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Before the flowing drinks, the seamless conversation, and the camaraderie comes a very important part of the journey to an unhindered good time that is often overlooked. This specified time frame is none other than the cab ride.
The cab is your golden chariot on which you ride into battle and the hearse that delivers your decrepit corpse from the bar to its resting place, and cab drivers — those brave men and women who hold the reins of our trusty steeds — shan’t be overlooked. They put up with a lot of our shit. From the loudmouth banter to the very poorly hidden open alcohol containers, there’s no denying that in the eyes of a sober cab driver, you and your friends are assholes; no amount of attempting to include the driver in your Bud Light-fueled feverdream of a night is going to change that. There is an odd mix of individuals that become cab drivers, but regardless of any defining characteristics that would set them apart from the others, there is a very strict uniform policy that male drivers must follow and is one hundred percent non-negotiable. Said uniform consists of: a wrinkled white dress shirt with an optional sport jacket, jeans, a thick dark mustache, and an intoxicating amount of the strongest cologne known to man. We’re talking enough to give you a headache immediately upon entering the vehicle and nearly passing out upon exiting. Seriously, it’s like breathing in vaporized paint thinner.
The cab’s main purpose is to get you from point A to point B seamlessly, and, for the most part, it does. A to B is simple. It just consists of you and your friends making fools of yourselves to a complete stranger all while attempting to maintain a normal level of interaction with the driver. Occasionally, groups will attempt to include the driver in their wild stories, jokes, and childlike tendencies, acting as if THEIR group is special. But it isn’t. Your group is no different than those consisting of other drunken young adults who needed a lift to the bar/club/party. Do not get attached to your cab driver, because once they have been paid, they will leave, and they will break your heart — as they have every right to.
B to A, on the other hand, is a little bit more complicated. It’s not rocket science, but holy fuck is it close. B to A is where drivers really earn their stripes and the undying respect of their patrons. And, just to clarify, I’m not talking about your Aunt Carol’s return trip from the pub after meeting with her book club for a nice glass of pinot grigio (because red gives her the hiccups). Hell, I’m not even talking about a car full of drunken college kids being obnoxious and fighting over who would kick whose ass in a scrap. I’m talking about the driver that picked up my friend (the lone straggler who was left behind by the group and was probably on the brink of death) then somehow managed to extract an address from his intelligible speech pattern, let him remain in the cab after spewing everywhere, and, finally, let him go free of charge when he was too intoxicated to properly enter his payment info. As far as I’m concerned, that man saved a life, and although said friend had to burn all his clothing (as it had been exposed to the potency of the driver’s cologne for far too long), we are forever grateful for his selfless actions. Firefighters and paramedics are cool, but cab drivers are nightlife’s unsung heroes..
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