Catching the Scent

Before I get to Thursday night's hijinx, I'm going to cover Saturday night's. Because Saturday was, like, more recent, I guess. I'll issue a warning right now, this post is going to be extremely gross. Please don't read it if you're squeamish, or offended by less savory aspects of human biology.

I'm actually going to start off with my ride home on Friday morning. I had a day guy - tall, middle-aged, red-headed lease driver. He'd driven me a couple of times before, and is a really nice guy. We were talking about the advantages of driving nights vs. days, and he told me about an experience of his while working nights in Bend.

He got a call to pick up at a restaurant/bar, and the guy was so drunk that the doorman had to help him out. He got in the cab, and smelled like shit. Literally, the man smelled like feces. He only wanted to go three blocks, to his car. He'd actually taken the cab so that he could drive - people would see him leaving in the cab, and not think he was going to drive drunk. Pissed off, my driver let him out. He drove another couple of blocks, and the smell was still there, so he looked in the back seat. It was smeared with human excrement.

Disgusted, he drove back to the bar, furious that they'd put the guy in his cab in such a state. He pulled up, and noticed that there was a trail of diarrhea leading from the inside of the restaurant to the curb. Transfixed, he followed the trail back inside, and was able to find the seat the guy'd been sitting in (which was very, very nasty). The people working there hadn't noticed, hell, people had been walking in the shit and tracking it all over the place.

I say that to say this: Saturday night I had the most foul smelling human being I've ever encountered in my life. I mean it's hard for me to describe, it was so foul. Imagine an obese woman in her mid-60s who didn't bathe, had a deep-rooted and untreated yeast infection, and had a fondness for rotten egg perfume. That's a pretty good characterization of her.

I picked this poor soul up around 29th & Clinton, she was headed to the subsidized housing downtown. I rolled all of the windows down, and just tried to get her there as fast as I could. This was so completely in character with the rest of my night that I was barely even angry, I just wanted to get her the fuck out of my cab.

I got her to where she was going, and she said that she had to go inside to get the money. I waited a few minutes, after which she came out to tell me that she'd thought she had the money inside, but in fact didn't. I informed her that she was never to do that again, and did little to mask my brimming level of disgust and frustration. She offered her cane in lieu of fare, which I declined, and made me even more disgusted.

She then offered her coat, which I accepted. My reasoning was that as someone who is essentially a bag lady, her coat was perhaps valuable enough for her to claim, and that the weather on Sunday was going to be in the low 80s and sunny, so I wouldn't be endangering her health. I threw it in the trunk, and drove off, desperate to make some money. I also called dispatch, and told them to put her on the no cabs list.

The smell, of course, persisted. I rolled all the windows down, sprayed some air freshener, etc., but nothing helped it. Finally, on my way to pick up a $70 airporter that my saint of a dispatcher threw me in pity, it occurred to me to check whether or not the smell was getting from the jacket in the trunk into the cab proper. I pulled over at a 7-11, popped the trunk, and almost threw up. As I was about as far from the garage as possible, I also threw the jacket away.

When I got back in, I sat down to write out a report for the superintendents, explaining why I'd committed a gross violation of company policy in throwing away something I'd received in trust. This led to a sudden sense of great amusement at the situations my job sometimes forces me to have to explain in writing, so I was laughing as I wrote. My driver from Friday morning was coming in to pick up his cab, and asked me what was up. As I began the story, and was at the point where I was describing the old woman's lingering scent, the other driver interrupted me with a startled, bug-eyed look on his face and said, "It was shit, wasn't it?" - like shit had been stalking him all of his life, and just now re-appeared from the shadows to claim another victim.

This of course got me to laughing even harder.

After finishing up the report and smoking a cigarette, I was delighted to see that G would be my driver home. G's a Safety Board member, and a Greek immigrant who's been driving cab since before I was born. He's the kind of salty, incredibly vulgar (yet somehow oddly endearing, perhaps due to the accent) character who drives cabs in hard-boiled detective novels.

Anyway, I start to tell G my story, and after about a sentence or two, he interjects with disgust and some excitement, "it was the poosie, she has the stanky poosie!"

I told G that yes, the smell was so yeasty and she was so sober that it was a distinct possibility. I went on to finish the story, with G energetically agreeing with my actions, which made me feel better. When I was done, he went on to tell me a story about the woman "with the stankiest poosie in the whole world, I shit you not my friend," how her pussy was so stank that they wouldn't let her into her regular bars anymore, and that G once had to drive her from 21st & Burnside on the west side out to 169th & Halsey.

"And the whole way there and back, I am thinking to myself, 'G you ugly dick motherfucker, you will never take an old woman with stanky pussy again. I can also not get the smell to leave for hours"

Anyway, it was both fun and appalling to hear an old Greek man say "stanky pussy" about 50 times, and discourse on his theories of feminine hygiene. He was obviously very excited that he had someonewith him who also knew how horrible certain types of old lady smell can be.

"This is the thing," G says to me, "these people, they have no fucking idea the assholes we deal with. They might think they fucking know, they might watch these fucking idiot shows they fucking watch, but these people do not know what it is to be in car with the stankiest pussy in history of the fucking world.

"Man, I just hope that [my two superintendets] understand."

"They will understand Crabbie. And if they don't understand and give you hard time, tell them to come fucking talking to me. I will explain to them. I will explain about the stanky pussy and how bad it is."

So there you go, I'm back on the streets. This was taped
to the dashboard of my new regular cab on Saturday nights:
Cops, etc. story in the next day or two.


Blogger Mad Cabbie said...

Once I had a stinking dude in my cab and I rolled down all the windows down as I usually do in those situation, but the guy had the balls to ask me why I have the windows down, my answer? "I don't know what but something stinks in here!". He kept quiet for the rest of the trip.

September 25, 2006 8:52 AM  
Anonymous CH said...

Fugging RAD man. Hahaha, the hungarian dude sounds like the cab driver in the Kid's in the Hall movie: "the drug, is made from monkey cum. They lock these monkeys in the room all day an makem jack off. and dat is what the drug is made off"

September 25, 2006 1:18 PM  
Blogger Cabbie X said...

Gawd, Crabbie, you have my sympathies. We had a regular a few years back that was so stanky an entire can of air freshener couldn't get rid of the funk. A whole god damned can! His list of drivers gradually dwindled til finally nobody would agree to take him, and he switched to another company.

September 25, 2006 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" It was shit , wasn't it? "

Oh my Lord - I'm chill enough to snack through a post-mortem, but that there sent my tea through my nostrils and beyond.

September 25, 2006 8:57 PM  
Blogger Becker said...

mad cabbie I understand you totally. I once had a guy riding up front with me who was drunk and smelt like he'd pissed himself and then rolled in something rotten, that I had my window all the way down and my head 3/4 out of it but as it was freezing at the time also had the heater on full tilt on my feet.

He asked me if there was something wrong with my head cause the window was down and the heater was on but I just told him thats the way I like it. I didn't have the bottle to tell him the truth.

October 28, 2006 12:33 PM  

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