Because my life is super glamorous, I often have to go out of town for work. I like to think it’s because my company wants to send the best man (er…woman) for the job, but I’m pretty sure they send me because it’s an excuse to get me out of the office for a day or two.
Apparently some people don’t like my afternoon reggae party and the smell of Indian food makes others nauseous. Whatever. (If they think the food smells bad, they should come into my office a few hours after I’ve eaten it…)
Today I was in the Windy City of Chicago, which is a far nicer city than the ones I’ve been to lately. (However, I didn’t see a single restaurant offering bags o’ burgers, which made me a bit sad). I arrived in Chicago the night before my meeting because I’m not a morning person and didn’t want to take a red eye flight in the morning.
I also wanted to partake in room service and the complimentary robes the hotel provides. (I also secretly wanted a bed to myself without having to share it with 3 dogs and a husband, but don’t repeat that.)
This morning I met a coworker and we headed out on foot to the location of our meeting. When it comes to Chicago, I only have a slight idea where I am at any given time and even less of an idea where I’m going. (Come to think of it, that’s typically how I am no matter what city I’m in.) When it comes to New York, I can get anywhere in no time, which subway line to take, and which homeless men to avoid. When it comes to Chicago, I can barely hail a cab.
I’m not sure why we decided to walk to the meeting. It certainly wasn’t my idea, as I have a strict “no exercise” policy. However, my coworker started walking and I didn’t want to not be a team player, so I joined him. I think you know where this story ends up…we got lost.
My phone couldn’t figure out where we were or where we were going and the trail of crumbs from my Fiber One bar was long gone, eaten by a combination of pigeons and homeless people. (Please note the trail of crumbs was inadvertent…but then again, you totally knew that.) We were screwed.
I was in heels and didn’t want to walk anymore, so I decided to hail a cab. (Okay, so maybe the fact I was in heels had nothing to do with my desire to sit down, but let’s go with that, as it’s a reasonable excuse.) I hailed a cab, got in, and cursed Michael Kors for making such uncomfortable shoes.
Before I go any further, I must point out that my coworker had never been to a city like Chicago. He’d never taken a cab in a big city and had no idea what he was in for. Okay, calm down, I’m getting back to the story.
We told the cabbie our destination and he sped off down the road, leaving skid marks and a pile of smoke in his wake (which, strangely enough, is the same result I get when eating Indian food, but that’s another story). As we were just settling in to our wheelchair accessible cab, we were shaken from our thoughts by our cabbie dropping f-bombs at every-single-person on the road. Seriously. Every. One.
But then it escalated. A woman in her twenties was riding her bike IN THE BIKE LANE when he came up on her in his cab, going approximately 100 miles per hour. She rode right next to his cab, unaffected, although she came dangerously close to hitting him (BECAUSE HE WAS DRIVING IN THE BIKE LANE.) And then it was on.
“That b&%^$ thinks she can f#$# with me today?” he yelled at the two of us, as if we were supposed to do anything other than shit our pants and text our loved ones a good bye message.
Before we could answer, he pulled around her, barely missing her, and then pulled in front of her to cut her off, all the while calling her mother a whore. I looked at my coworker, who was petrified and I’m pretty sure I saw him praying the rosary, although I can’t be sure.
When the cabbie nearly struck the biker, he then yelled that he hoped the bi$#@ was struck by another car and seriously hurt because she was being so stupid (IN THE BIKE LANE. RIDING HER BIKE IN THE BIKE LANE.)
“Who does she think she is?” he asked my coworker, as if he could say anything other than a few dozen Hail Marys. “If she got hit it would be her fault and then where would she be? I’m fully insured, Mother F@#$$.”
He then proceeded to cut off another vehicle who he just referred to as “Tennessee,” almost clipped two pedestrians, dropped a few racial slurs, and then dropped us off right in front of our destination.
My coworker gathered the things that spilled out of his bag when it went tumbling upon the first near homicide. As he did that, I paid the cabbie. I only had a $10 bill for the $5 fare, but I feared he would pop a cap in my face if I asked him for change. Instead, I gave him the $10 and told him the extra money was for his troubles. That actually seemed to make smile, which was good, as I wasn’t entirely sure he wouldn’t run me over when I exited the vehicle.
He sped away as quickly as he arrived, and I looked to my coworker to see how he enjoyed his first big city cab ride. He said he enjoyed it just fine, and then immediately asked if there was a drug store close by. He needed to buy Pepto Bismol, although I’m sure it wasn’t related at all to the roller coaster ride of death we just experienced. Fortunately for us, the cab got us there early, so we had plenty of time to buy medicine to calm our stomachs, and caffeine to calm our nerves.