I have now reached the last leg of my travels. I was in Philadelphia for several days last week, and was in upstate New York over the weekend. Currently I’m in New York City.
Last night I attended Monday Night Magic at the Players Theater in Greenwich Village. All of the acts were very enjoyable, but it was a special thrill to get to see Chris Capehart, who is pretty famous among magicians. If you ever have a chance to see him perform I heartily recommend it.
When the show let out I walked around the village a bit. It was jumping with activity. Lots of stuff was still open, and it looked like there were several comedy clubs and music performance spaces in that general area. Eventually I hailed a cab and directed him to my hotel, which is on 34th and 8th, right near Madison Square Garden.
The driver took off, and if you have ever been in a New York cab you know I mean that literally. Almost immediately, however, another cab driver cut him off, very nearly causing an accident. My guy slammed on the brakes, which was annoying, since I was still struggling with the seat belt. (The little dinguses that receive the belt had gotten twisted, meaning that I was trying to plug my belt into the the one set aside for the center seat.)
Now, it probably would have been best if my guy had just shrugged it off. But no. He decided to give the other guy a piece of his mind. So he pulled up right next to him, I’m talking close, and unleashed a torrent of profanity upon the other driver that I cannot repeat here, on account of this being a family blog. Then my guy took the small bottle of water he was drinking from and threw its contents in the general direction of the other guy’s cab. Some of the water made it through the open window on the passenger side.
I thought that was the end of it. My guy took off once more and was doing a very efficient job of getting me where I was going. But then we stopped at a red light. And guess who pulled up in the lane next to us. Yep. More profanity was exchanged between the two drivers. I made myself as small as possible in the back seat. The light turned green and we took off again.
We had been driving up Sixth Avenue (excuse me, “Avenue of the Americas”). At some point my guy turned left to move over to eighth. The particular street he chose for that purpose was a bit clogged with traffic, and we had to stop at one point. Guess who pulled up next to us, on the driver’s side? You guessed it! That other guy was still pissed. My guy had actually moved over slightly in an attempt to crowd out the other driver, but he was unsuccessful. So neither cab was really in a proper lane, and they were so close to each other I was amazed they didn’t actually scrape their sides together. Seriously, I doubt I could have slipped my hand through the space between them.
The rhetoric amped up. Racial slurs were exchanged. My guy suggested they go park somewhere and settle this properly. In the back, I was hoping they would not do that until I got dropped off. At some point the other guy noticed me. He was yelling something about how my guy was driving without headlights. I said nothing and made a point of looking ostentatiously out the window on the other side of the cab.
Then the other guy took an impressively large bottle of water and thrust its contents in our general direction. Some of the water traveled through the open windows and managed to get on me. My driver got rather wet.
This seemed to satisfy the other guy, who did not bother us after that. My guy was laughing in the front seat. I said, “We do have headlights, right?” He replied, “We’re fine, don’t worry about it.” Then he asked me if I wanted to be let out on the left or the right side of the road.
The rest of the ride went more smoothly. The fare was a little over seven dollars. I thanked him for the excitement, handed him a ten, and told him to keep the change. Seriously, the other guy did cut him off.
What a great city! Alas, my lunch plans fell through for today, so suddenly I have some time to kill. I figure I’ll spend the rest of the morning at The Strand Bookstore, have lunch down there, and then wander over to the Natural History Museum in the afternoon. Tonight I’ll be meeting my parents, brother and sister-in-law for dinner and a show. We’re celebrating my mother’s seventieth birthday!
Maybe I’ll have more exciting adventures today…