The Pick-Up Cab

“Hello, how are you?” I asked hoarsely, as I wearily lumbered inside the minivan-taxi early Friday morning.

“Good, how are you?” the driver asked in return.

“You know,” he added a moment later, “Nobody ever asks me that.”

“Well,” I replied, “They SHOULD.”

I quickly found out why “they” don’t.

Within two minutes of pulling out of the subway station’s taxi stand, and turning onto the main road, this guy disclosed that he was looking for “a mature woman, yeah …”

And was likely eyeing me in his rearview mirror while I looked out the windshield, oblivious. 

But his random statement said it all.

You have GOT to be kidding me, I thought. I had a horrible cold, was losing my voice, and all I wanted to do was get home and sleep. This guy decided that 2 a.m. in the morning was a good time to make a love connection?

He then proceeded to pepper me with questions. Which I wouldn’t normally mind, except that given his previous statement, these were likely part of the impromptu interview for the position of Mature Woman.

Where do I work? What do I do? When’s my birthday? Where did I go to school? (Oh, yeah? Him, too!) What years did I go there? What kind of music do I like? What kind of movies? Oh, not action so much? So, I like to read, then? 

And as we pulled into my area, he mentioned he’d like to hang out with me and asked me for my number. So I said something along the lines of “I don’t think so.” 

“Okay, so I’ll give you mine instead,” he said. Which was fine by me, ’cause this would make disposal of it very easy.

Of course, my cell had fallen out of my bag onto the seat, so I spent a couple moments fumbling around in the dark for it. And, of course, Mr Taxi Driver decided to take a second shot at getting my number, to which I said, “um, no, that’s okay.”

Luckily I found it – went through the motion of programming it into my phone.  

By the time the van pulled into the driveway (which could not have come fast enough), he’d given me his number and his name, and I’d given him my fake name.

I also noticed, as I paid for the ride, he hadn’t even bothered to turn the meter 0n.

As I said good night, I didn’t escape without one last question:

“How tall are you?”

I cursed my living situation for the umpteenth time as I made my way up the steps and into the house, slamming the door.

THAT’s a First …

I’ve had my share of “characters” who decide to try and “chat me up” (and I use the phrase loosely) while waiting for a bus …

But I’ve never had someone do it to me while waiting for a train. 

Picture it: Scarborough, just this afternoon.

I’m on the Scarborough Rapid Transit (SRT) platform. It’s cold. My iPod is blasting in my ears.

This dude passes me on my left and stops just next to me. He’s facing me – which means he wants to talk.

Inwardly groaning at which one of two things he’s going to say to me, I reluctantly pull out my left earbud … and the conversion went something like this:

Guy: Hi.

Me: Hi. (I’m looking at him, tight-lipped.)

Guy (extending his hand): My name is Glen.

Me (weakly shaking it): I’m Denise.

Glen: How are you today?

Me: Fine, thanks.

(Awkward Pause # 1 as I lean a bit sideways to see if the train is coming yet. Sadly, no. He turns and does the same.)

Glen: So … are you coming from work?

Me: No. I’m coming from … home.

Glen: You go to school?

Me: No, I work … downtown.

Glen: What kind of work do you do?

Me: I work at a bank – I’m a teller. (Complete lie # 2.)

(Awkward Pause # 2. Still no train.)

Glen: So … do you have a cell phone?

Me: No. I disconnected it last week.

(Where’s the damn train?)

Glen: Do you have an e-mail address?

Me: Yes.

Glen: Can I have your e-mail address?

Me: No.

At this point, I hear a weird noise behind me, so I turn away from what I hope is the end of the conversation with “Glen” to watch some semi-crazy guy pick through the litter receptacle and extract a cup from a fast-food place that used to carry someone’s pop.

I watch him for about 20 seconds. And then I turn around to see that Glen is still standing there.

Following Awkward Pause # 3, in which he turns to see whether the train is FINALLY coming, he turns back to me and says, “Good to meet you. Have a nice day,” and walks away.

Seriously? Seriously. Does any of that stuff actually WORK? I’d be interested to find out how successful he’s been. 

Not that the weirdo factor would be completely eliminated … but I now firmly believe that I really, really, REALLY need to move out of Scarborough.