Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Neil



So things went a little better tonight. The afternoon consisted of passengers that were eager to talk about the building explosion on the upper east side (photo above of the blocked-off end of 62nd Street at Park Ave). The radio was going on about it over and over, so I was able to give everyone up-to-the-minute updates. It's funny to see so many reactions to a bizarre local news story. It seemed like most people were mildly amused by the whole thing, mainly, I think, because no one died and because the guy was clearly a lunatic.

Anyway, later in the evening I picked up a well-dressed French man going to a hotel in SoHo. We chatted for a bit and, of course, the World Cup came up. I'm not a big soccer fan or anything, but I did happen to see the final game on Sunday. The poor guy, I actually felt a little bad for him. He talked about the game with deep regret, saying, "It would've been better if it was the Germans, not the Italians."

Just to be sure, I clarified. "You mean, you would prefer to lose to Germany than to Italy."

He laughed a tiny bit and said, "Yes. That is correct."

In other World Cup news, near the end of my shift, two girls and a very drunk guy got in at Ludlow and Stanton. The girls entered the cab by the curb, but the guy entered street-side. When he got in, he took one look at me and started yelling, saying, "Oh shit! You look Italian! Are you Italian?"

Then he started singing, but the whole time, his door was wide open and cars were starting to zip by with only inches to spare. A few more seconds like that and I knew the door would be gone. But when I asked him to close it, he refused. He just sat there staring at me and yelling that I was Italian. (I'm not.)

I turned around and threatened to kick him out of the cab if he didn't calm down and close the door, but the girls persuaded me not to. Then they took a turn yelling at him to shut the door, and finally he did.

I was, by that point, considerably annoyed. The two girls were sweet, though, and began apologizing for his behavior. I was ready to let it go, but he continued yelling, and finally went to reach through the partition. As far as I'm concerned, this a big no-no. With one hand on the wheel, I reached back with the other and slammed it shut in his face. He drew his hand back in time but, unfortunately, I could still hear him. He turned to his friends and said, "This is the worst cab experience ever. Isn't it?"

They said, "No, Neil, it isn't. She's just doing her job and you're being an ass."

I was happy that they understood where I was coming from. I was also happy that it was only a short ride. Neil continued acting like a dick, singing Pearl Jam songs and demanding I put on Hot 97, until we finally reached St. Mark's and First Ave. I opened the partition and said, "That'll be $4.60." The girls apologized again, handed me a ten, and told me to keep it.

Then, as they exited on the curb side, Neil, staying true to his asshole form, got out on the street side, flinging the door open on to oncoming cars. Me and the girls yelled, but he ignored us and continued exiting as cars swerved around us up First Ave.

When my next passenger got in, he said, "Do you smoke?"

I said, "Yeah, why do you ask?"

"Oh, someone left a full pack of cigarettes on the seat."

He handed me a brand-new unopened pack of cigarettes. I was sure they were Neil's and felt gratified that he at least paid some small price for his stupidity, and that I got a little something extra out of the deal, in addition to the nice tip.

My gratification turned to disappointment, however, when I noticed the brand: Marlboro Light Menthols. I would've happily smoked just about any brand, especially when it's free, but you have to draw the line somewhere. Of course, it made perfect sense. Only a dick named Neil would buy those -- and then lose them, unopened, in a cab.

69 comments:

DS said...

way to go free smokes always is a good thing. And that dude really did not have to blow up the whole building to commit suicide really kind over kill excuse the pun

wil said...

Give the smokes to the next bum you see, asking for a handout.

Julian said...

Neil 的確是一個渾蛋.
但我不曉得為什麼那包香煙 disappoint you?

Anonymous said...

it's a perfect name for a dick too...menthol, that's like smoking and cleaning your teeth at the same time!
france were robbed in the world cup, zizou should never have been sent off..oh well.

Janet said...

Never expected a World Cup tie-in on THIS blog!

I read every entry of yours but don't often leave a comment. Thanks for sharing your intriguing stories with a former NYC resident. Brings back memories of the quirkiness that I will always love about "The City".

A big fan...

Janet

(lordcelery.blogspot.com)

Anonymous said...

whats wrong with light menthols?

Jason_Chatfield said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jason_Chatfield said...

Just got to Perth (Australia - yeah, 25 hours in a plan) back from New York ; absolutely loved it. Could easily live in NY. Was staying on West 55th. Your blog helped HEAPS.
I had read it for about 6 months prior to going and it taught me more about the people and the litte tricks around the place than anything in the crappy tourist brochures. Thanks - it's a shame I never met you while I was there.. then again.. HOW many cabs are there in NYC?.. Just a couple huh.
Keep up the good work - Love the blog.

Anonymous said...

i hate neil

and please don't smoke

Drunken Master said...

Niel doesn't sound even remotely Italian. Wonder why he was so happy? Maybe he won his office pool. Still no reason to be so obnoxious.

MTM said...

Yes you are so right Menthol GROSS.
Whay a ass, sorry you have to deal with such low life......

Sarah said...

Marlboro Light Menthols?

