Friday, June 15, 2007

No break(s) on this runaway summer!

I had my excuse all prepared, knowing that my doctor was certain to end my travels. Yes, I drove myself to the follow-up appointment, despite the pain in my right foot and the huge cumbersome boot desensitizing the ordinary pressure necessary to move forward without a jolt - not to mention breaking! In the good old days, they broke with their left foot AND worked the clutch!!

I was certain the check-in nurse would ask how I arrived after watching me wobble in. I simply avoided eye contact. The doc checked the foot, announced my cholesterol had dropped (ye-ha!), and then sent me on my way to get it re-rayed! Didn't she wonder how I would get there??? I hobbled out, holding my excuse very close at hand, knowing the question was imminent. I set next appointment, paid the bill, grabbed the crutches ... nadda. Nope. Despite my best efforts, no one cared that I drove to and from the doctor's office that day, let alone to and from the kids' school!

BUT if anyone would have asked, I would have told them I had a cab out front. It certainly wasn't a lie!

You cannot imagine what it is like driving the Frownie Cab on a daily basis, my husband's idea of fun and surprises! What better way to adorn a bright yellow Aztec than to add checkerboard and lettering officially designating my role as cabbie for the kids in need of being all over this town for various activities. When I opened the door to the garage and discovered it, I screamed - loudly. How in the world could I drive that thing? It was bad enough driving it without the checkerboard announcement on the side of the car!

The kids, strangely, loved it. They didn't mind having everyone see them coming and going. Their friends think it is cool. In fact, one of the kids at the school begs her mom every day to park next to the Frownie Cab. I truly do not understand why...

So one day, David takes the car to get a tire fixed (he rarely drives it - in fact, once after spending the day driving it, he came home and asked if we should remove the lettering. He felt uncomfortable having everyone staring at him, I guess. There is no way we could change a thing and still drive the car. We would look so weak, don't you agree??) Come to find out, the repairman's daughter had been on a search for a yellow cab for prom. (Of course, none can be found in Flint!) She is REALLY into yellow cabs. Her dress is cabbie yellow with a checkerboard shawl, the dad goes on to say. Her date has a yellow shirt, yellow socks with his black tux.

But no cab.

Well, you can probably see where this is going. David offers up his services for prom, complete with this cabbie hat and fake cabbie suit. In Flint, the proms are like the Academy Awards complete with limos, caddies and that year, a yellow cab. (I got the pictures to prove it!!)

That's one of the good stories - and while I have more, the number of other stories is higher, including just the sheer fortitude one needs to keep driving while everyone cranes their necks around and stares as we drive by. It took me months to stop wondering why everyone was staring at us. I kept thinking there must be something wrong with the car, a seat belt dragging on the ground, the kids making faces at other drivers as they passed, grafitti? Why in the world was everyone looking at us??

Now I just smile - like I'm nuts.
Sometimes the kids wave...

Once, we were driving the back roads of Jackson. Dirt roads lined with gorgeous trees, hardly room for another car, but we rarely saw one so it didn't matter. A truck full of toothless guys suddenly appear. Yup, at the next stop sign, they slide up next to us, motion to roll down the window. I'm thinking, oh no. I've seen this episode on COPS. I smile and turn my head back to the road.

BEEEP! I look over, trying not to give off that scent of fear. The toothless driver motions to roll down the window. So, because I forgot what the woman did wrong on that COPS episode, I rolled it down part way. All the guys then squeeze their heads to their open window to listen. What's it gonna be, I'm thinking. Hope the kids don't learn another evil of the world...

Where's the racetrack, the driver belches out.

The what-did-he-say?? Excuse me, I respond, raising my fake dumb blonde eyebrows necessary in a moment like this. Racetrack, he says, with all his friends nodding in approval. Where is the race track?


Then it occurs to me, this truck load of drunken guys think I am a cab - OF COURSE THEY DO!! (Thank you, David!)

So, I laugh, and politely smile because I think they might have a gun rack.

I am sorry. I don't know where the race track is. I am not really a cab. You see, my husband thought it would be funny if -

They interrupt.

Sure, sure. Lady, where is the race track??

I assure you, drunk guys, I am not a cab for anyone other than my precious children in back. See them (kids roll down your windows!). They smile and wave. I smile and wave and then proceed to slowly pull away hoping they don't ram us from behind.

It truly is amazing how often we are stopped for directions. On a near daily basis, someone asks us if we are a real cab. Not too long ago, I was sitting at a stop light over by Genesee County Mental Health and I noticed an old man in an even older suit hobbling toward our car. Hey, under normal circumstances, I am observant, but become especially so while driving any more. (I keep thinking someone is going to rob me with this thing!!) Out of the corner of my eye, I see him reach for the back door on the passenger side. Needless to say, I put the pedal to the metal and ran the red!

At Horton's drive thru the other day, the attendant asked how many vehicles we have in our fleet.

Fleet, I wondered? This person must know David and his thirst for cars (see - I forget I am driving it!!). She must of seen my puzzled face because then she said, I see your cabs all over town.


Just this one, you see, my huband thought it would be funny -

Your kidding, she said interrupting the explanation. You are not a cab? There is only this one?

Yes, just me, driving my kids to and fro. Smile.

You are all over this city, she said. (Tell me about it, I think.)

Anyway, on the eve of trading in the cab for a new car (note husband's thirst above!), I decided I could make the cab work for me for a change - came up with my excuse for the doc, the nurse, the xray tech - anyone who might try and bar me from driving due to my impaired right foot. It didn't happen. No one cares that I can barely move my foot to push the gas pedal or step on the brake. SO I DIDN'T GET TO USE MY LINE!!!!!

Can't I get a break??

(BTW, xrays came back, no breaky for my footy either! Just a bad sprain and a fracture scar from previous trauma!)

For the record, I'm not letting my husband near my next car!! I hate surprises!!


dee said...

Sue that was great I never laughed so hard. I love your cabbie. But never thought of all the interesting situations that would come of it. Memories arent they grand!!!! The kids will love them when they are grown and the grandkids come.:)

Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

Dawn said...

Sue - loved the essay on the Frownie Cab. We will all miss chasing you into the school parking lot. Like a real New York cabbie, your driving habits inspire fear and awe! ;-)