Wednesday, June 04, 2008

XLI

Some say that the Fremont St. corridor downtown Las Vegas is a bad neighborhood. It's usually an uninformed tourist that doesn't make it into the big city very often making the proclamation. I suppose four years ago I would have been equally misguided but nowadays I personally think the idea is a misnomer. The number of homeless in the area is practically the sole reason for the misconception. It's not like people are getting mugged or killed in front of Binions. Even east of the BLVD. on Fremont, which in years past was a little sketchy, has improved a lot recently. (Hey Goodman, nice work there buddy. How many terms did that take you?) Nonetheless the homeless can be a bit cumbersome. Thankfully, I'm generally in a good mood so I don't really let them bother me. I mean they bother me, but only for the dollar they're short for the bus, to wash my windows or to offer up some of their stolen goods. Mach 3 razor blade replacements, 50 packs of AAA batteries or my personal favorite, DVD porno. Why is DVD porno my favorite you ask? Well it's not because I patronize the guy on a regular basis, although I have on a couple of occasions. It's more just the idea that there is some dude toting a suitcase full of porno for sale always walking around. Always open for business. I can't help you if you don't think that's funny. As relentless as some of the homeless are about money grubbing, I'm still usually good for handing out a dollar a day. One dollar. And only if it's right.

I was on the Nugget stand on Carson St. not to long ago. I was Fourth or fifth in line so I had enough time to take my Mothers call when it came. Mom likes to check in every so often, I'm sure she worries. Although there are a lot of misconceptions about the cab driving gig, most of the potential dangers are quite real. I was amidst a sentence with Mom when a loud mouth, smelling like ass, piece of shit jams his head through my half retracted window and practically yelled:

CAN I GET SOME CHANGE MAN?!...


I responded solely with a cut throat gesture, for I know that to be the universal signal for piss off.

C'MON MAN, I JUST SHORT A DOLLAR FOR THE BUS! HELP ME OUT.


I just stared at him. ...

Mom, hold on a second.


and I placed my phone down to my lap.

....HEY ASSHOLE! YOU'RE INTERRUPTING ME. My cab is starting to smell like shit so get your stankin ass out of here!


Seriously, there is a way to go about things. You would think if your being depended on asking other people for money all the time, you would figure that the fuck out.

FUCK YOU man. You could help me out you just don't want to.


Genius my friend!


and I clapped a few times unenthusiastically.

I picked my phone back up and as I was bringing it to my ear the bum starting walking away. Naturally, he had some more choice words for me along his way. His mouth seemed to get louder as he got farther away and then he said something that just got to me. I couldn't even remember what exactly he said to tell you the truth but the next thing I knew I was pissed off and I got out of the cab and made my way his direction. Four years ago I never would have been in this situation. Four years ago, I would have been in the cab, windows up, doors locked.

Where are you going? Say that over here buddy I can't hear you.


I'll kick yo ass fat boy.


Say that over here. If you wanna be a tough guy, you gotta come over here and say that. You're a pussy when you talk shit over there.


FUCK YOU MOTHER FUCKER! I'LL BE BACK WITH MY GUN IN A MINUTE...I'LL FUCKIN KILL YOUR ASS. I'LL BE OVER THERE IN A FEW MINUTES ALRIGHT?


OH, YOU'RE GONNA TAKE THE BUS THAT YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO THE CARDBOARD BOX YOU CALL HOME TO GET YOUR GUN THAT YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE? IF YOU HAD A GUN YOU WOULD HAVE PAWNED IT A LONG TIME AGO.


I yelled as he disappeared around the corner on Casino Center. I stood there for a few seconds before I realized that my phone was still in my left hand.

Sorry Mom. Are you still there?


I said as I began walking back to the cab.

OH MY GOD Andrew did that guy say he was going to shoot you???


Mom said very distraught.

Don't worry about it Mom. He doesn't have a gun.


How do you know?


Mom. It's ok.


Why didn't you just give him a dollar? It's not smart to make enemies with crazy people.


Four years ago Mom, I probably would have.

24 comments:

tonymark01 said...

exactly what i would have done, and my mom would have said. great story

Christina LMT said...

