The doorman blew the whistle, I put the cab back in gear and pulled up alongside him so he could open the back door. The gentleman got in and quickly gave the destination:
3400 east Tropicana please.
I was pleasantly surprised in getting a decent ride at this slow hour, particularly after it initially appeared that where ever it was he was headed was within walking distance. So I activated the meter, wrote down the address on my trip sheet and made my way towards the left turn lane exiting the MGM's property onto Tropicana.
We sat for a minute at the red light, and after it changed I made the left going eastbound towards the 3400 block. As soon as I completed the turn my passenger says in a voice similar to that of an 8 year old who just scrapped his knees falling off his dirt bike:
Where are you going?
It's obvious from this statement that he thinks that I'm long hauling him, or taking a route that's longer than necessary as a means of running the meter up. But of course, anybody who actually knows what the fuck they're talking about, or anybody with any common sense whatsoever, would tell you that the best way to get from the east 100 block of Tropicana, to the east 3400 block of Tropicana would be to travel farther east. You shouldn't need a two thousand dollar navigation system to figure that one out. So not really appreciating the accusation, I calmly turned down my sun visor to reveal what I had written down on my trip sheet, and read it out loud:
3400 east Tropicana.
He immediately replied:
I know that smartass! Why are you taking me this way?
I'm sorry sir, I don't understand?
I told you to take me to 3400 east Tropicana!
That's correct. I wrote it down.
I said as I pointed towards my trip sheet.
Driver, you're taking me the wrong way, we're supposed to be going that way!
He said as he points his thumb towards the opposite way we were headed, in a generally westward direction. I already knew the answer to my next question. Well actually, I knew the answers to all of these questions but I was having too much fun to stop now.
I just asked the doorman where this address was and he said it was that way!
He said as points his thumb west again.
Well sir, I don't know what to tell you except to say that I think the best way to get to the 3400 block of east Tropicana from here would be to head east on Tropicana. You think differently?
I know how you cabbies are driver, are you calling the doorman a liar?
By this point he'd abandoned the Eight year old scrapped knee thing and jumped directly to the I have a pink shirt on and know more about this town than any low-life cabbie thing.
No sir, I don't believe I've called anyone anything....We can go that way if you'd like, however I wouldn't recommended it.
Listen just get me there alright, but you'd better not be trying to fuck me.
I'm straight sir.
I guess at this point it's worth noting that I knew this guy was a pillow biter before he even got in the cab. If you're wondering what gave it away, it was less his attire and more just the way he carried himself. Furthermore, I also knew the place he was going, it's a place called the "Eagle" or something like that. I'd gotten a ride there a long time ago and it's a known gay bar. Nonetheless after I'd just finished saying perhaps the funniest words to ever come out of my mouth, our gay accuser wasn't so amused.
THAT'S NOT FUNNY! Listen, fuck you, and just get me there alright?
With that, I didn't say another word. Well, not until a mile or so went by and we drove past the airport and crossed over Paradise Road anyway. At that point our flamer friend couldn't help himself and he eventually repeats the question that we both knew the answer to:
Where are you going?
Again I turned down the sun visor and pretended to read it aloud:
3400 east Tropicana
I know that you fuck! The doorman said that it was only a couple of blocks!
This is the same person who told you we should travel west to get to the east side of town?
Listen man, if you're giving me the runaround here we're going to have problems.
WE ALREADY HAVE PROBLEMS! YOU'RE ACCUSING ME OF SOME BULLSHIT AND YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THE FUCK YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!
I abandoned the passive aggressive bit and skipped straight to the pissed off and don't fuck with me bit. I was having fun, but I'd had enough. So I continued:
Listen man, I don't appreciate the accusations ok? It's obvious you don't know what the fuck you're talking about so why don't you just drop it? Las Vegas BLVD is the zero divider on Tropicana. Therefore, in order to get to the 3400 block of east Tropicana we must travel approximately 3.4 miles EAST! It's not rocket science dude. Get a fucking compass if you don't believe me. But in the meantime please shut the fuck up and let me do my job. Like some doorman knows what the fuck he's talking about anyway...
That felt good actually. It's not very often I yell at a passenger but they deserve it every time and it feels good every time.
Neither of us said a word for the remainder of the ride. Which mind you, only lasted about 3 more minutes or so. When we got to the intersection at Pecos I made a left turn and then an immediate right into the massive strip mall containing the "Eagle" among dozens of other businesses. I positioned the cab so the passenger side was directly in front of the front door to the bar and turned the meter off.
How did you know I was going here?
I turned around in my seat and looked at the guy, but said nothing.
You're a good fucking cab driver, you know that?
I'm straight remember?
He laughed as he exited the cab and handed me forty dollars for the twenty dollar fare.
Back to work.