loose with the death sentence, we should instead be trying to evaluate the missteps, wrong turns, and violations that go on sideswiping our lovesick advances time and time again. While the bruises are surely too sore to ignore, I believe it would behoove us to cast the heartache aside and mine for the reasons we’ve found ourselves so tightly fastened to this emotional pickle. Ever the shamefaced breed, we’re quick to leap to unrealistic conclusions such as “I’m not his type” or “it wasn’t meant to be” or “that was weird of me to do,” but there are five explanations far more plausible to consider before doing something rash like giving Uber a shot.
1. YOU’RE MAKING IT ALL ABOUT YOU
Chances are you’re every bit as charming as a butterfly on the windowsill of a bakery in a hilltop church town inhabited by overalls & sunbonnets, but what’s keeping his loaf from rising is not your booze-blighted face, but rather the mundanities you’re funneling through its kisser. It’s important you keep in mind you’re talking to somebody who likely doggie-paddled hundreds of miles with nothing on his back but dead flies and bureaucratic scorn just to limp door-to-dismissive-door, wearing a misspelled handwritten “hire me” sign around his neck, looking for any possible way to work his legs to the ground in exchange for a family dinner hour and some college loot for Junior. So yeah. Sorry if there’s a shortage of giggles & high-fives when you announce your birthday’s coming up in just four months. Taxicab conversation always needs to be a two-way street. Tell him his tweed paddy cap really complements the texture of his eyebrows. If he blushes, only then do you show him a picture of your brother.
2. YOU CAN’T HOLD YOUR LIQUOR
If you want to play Cuddle with Cabbie, there are two things that should never be slurred: his ethnicity, and your speech. There’s a favored middle ground between sobriety and inebriation you should be aiming to settle at before closing your tab. While it’s customary to veer more towards the “inebriation” side of the spectrum, the maneuver must be a cautious one. In my personal experience, cabmen won’t put anything in their mouth they have to scrape off the back seat, so sit up straight and nod with exaggerated affinity while he’s railing against the electoral college. Better yet, clap. Like the possibility of having a water and ice dispenser on your refrigerator, applause is something they know exists because of television, but have never encountered in real life and, therefore, the most modest expression of acclaim is the world’s biggest turn on. Also, being too drunk to remember where you live is a losing strategy. Cab drivers are insatiable. Being immobile and incomprehensible oddly never seems to be enough to compel him to take you back to his place.
From what I understand, this is the most difficult obstacle to exterminate completely. This greasy breed of hunk harbors an offensively stiff-necked allegiance to a superstitious construct they call the “family.” I don’t fully understand it, but it’s horrifying.
4. “THE ANKA FACTOR”
For some reason or another, all cab drivers have a collective unrelenting hard-on for 1950s Canadian teen heartthrob, Paul Anka. It’s one of pop music’s, and privatized transit’s, greatest unsolved mysteries. You won’t ever solve it, but what you can do is use your knowledge of this inexplicable fetish to your advantage when courting the cabman. Start by acquainting yourself to the very basic from Anka’s catalogue. This way you’ll be able to effectively respond to certain cues based on what’s playing from your driver’s radio. Blathering about your cat during “Diana” is like playing Yahtzee at a funeral. If “It’s Time to Cry” comes on, remark on the scene where Anka performs it in Girls Town. Tell him you thought Mamie Van Doren looked dazzling in that film. At this point, he’s squirming in his seat with boyish excitement.
5. IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S HIM
You see, congruent with the obvious income disparity, cab drivers are hardwired with general predispositions entirely antipodal to their billionaire coevals. The way pruned billionaires like Bernie Ecclestone and Joe Hardy decide the target age of their spouses is by dividing their average golf score by three. On the other hand, if a cab driver were to come home after a night of schlepping bands of drooling neanderthals between sports bars to find his handcrafted coffee table replaced with a baroque vodka splash fountain, and his family swapped out for a troupe of disrobed Playmates serving imported cigars on polished salvers, he’d step back outside and walk directly into oncoming traffic. Being young, attractive, and invincible, with nothing to lose and the whole world ahead of us puts us at a tremendous disadvantage. This is why it’s important to feign respect for life’s virtues. Pay lip service to concepts like “tradition,” “responsibility,” and “varnish.” Lie about your weight but, this time, insist you’re heavier. Burp, if you want. It’s important that cabbies land a woman they can drag to church, but it’s unimportant whether or not they can physically carry her there. If looks could kill, please spare them.