*lol*

My daughter marched with her band in the Helldorado Day parade...I asked her, "Are you SURE I won't be mugged there?"

A few years ago we went to Neonopolis quite a few times, and the FS Experience as well, but I haven't been down that direction in a long, long time. And that's likely not going to change, either.

Anonymous said...

I hardly believe you made those comments to the vagrant. Nice story though. Now go drive Miss Daisy.

MrFunkMD said...

Of all of the shit on this blog, this is what you've determined is unbelievable?

Anonymous said...

That was an superior exchange, but our poor mother.

Don W. said...

Great story. Sometimes the homeless just need to recognize the situation and just leave it alone. My mom would have been saying the same thing. Too funny.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog (just wish you would post more often), but I noticed one of my biggest Vegas-related pet peeves.

It's Fremont, not Freemont. Please don't take offense, its just one of those things I can't help correcting.

Keep up the good work here, I enjoyed reading about your experiences!

MrFunkMD said...

Thanks for the correction 6:47. I always invite corrections such as these. Although, I interestingly spelled it correctly the second occurrence. Go figure.

meli said...

Just found your blog and read back right through it.... brilliant tales but brilliant writing also, really!! You're a fantastic storyteller. Eagerly awaiting your next post.

Anonymous said...

Where are you????!!!??? Hope you are working on a book of fiction (good idea) for all of us who eagerly await "Chronicles", which rarely appear anymore.

NYC taxi photo said...

great writing as always, but really, the homeless don't need anymore trouble. listen to your mother. best not to get funked with.

SloppyJoe said...

Dude: I just found your blog. Great writing about one my favorite cities. After reading several posts I noticed you grew up in Iowa. I grew up in Cedar Rapids and went to the Univ. of Iowa. Where did you grow up?

Thanks for the writing.

SloppyJoe

Anonymous said...

Dude.. its been months - where are you? Really enjoying your blog - its in my favourites and I check once a week but... nada.

Hope you're OK. Weird that I'm worried something might have happened to some stranger on the internet :)

The Anderson shelter said...

In London UK, we have a similar problem with windscreen washers. They used to leave cabs alone, but one smart ass driver gave a washer a pound and now their all over us. If you dont give them a fig they will get the message and in the end leave you alone but once you start giving their be all over you.
I think you done good.

Kevin said...

Sorry to see this blog end..... but after 3 months of silence, I think we can stick a fork in it now....

Real cab driver said...

Homeless..... Window washers and a pound note.... Reminds me of when I was a cook at the Figi house here on campus. There was this guy digging through my dumpster and I asked him what he was doing and he said he was hungry. I said, get out of there, I'll give you a sandwich, on one condition, you never come back. He agreed. Next day, same time, he was back, pounding on my door howling that he was hungry. He took off before the cops got there, but it proves the old wisdom, NEVER feed a stray dog.

Anonymous said...

where are you.. updates are far and few in between...

did the homeless guy getcha? jk :)

Anonymous said...

hi
im a cab driver here in ireland and read your blog and did miss when you went away .heres what i done to bums. one day i was going to pay cash for something and was sitting at lights when aproached by a roma gipsy [mouth full of gold teeth ,sad face, hand out] i took the wad of cash from my wallet and her face beamed up in a smile .then from under the door panel to the window i flew the eagle .we hav a problem here with the gipsies begging and hassling lone women drivers at traffic lights

Anonymous said...

Said woman take it slow, things'll be just fine. All we need is just a little patience...patience

MrFunkMD said...

Huh...I guess it's SAD WOMAN.....My bad on fuckin up Axl' lyrics. Don't worry my peoples, I've got a few logs in the proverbial fire.

Anonymous said...

Where are you?? Please reappear..

Anonymous said...

Where are you?? Please reappear..

Anonymous said...

Hey Man,
Merry Christmas or whatever you celebrate, if anything.
Anon.

MrPunkMD said...

You are a big fat loser. Such a popular blog you had here, despite the reality that your writing is CRAP, the stories were interesting. Its a shame you let it burn out, others could have turned this into alot more than some fat cab drivers abandoned blog. like waiterant maybe? Go Kill yourself Andrew.