“Always say yes.”
During a recent Recitation of the Waybill, a bunch of us were standing around the National office as Late Night Larry offered up some of his incontrovertible advice.
“No matter the question,” he snarled. “The answer is always yes.”
I’ve implemented many of Larry’s words of wisdom over the years, but sometimes it’s my own rules that save the day. Like that Friday night when I was inbound on Columbus at 3 a.m., waiting for the light to change at Pacific.
Behind me, the neon lights of Broadway are diffused in the fog like the setup to a Scooby-Doo mystery, while stragglers lurk in dark corners.
Just as the signal turns green, a young black guy and an older white woman approach my cab. Besides the overwhelming stench of booze that’s almost palpable, their eyes are spinning in their sockets, suggesting other intoxicants.
“Hey! You’re cute!” the woman screeches at me. “Can I touch your hair?”
Less of a request and more of a warning, I try to dodge her grasp.
“Let’s not molest the driver,” the guy says with a giggle. “Yet.”
“Uhhh … Where to?” I ask hesitantly.
“We need snacks!” the woman shouts. “Pronto!”
“Driver, do you know where we can get some snacks?” the guy asks calmly, as if his companion’s exclamation wasn’t clear enough.
I suggest Union Square. With several 24-hour diners, fast food and a 7-Eleven, it covers all the bases for late night snack options. And close enough to get this rascally duo out of my cab. Pronto.
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