Monday, April 25, 2011

"Helmut and Lisa In the Big Apple" by Stuart Sokol

Helmut and Lisa came to New York to spend their honeymoon on a day in early March. It was about 35 degrees with wind gusts up to 50 mph on and off, with a mix of light snow and sleet. Helmut looked like the prototypical Austrian ski instructor, he was about 6 foot 4, and built like Paul Bunyan, he kind of looked like a blonde Harry Hamlin. Lisa looked like Heather Locklear, but prettier, with gorgeous blonde hair and huge green eyes, wearing a lavender skintight pants suit on a body that would redefine the word hourglass.

They were both beaming from ear to ear, showing their pearly white teeth and perfect mouths as they landed in Newark Airport, headed to the Marriot Marquis in the center of Times Square in Manhattan. As I loaded their velvety brand new luggage I remember thinking, God chose to reach down and give these two people that perfect life we all dream about.

We then headed out of the airport and onto the New Jersey Turnpike for New York City when I became concerned about an issue involving my cab. The roof light on top was held on by magnets, this was due to the fact that it was also my personal car, and when I was using it with my family I didn’t want it to look like a taxicab.

One of the magnets started to rattle and I became concerned that it was slightly loose, and since it was abnormally windy I decided to pull off to the shoulder and remove it before it flew off and killed somebody. When I returned behind the wheel I proceeded to explain to Helmut and Lisa what I had done. They spoke very little English, so I proceeded to explain it using gestures to explain myself. It made perfect sense to Lisa, but Helmut started to behave erratically, and he demanded another explanation.

Lisa was trying to explain it to him in German but he kept acting crazier. All of a sudden Helmut started yelling, "We get out we get out!" I said, "What are you talking about? You can’t get out here, we are in the middle of the New Jersey Turnpike!" At this point Lisa realized what was happening and her face had a look I had only seen once before in my life. I was at Shea Stadium watching a Met game when a woman about 60 years old caught a foul ball squarely in the mouth as her face exploded in blood; she wore a similar expression to what Lisa wore at the moment.

Helmut kept screaming louder and louder like a man possessed and I started to fear for my own safety. If you are driving a cab and refuse to let someone out, it is technically kidnapping, so I did the only thing I could do. I put my flashers on and stopped on a bridge on the New Jersey Turnpike in thirty five degrees with the 50 mph gusts, and the freezing rain, got out, unloaded their luggage and continued on my merry way back to the airport, hoping that my next passengers would be a bit more rational.

I’ll never know what happened to Helmut and Lisa, but I have speculated that he never get to touch her beautiful face and body again.

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