What kind of GUY smokes those???

Glad the girls understood.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pictures and also the street where the explosion was I wandering wheerabouts it was. Keep up the blog....Best one around always love seeing New Yoork and you present it best

ReallyEvilCanine said...

Surely you could trade the smokes for your brand if you also buy a couple extra things at some corner shop.

As far as the World Cup, here in Germany, most people were rooting for the French. Part of this was spite due to Germany's defeat but an awful lot of people didn't want Italy to ever even make it to the second round.

Anonymous said...

I think I used to date Neil. What a tool!

Anonymous said...

Menthol? Holy mother of Christ!!! I hope youu didn't smoke them.

~*~ D ~*~ said...

I am glad you got a nice tip from those girls for having to deal with their jerk of a friend! Too bad the cigs weren't your brand, but maybe you can trade them?

I love your blog, and read you whenever you update.

Anonymous said...

zizou did a stupid thing and deserved the red card but i totally felt for the french. although i also felt for the italians when they were whistled out all the time they had the ball cause people on the stadium didn't understnad why the red card was given (they really didn't saw what had happen).
it was sad to watch how french were crying .... but it was fun to watch how italians were ecstatic!

ps. love your blog!!

wil said...

Here is how Babel Fish translated what "julian" had to say:

Neil precise right one 渾 蛋 但 Non- 曉 profitable because our 什 麼 那 package fragrance smoke disappoint you?

Geez, I wonder if the untranslated ideograms are Japanese swear words?

LOL!!

Greg said...

Wow, are you dissing the name 'Neil' itself as well as the guy who is named that?

Here in Astoria, I was surprised that the celebration by the Italian-Americans following Italy's victory wasn't bothersome. I live within shouting distance of Broadway so I was afraid it was going to be quite annoying.

[N]ear the end of my shift, two girls and a very drunk guy got in at Ludlow and Stanton.

Hmmm, since it was a Monday night, I wonder if they had been to the live-band karaoke at Arlene's Grocery. I've been to that a couple of times myself. I didn't like the crowd. I much prefer the crowd that shows up for the Original Punk Rock / Heavy Metal Karaoke Band. M.P., if you show up to their gig at Continental this Thursday night and (attempt to) sing a song, all your drinks after your performance are on me! :)

Anonymous said...

LOVED YOUR ENTRY TODAY..TOO FUNNY...BUT REALLY APPRECIATE ANY PICTURES..I PRETEND I,M THERE....M

Amanda in Murray Hill said...

I know a guy named Neil...he is a prick...I wonder if it was the same guy??

Juliet said...

Yours is the only blog I read; always interesting. Really appreciate it! Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences.

veronika said...

I'm pretty sure that guys don't smoke those, I bet they belonged to the girls...seriously.

Anonymous said...

never met a man named Neil that was worth knowing... I'm sure they exist... somewhere.

Code Masseur said...

New York Hack, I think you're forgetting that Neil paid for his drunken stupidity in another way... He was publicly humiliated by being featured in your blog for misbehaving. Don't underestimate the power of the blog!

If I ever find myself in your cab in NYC, I promise to behave myself well, and tip nicely. (And of course, I would ask for a photo to post in my blog.)

Jim Santo said...

menthol lights are the kind of cigs that dicks like neil carry around to put off people trying to bum cigs from them:

bummer: "hey can you spare a smoke?"
dick: "yeah sure, here."
bummer: "uhhh...no thanks."

J Diddy's Friend said...

BORING...BORING...BORING...

WORDS...PHOTOS...WEB BLOG.

(Leave Us BE)

MD said...

Who the hell takes a cab eight blocks in the summertime? Ludlow/Stanton to St. Marks/1st Ave is less than a mile.

Anonymous said...

MD said...
Who the hell takes a cab eight blocks in the summertime? Ludlow/Stanton to St. Marks/1st Ave is less than a mile.

Two girls that do want to carry a drunk friend maybe? lol

EverJack1 said...

I enjoyed this one a lot, MP, including the 'drunk' story. You also showed a closed off intersection (due to the explosion) that we'll never see on the news.

Too bad the cigs were a crappy brand......

EverJack1

asy said...

It's something about the name, I'm sure...

Sounds like an interesting night, thankfully the world cup only plays every 4 years.

Stuffs up the TV viewing as well as your nights.

asy :D

Greg said...

Oh, by the way, I read that while nobody died in the explosion, one passerby was seriously injured. Also, a nurse who was supposed to open another doctor's office in the building for the day arrived late. If she had been on time, she could have been seriously injured herself or even killed.

Anonymous said...

I am moving up to there is a month or two. I sure hope you pick me up at LGA. I'll be sure to leave you your brand and I won't be an asshole:)

Anonymous said...

only a ball-less freak would smoke light menthols-if you're gonna partake, grow a pair & smoke a real cig...Camel Wides

Learn that Poem said...

*cough* *cough*

Cigarettes- ick!

Chez Bez said...

Another winning post. Thanks for what you share.

shanti sagar koneru said...

