Posted on July 5, 2015
Big… Brown Taxi???
You know when someone gives a warning “DO NOT DO THIS AT HOME” and you think “okay, duh!!!”
Well I am going to tell you the story of our first day on vacation.
I am not proud of this story.
Seriously do not ever do this.
Anyone who would do this is one brick of load. One fry short of a Happy Meal. Not the sharpest tool in the shed or the sharpest knife in the drawer. The lights were on but no one is home. The wheel is turning but the hamster is dead.
Dumb and Dumber.
So the day started off early with a 4:30am trip on the airport shuttle. After wandering around we found our gate, bought some snacks and magazines and settled into wait for our flight. Now we are not seasoned travelers. We get nervous. But we made it on our flight with only half an ativan each and arrive at JFK 5 some odd hours later. We find our luggage—- and this is where things take a turn.
A man approaches us and asked if we need a taxi. Why yes, kind sir, we do indeed. He then takes two of our suitcases and proceeds to start off across the airport. Down the escalator. Across the moving side walks. Up the escalator. More sidewalks. Up and elevator eventually arriving at his brown mini van! No, not a taxi. His own personal vehicle. Well, we aren’t stupid. Certainly not dumb enough to to get in, right?
I used to think so.
I was wrong.
We were that stupid.
He put me in the front and Monica in the back and set off for an hour drive to Manhattan.
That is what we were praying he was doing and not a short hop to his subterranean liar. Where he would make us write bad checks and wear white after labor day.
Complete silence except when he is on the phone with his friend, Jorge. Speaking Spanish, which he knows we do not understand having already asked “jew speeeeekz Spanish?”.
So let’s call him Bob. “Bob the illegal gypsy taxidriver”.
By now I am hyper-aware of my environment. I am observing everything so I can lead the police to my position. I see from the caller ID and my mastery of the Spanish language that Bob and Jorge are discussing cutting up our bodies and making sausages from us. Or they discussing Big Brother season premiere. Or something about mangoes.
I am looking at the roadway and wondering if Monica remembers the finger signing we used to do at the dinner table. ” J – U -M -P. O-U-T O-F. V-A-N”. I gauging the speed of the vehicle and the relative windspeed. I am looking at my Google maps to see where we seem to be. An ambulance pulls up next to us… I mouth a message to the driver “We stupidly accepted a ride from a deranged stranger. can we please get a ride into……”but they just drive away.
About this time my heart is racing, my head is pounding and I have sweat pooling in my underwear….. But I realize that we are nearly to the hotel. So I take a deep breath and pull out my giant wad of cash so I can pay him and run……
And we make it safely into the hotel. We check in, spend a solid hour saying “I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT HAPPENED!!!” and fell asleep about 6:00pm, awaking some 14 hours later…..
Just for the record: These are what actual taxis look like.