Halloween is not what it used to be when I was a child in the 1970's. It was one day back then. Today it has grown to be almost as popular and large as Christmas and poor Thanksgiving is lost in the shuffle. Anyway, for adults it has become a time of celebration, drinking and costume parties that start the weekend PRIOR to Halloween.
The Saturday before Halloween last year there was a HUGE party at a farmhouse in Shorewood. It was in the middle of nowhere practically and it was chock full of costumed revelers, kegs and a DJ. I had done my share of pickups out of the farmhouse and I was happy to do so. It was my first weekend in a minivan instead of a crown vic. The groups were larger, the tips were flowing and a fare from the outskirts of Shorewood to Joliet was pretty damn good.
Around 2 in the morning I picked up one last party. It was seven college aged people in costumes going to an apartment near central Joliet. One girl who went by the name Val sat in the front seat next to me since the back was full. She was wearing a VERY skimpy “sexy” Harry Potter costume. I would guess her to be 24...25 if she is a day. Initially one of her friends was going to sit up front and she insisted she sit in front. I will freely admit that she was breathtaking with dark curley hair and dimples as deep as the grand canyon, but she was also 20 years younger than me and very drunk.
When they piled in she asked my name and I told her. She told me the name was as handsome as my smile. Internally I rolled my eyes. I had learned fast that “beer goggles” worked on both genders and drunken flirtation in the taxi was common. I said thank you and we were on our way down the farm road. They asked me if it would be okay to stop at McDonalds. I said sure. They wanted to go inside instead of the drive through so they decided on the one on the East side as opposed to the one on the way to their house. I certainly did not mind. More miles and more time with the meter running. I told dispatch and they said fine. The passengers thought I was a hero for agreeing to this and asked if I wanted anything. I said I was fine. They insisted. I said a sweet tea would be wonderful.
On the drive to the McDonalds the rest talked in the back and Val kept on complementing me and asking me questions.
“I love your bikker jacket. It works on you.”
“Your skull bracelet is amazing and sexy.”
“You have such nice eyes.”
“Married? Kids? Tell me about your daughter? Clubs? Wow! You are funny and not like any cab driver I have seen.”
Okay. I will admit, the ego boost was fun. It was also amusing, but I was not going “there”. I would just say thank you.
We got to the Mcdonalds and they all piled out but left their stuff inside including cell phones to show me they were going to stay. Val told the group she was gonna eat in the cab as collateral so I knew they would not skip. They just laughed as they all went inside. She came out a few minutes later with a tea for me and sat next to me. I took a swig of it and realized it was not sweet tea but just iced tea. I made a face for a moment and I was just gonna let it go and drink it as it was free.
She looked at me and said,”Oh Patrick, that was not sweet tea. I am so sorry. I guess you are just going to have to add me for some sweet flavor.”
“Wow, Val. You are persistant.”
She put her hand on my knee and looked at me and said,”Do you think I am pretty?”
“I love the way you say my name....Patrick.” she whispered.
“I also think I am 20 years older than you.”
“That would be an issue for a relationship where you had to meet my parents, anything else is an adventure. How long has it been since you had an adventure, Patrick?”
“I'm pleading the fifth, kiddo.”
“Kiddo, Patrick?” she asked, “Nice deflection. Not going to work. Undeterred here.”
I decided to change the topic. “When I told you my daughter was in taekwando, you mentioned you had a second degree black belt and compete. Tell me about that.”
“Well,” she said, “the first thing you should know is I work on my core and am verrry verrrrry flexible.” She rolled her r's like cat woman. Ertha Kitt cat woman.
“I'm sure you are, now tell me about the competitions and what drove you to it.”
She spoke about how she almost got raped when she was 15 from a homecoming date and started studying martial arts to prevent that from ever happening again. She told me about the sense of family she got in her dojo and the accomplishment she felt with every belt and medal from competition. She went on to talk about how much she likes teaching children in her dojo, especially young ladies as they discover they are more than barbie dolls and pretty things, but a force of nature, advancement and accomplishment. She is going for her masters in Psych and wants to be a therapist specializing in children who are abused. I let my guard down a little and spoke about how much my daughter got from her dojo and the work I used to do with teens and young adults. It was a nice conversation.
The meal had ended for her friends and they piled in and we were on the way to the apartment. In that shorter ride one girl started talking about blow jobs. Val piped in again and said,”I give the BEST head out of anyone in this taxi and if I need an impartial judge, we have Patrick right here. How about it, Patrick? Want one that will change your world?”
“No, Val, I am good.”
“No, Patrick” she said, “I am good.” She started licking her straw slowly.Grabbed an ice cube out of my tea and rolled it in her mouth and placed what was left of it in my cup.
“Dude,” said one of the guys,”he's a mortal, let the poor man be.”
"Don't worry, son,”I replied,”I'm immune” and with that took a swig of my tea. Everyone had a laugh and said I was the coolest taxi driver ever.
We got to the apartment building and I pulled to the alley entrance which was closer for them. They tipped me almost twice what the fare was and the fare was pretty high. College age people almost never tip. They did not know it, but they bought my daughter's Christmas gift that night with the tip. As they all gathered outside I heard them say Val a lot and laugh. Val opened my side door again, said “Thanks Patrick, you a gentleman and that is so sad.” With that she walked into the apartment building and it was then that I noticed she was only wearing a bra and panties. I looked on my passenger seat and there was her sexy Harry Potter costume and I could smell perfume all over it. May the heavens forgive me, she did work on her core.
I shook my head, chuckled and went on to my next fare. At the end of my shift I gave the morning dispatcher the costume to put in the lost and found. The dispatcher looked at me and said,”What is this?” I looked at her and said, “I think it was my tip.” She smiled and laughed and said, “Oh dear, honey. You are still new. Just wait until New Years. It gets weirder.”
“Im not sure if I love this job or am afraid of it.”
“Honey, enjoy the ride.”
With that I went home and went to bed.