LOL...neil was a great character...funny ones...if u dont smoke menthol,dont...why do u compare to neil....no two in the world are the same

DaPryncess said...

translation of the chinese (traditional) above:

...indeed is a son-of-a-bitch Why but don't I know that package of cigarette...

lots of love.

DaPryncess said...

translation of the chinese (traditional) above:

Neil ...indeed is a son-of-a-bitch Why but don't I know that package of cigarette... dissapoint you?

lots of love.

Ed B. said...

I'm a cigar man myself. Cigs don't do it for me.

Great post MP!

Anonymous said...

funny stuff. you are a terrific writer.

Anonymous said...

LMAO, you should have told neil, just because you have one doesn't mean you need to BE one

MJ06 said...

What a clown

M said...

Hey! Love your blog....check mine out if you get a chance.

Anonymous said...

Great post, one of the classics. Short, sweet, yet fully visual. Looking forward to the book. And a Germany v. France final would've made up for all the horrorific referee calls during the Cup.

Thanks M.

BTW: JMD mentioned your blog on wbai again last saturday. =)

The Lone Beader said...

Smokers are jokers. LOL

lindsey said...

even tho they may not be the square of choice, i have found that any cig is better than no cig....it really is disappointing when the free ones suck huh?

Anonymous said...

I wish I'd been riding by on my bike at the time - I would've taken the opportunity to run that asshole down.

Obviously I'm only kidding, but I am amazed at how many people illegally exit a cab on the traffic side, putting both other cars and *especially* cyclists at risk.

Anonymous said...

it always amuses me when americans say they are rooting for the team...we have the same saying in australia, but it would mean you are on your back for the team if you know what i mean...
love the blog m.p, drive safe.
neil neil orange peel..you suck, and singing pearl jam! ha!

R2K said...

Best City ever!

Anonymous said...

Congrats, Galker Link! Now Neil has been publicly humiliated even further ..

Vernon said...

Dear heart, as an ex-smoker , many years of the bad habit, and chewing too, worse yet. I would beg you to find a way to quit. It will kill you. Start chewing gum. In three days, the nicotine leaves the system, and you only have the habit of reaching to break.
Quitting chewing was sort of like weaning rats off nicotine. I am sure you have seen pictures of white mice, going to get their fix.

I don't wish to preach, but I would urge you to quit.

Brueklen d'Cannith said...

I never turn on rap stations when i drive customers, I ignore them, tell them the radio doesnt work, or outright refuse to play that crap. People who listen to rap usually dont tip anyway so its no loss.

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone getting on Neil's case? Who knows, he could be a cool Roy who is just a wee bit drunk, & the girls may have been the ones who left the barges behind.

Soulfull said...

What a loser that guy was... lovin the blog!

Tesco Codes said...

Great Blog

Keep it up!

TUFFENUF said...

Good things, those partitions! Slam it in Neil's face, then pretend you can't hear him sing or that you can't hear a word he says. Sounds like he will get run over sooner or later acting like that - it will be good ridence!

Anonymous said...

I thought it was " i before e , except after c " . Is that how you spell " Neil" ?

Anonymous said...

Italian bridge and tunnel can burn. It is only natural that a homo like Neil would smoke menthols.

Nicole said...

I just started reading your blog today and I think it's great! You get to see so much of nyc's real personality, it's geat that you're blogging about it!

Anonymous said...

What an asshole. Was he a yuppy? He sounds like a yuppy.

BazMitch said...

Hi.
I just stumbled on your blog.
Great stuff!
I am a Brit who just loves your city. Have had many drunken rides home in yellow cabs. You guys do a great job.
Although not all drivers seem to want to talk much. Maybe next time I visit I`ll get lucky and get in your cab.
Baz

Anonymous said...

Next time you should ask him to kneel down and kiss your ass before driving off yelling "Italy cheated!"

Greg said...

M.P., you recently mentioned in another blog entry that you play GTA. Check out this T-shirt. (I hope you understand it!)

On a serious note, the doctor who apparently blew up his building died over the weekend, which sucks because he won't be held accountable for the misery he caused. In response to anonymous above, he wasn't a yuppie. He was too old (in his mid-sixties), and in my opinion, doctors aren't yuppies -- too many hours in med school and as residents, plus they have to be on call sometimes, and I think yuppies-to-be find those demands unappealing.

Dead Air Dave said...

I love your blog. I have been reading it since the AP did that great story on you.

I'll be talking about you on the radio when I'm on the air again!

Good luck with the book.

Nicole said...

Great blog! I wrote about your blog on my blog today, if you'd like to see it...

Blah Blah Blah said...

When I moved to NYC 2 years ago, I thought it would be a cool way to meet new people by being a taxi driver....
Then I thought about it and realized that my tolerance for the miscellaneous bullshit is entirely too low for me to be pleasant enough to get good tips....
...but the stories you have are great.

Mysterious George said...

You know, I'm inclined to think that all Neils are assholes. I knew one a few years ago that was a total shitbrain. They always think they are a lot funnier than they really are. Little do they know that we're laughing AT them.

Keep up the great writing - I love your stories!