Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Gimme all your money
[Apparently German Shepherds are licensed to drive in Brooklyn.]
It was another ghost town night. The streets were virtually empty and I imagine the heat was keeping everyone indoors. At first I thought the theme of the night was gonna be babies since I had a three-month old child in the cab followed by a four-months pregnant lady. But then that ended when an old Polish lady got in on the upper east side and proceeded to describe the three times she got mugged.
One of these times, she had stopped at the candy store on her way home as it was apparently in the process of being robbed. When she entered the store, the robber grabbed her and locked her in a closet with six other similarly terrorized people. He then stripped her of all her money and jewelry.
In her mind, the mugging was somehow related to the misfortune of owning a car in New York, saying, "If only I hadn't found that parking spot in front of the store, I would've just gone straight home and it would never have happened." She got rid of her car soon afterward.
The night went on in the usual boring fashion, but when I got back to the garage, another driver told me a story about how he was once mugged at gunpoint by three guys (he was not working at the time). Unfortunately for them -- and him, I suppose -- he only had one single pathetic little dollar on him. He was on his way to buy a can of beer. When they found the dollar, he told them, "I guess you picked the wrong guy." They took the dollar anyway.
Luckily, I was not mugged tonight, but I was mugged several years ago when I still lived in the East Village. (Note to my parents: Stop reading this right now.) I was walking alone when two guys approached me. When they got close, one of them actually said, "Gimme all your fuckin money."
I almost laughed, thinking he was kidding, since it was such a clichéd movie line. But then I looked down and saw the knife pointed at my stomach, and I quickly stopped smiling. I gave them what I had, which amounted to about $40, but they were thorough, and made me face a wall as they patted me down to check for any hidden cash. When they were finally satisfied they had gotten it all, they ran off, and I staggered home in a terrified daze.
The driver at the garage tonight assured me that "it will happen" again. He also informed me that hiding my night's earnings in my sock was not really very effective. But I guess I already knew that.
I wonder if, using the logic of the Polish lady, any future muggings could possibly be avoided if only I got rid of my car. And maybe the cab, too. But I bet that German Shepherd up there in the driver's seat won't be getting mugged any time soon.