My Awkward Saturday Cab Ride
"Hey," my proudly Dominican taxi driver shouted at me after a few minutes of total silence. "Lemme ask you sumthin', mang."
"Who, me?" I asked surprised, simply because New York taxi drivers are always reaching out telephonically to friends and loved ones (and I'd like to take this aside to Seinfeldingly ask, "What's the deal with these cabbies? I mean, what kind of minute plan are these guys on?").
My temporary driver started in again: "How it make ju feel when you see a goo-lookin' girl...with a black guy?!"
Let me state for the record, had you queried me beforehand as to the subject matter of the driver's imminent question, I would have guessed Hepatitis C, Argentinian cockfighting, Hall and Oates or the '55 Dodgers over interracial dating.
"Gee, wow. Um, I'm pretty sure I'm okay with it," I quivered back, nearly suggesting I could be swayed if given the right argument. "In this day and age, I'm cool with it."
"Well I'm not okay with it, mang. See that couple on the corner, [ese]? What she possibly see in that race? They ugly, they stupid. She can do muuush better."
At first I couldn't even manage as much as a timid response to his statements of questionable validity, trying to weather the Katrina-esque storm. Am I on some sort of taxicab confessional show? Am I being baited? I thought about making a phone call, to assure the conclusion of this awkdwardness personified, but then I figured, "Eh, why not see where this goes? Could be interesting."
"How do you figure?" I shot back, now in a confident tone that begged for an even more intense brand of overt racism.
"I don't know, mang. I just don't think those guys got brains like we do," he began. "I think they all got mush smaller brains. Like mosquitos or sumthin'," he added before trailing off in a laugh filled with the richness of racial profiling.
"I think you're just making a sweeping generalization," I retorted, secretly hoping the phrase sweeping generalization would be too polysyllabic for the big-brained brad driving the cab.
"I got four grocery stores, mang, and in every one, the blacks come in and start trouble, make the same mistakes, make trouble. They do crime and druuugs. What's they problem?"
"Well, I don't know, but all races have a percentage that are criminals and that have drug problems, white, black..." At that point, I wanted to say Latino, or Hispanic, but I didn't know which word to use. Instead, I said "Even Dominicans and Puerto Ricans and Mexicans." Whew, labeling crisis averted.
"But the blacks are such a minority and yet they all criminals, they all no good" he said more matter-of-factly than "The sky is blue."
"Again, I think you're generalizing a little." To that, he laughed, and he contemplated his next move.
"I like the white youth, I proud of the white youth," he said plainly. "They use cabs and they really respec'ful. I pick up black people, and they want the radio up loud, they yellin' out the window, they stick up the cabs, they bother me. Now I no pick up blacks, and all fourteen thousand cab drivers feel the same way, they all have the same experience. Look at that black guy on that corner, watch how many open cabs drive right by him. He's prolly no good."
Thankfully I had arrived at my destination at the exact second, and the uncomfortableness could finally cease. The driver made sure to cross to the far corner to drop me off, stopping right in front of a young, white male.
I gave him $7 and wished him luck, hoping upon hope he'd just picked up a caucasian con artist who'd steal all the driver's money and crash his cab after a long, damaging joyride. Instant karma.
Slack Link of the Day: I personally thought last night's new Family Guy was far less than stellar, though there were some serious Brian/Stewie highlights. I especially thought the ridiculous Shipoopi segment was way too long and not so funny, until I found out it's a real song, a number from The Music Man.
That makes it somewhat less of a waste of my time, but not by much. Still, I cannot believe that's a real song. For proof, check out the lyrics and a sample of the real Shipoopi.
Slack Video of the Day: The other day I posted a link to everyone's favorite douchebottle Kevin Federline breakin' it down in the studio to his miserably produced ass-shaker PopoZao. Well, as usual, the Internet denizens have spiced it up, and the remix is nothing short of classic: It's peanut butter jelly time in the studio.
Slack Song of the Day: Five good tunes, no band names to put preconceived notions in your head -- Mystery Song #1, Mystery Song #2, Mystery Song #3, Mystery Song #4, Mystery Song #5.