On a stormy New York street after a day of watching your wife shopping, it's dog eat dog when it comes to picking up a ride
We have been shopping uptown, and are now looking to go home. Been hours of following herself around shops saying “Very reasonable” when she tells me the cost of a thousand dollar bag.
After all that, the fiancée and I are both pretty tired so I make the brave executive decision that we are going to take a taxi home. The subway on the way up was too much for me. We were squeezed in a packed train between the world’s largest hearing dog for the blind, the chattiest oddball in New York and a loud, yet out of tune, Mexican guitar playing ensemble.
It was almost comical in the gradual decline into absurdity. We walked on to what I thought was a normal train. But soon we had the massive dog’s tail slapping my leg to a bruise, then at the next station stop, the chatty man trying to engage me in conversation about the Queen and finally as the subway carriage could fit no more in, the Three Amigos arrive, playing to an imaginary Madison Square Garden.
No more of that please. A taxi it is. But it is busy on the pavement/sidewalk and starts to rain. Fierce rain. End of days rain. We have no umbrella. The wind takes it up a notch and in that moment the only thing I care about in the world is getting into the warm sanctuary of a taxi. That’s all I want. All I can focus on. I may have other goals in life, but the only one I care about in that moment is getting in a taxi. Any taxi.
I may have other goals in life, but the only one I care about in that moment is getting in a taxi. Any taxi.
The rain gets heavier.
Yet, there are no free taxis. None. We have been stood on the corner, arms outstretched for a few minutes, when a young lady starts walking past us. She is carrying a bundle of some sorts, as she comes closer it is clear that this is a bundle of joy.
To highlight her self-presumed place in the social hierarchy she says needlessly loudly to the crying infant:
“There there baby, we will get a taxi soon”
Baby? I can only presume she hasn’t named it yet. She walks past us to the top of the street and triumphantly puts her hand out for a taxi. She gives us a victorious eyeballing. It is a one-way street, so her and the unnamed child are now first in line. I’m annoyed.
I turn to my wife to be and say: “Well, new mother trumps everyone. Every taxi is going to stop for her.”
Defeated, we decide to walk down the street in hope of catching a taxi coming from a side street. We could of course get on the subway but yer know, there be monsters.
The rain is smashing down now. My scalp is swamped with raindrops, now cascading into my eyes. I think about Jim Leighton and the load of Vaseline he had over his eyebrows in the 1998 World Cup. This would never happen to Jim Leighton.
The fiancée starts running. “Tom!” she shouts as she sprints across the road.
She has spied a taxi across the way letting out some people. She risks life and limb to skip across the road, jumps in, pops her head out of the cab and urges me to get in. I do a self-conscious jog/walk across the road, get in the taxi, say: “Great work there.”
As I close the door I sense I’ve seen something familiar. The door closes and I look through the darkened window at this shape. This person. Someone familiar.
It is the mother. The mother and baby. She is furious. She thinks we’ve stitched her up. She thrusts out her arm, extends her wormy long middle finger and shouts “f*cking bitch” at us as the taxi speeds away down the street. Bystanders turn round and look at our taxi presuming the world’s worst people are inside.
I turn to the fiancée.
“Did you see that woman with the baby?” I ask
“No, why?” She says.
“Well, she just called you a f*cking bitch.” I say.
“I’m pretty sure she was talking to you, Tom.” She says.
The taxi man chuckles to himself.
Follow Tom on twitter: @twgreaney
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