I had a most interesting encounter on my last evening in Atlanta (USA) with a cab driver after a night out with some friends.
As it turns out, cab drivers in Atlanta are pimps too.
I get in the back of the cab and I see a chilled bottle of sparkling wine resting in the middle separating me from the rest of the seat. There are two glasses strategically positioned on the armrest. The sighting of these vessels of temptation should have set my spider senses off.
He asks me where I’m from and I tell him South Africa. “Oh yhea? I dig that man, I dig that.” Then he offers me a drink by telling me to pour myself a glass. I decline.
He proceeds to tell me about his other business that he and his associates have. I don’t think he used the word “associates” though. He might have used a lower cousin of the word, which has since escaped me.
He says he has girls that entertain clients. “They’re college girls.” “They come up to your room, you can take them out and do whatever.” I decide to act a fool because I can see where this is going because in my mind I really don’t want to go where this is going. Then I ask if they’ll also clean my room if I want them to. He laughs and carries on as if I’d said nothing.
Then he tells me that the girls work in a strip joint. “I’ll take you to the strip club just so you can see.” I tell him I have a presentation I have to get ready for tomorrow. This is what I call my “nerd defence”. It fails. “You work hard. You deserve to relax. Don’t you even have 30 minutes? You need 30 minutes for yourself. She can just come up to your room. It will be $150. You can do whatever.” Again that word, “whatever”. He never says what “whatever” actually is.
Mr Cab Driver with gold chains ignores my lack of interest and continues. “What kind of girls are you into? I have white, black, Latina.” (He even mentioned the Latina girl by name. I reckon she must have been blazing.) Then I say: “I’m into girls I don’t have to pay for.” He laughs. I laugh. We laugh.
He tells me he’ll offer me a discount because I’m a corporate man and he wants my business in the future. “You said you’re from South Africa? Is Aghana in South Africa?” Excuse me I say to me. He says Aghana again. I feel like saying “Aghana ain’t no country I ever heard of”, like Samuel L Jackson in Pulp Fiction.
I say: “No, Ghana is another country. South Africa is the country with Mandela and Tutu.” Tutu spoke at … (some university he mentioned that I forget now). I could listen to him talk all day, he says. I see this as an opportunity to get out of this guy’s salesman pitch. “They fought hard for us. That’s why I have to work on this presentation. I have to represent for the brotherhood.” I pull the brotherhood card on him.
He is relentless. “You’re a dedicated brother, I’ll give you a discount!” I’ll be honest, I wanted to know what the girls look like. But don’t tell my mother.
Finally he parks in front of my hotel and then I say to him: “I want a girl I can talk to and then convince her to take her clothes off, not one I have to pay for her to take them off.” He laughs and says: “I like you man, Imma give you a discount for your ride.” I got a discount for the cab ride but I never got the ride he wanted me to get.