Tuesday, July 10, 2007

XXXIV

I loaded a family at Mandalay Bay. It didn't take but the word "MGM" to come out of their mouths for me to realize that they had to be from New Jersey. Serving people from all over the globe for 3 years now, I've gotten pretty good at determining were people are from. If it's not a style, its a mannerism. If it's not a phrase, it'll be an accent that gives them away.

Normally I find people from New Jersey to be incredibly annoying. Some folks love these people. Unfortunately, I generally find my personality type in conflict with theirs. I don't know what it is, we just don't mesh. In my experience, most of them are high energy, opinionated, loud mouth know-it-alls and I've found that when a group are together it's near impossible to get a single word in. I on the other hand am more of a reserved, looking to learn something, pick my spot type of conversationalists. Nonetheless, there is an upside: Many folks from Jersey are incredibly funny, whether they mean to be or not.

My often mislead stereotypical conceptions aside, this Father, Mother and I were having a great time together throughout the short ride to the MGM. Their early teens Daughter seemed to be hating life however, obviously stuck with nowhere else to go and no one else to hang with. It was apparent Dad & Mom had already housed a few cocktails this evening and I remember them making me laugh on a few occasions throughout the ride. I'm usually good for a one liner or two as well. Overall a fun, but cookie cuter-ish kind of ride. I don't recall the unimportant specifics of the conversation.

We arrived at the MGM and the Father, who was sitting shotgun, stepped out of the cab as a means of easily accessing his wallet. Not uncommon at all. As he did so, the Mother and Daughter climbed out of the backseat and began walking towards the front entrance. Dad peeked his head through the window I had just rolled down and asked me how much it was:

$6.95


I responded.

The Middle aged gentleman thumbed through his wallet, grabbed a ten dollar bill and three singles. He handed them to me and said:

That was the best cab ride we've ever had, here you go buddy thank you.


Thank you sir, you guys have a good night.


I let my foot off the brake and hit the window up button simultaneously. I hadn't crawled 3 feet forward before he began knocking on the cab trying to get me to stop. I figured he might have forgotten something in the cab. I hit the brake and rolled the window back down. He walked up to the window again, bent over and said:

You know, I like your style brother here you go.


...and he handed me another one dollar bill. Surprised that was why he stopped me, I took the bill from him and said:

Thank you sir, I appreciate that very much.


I didn't get halfway through that short sentence before had his hand in his wallet again, grabbing another single and stretching it towards me.

Thank you sir, I appreciate that.


Once more he goes into his wallet, and grabs another one.

Thank you sir.


I said again as I took it.... At which point he grabbed another one and handed it to me.

Thank you sir.


...and another

Thank you sir.


...and another

Thank you sir.


...and another

Thank you sir.


...and another

Thank you sir, I appreciate that


I said trying not to laugh. I mean, it's awesome that he wants to give me some more cash, but its hilarious how he is deliberately handing me one bill at a time, waits for me to take it, and then finds another one to repeat the process. He sees me biting my lip and says:

What's so funny?


Nothing.


I said as quickly and seriously as possible. I doubt I've ever gone from a smile to a frown quicker in my life. He stands still and stares at me for a 3 count, then reaches into his wallet, finds a one dollar bill and hands it to me.

Thank you sir.


...and another

Thank you sir.


...and another

Thank you sir.


I glanced over at the Mother and Daughter standing by the MGM's front door. Mom had her arm around her Daughter and they looked puzzled, wondering what it was we were talking about in all likelihood. I avert my eyes back to the Dad and he's digging through his wallet, looking for another single hopefully. He finds one and hands it to me.

Thank you sir.


...and another

Thank you sir.


Thank you brother, you have a good night.


...and with that he put his hand up and waved goodbye to me like he wanted a high five that he knew wasn't going to be returned. I pulled away and began counting the pile of ones sitting in my lap. 13 of them in all. Ironically equaling the initial amount that he gave me. This all brings me to the golden rule of cab driving, maybe life in general:

If someone wants to give you money, that's normally a good time to not ask any questions. That, and maybe New Jerseyans aren't so bad after all.

2 comments:

David said...

Maybe he was so impressed by the "Thank You Sir" it was worth a buck to hear it again. You handled it right, as long as the dollars keep coming you keep doing the same thing as any pole dancer would tell you.

Love the stories keep up the good work. See you in August.

Ceetar said...

Just read through some of your posts, and I laughed at your stereotype (from NY, but live in NJ now). I despise the show, and suspect you do/would too, but I'm willing to bet the creators of Jersey Shore pitched it much like you wrote here.