I was cooling my heels in the Sunset Grille after a fun filled festive eleven and a half hour day of sitting on my ass in the cab staring at the steering wheel. It hadn’t exactly been a busy one and when I added everything up I had made a $157 on seven fares, any one of whom could have been appropriately named “Moe, Larry or Curley.” A couple of cold Buds would help me with my daily calamity of “He’s over sixty and stiff as hell.” That and of course, I’d made sure to properly position myself in front of the ice cooler so that every time one of the girls dove for a frosty beer glass, just like those frosty glasses, my eyes would gleam.
It was a pretty normal night. A regular named Lee was opining in his high pitched nasally voice about the Barrett Jackson car auction he and everybody else was watching on the TV.
Lee: “Well gee whiz, will ya look at that! Says that engine’s fuel injected and it’s a 57 Chevy six cylinder with 150 cubic inches. How about that! I didn’t know they fuel injected them six cylinders back then, but it says so right there on TV.”
Everybody just looked at him and then they simply looked back at the TV. Down at the South end of the bar Ed and Marilyn, the Grille’s warped version of Ozzie and Harriet, were drinking themselves into oblivion. Ed just sat there staring straight ahead while Marilyn was busy attacking the table directly behind them for a perceived affront to her favorite athlete, Payton Manning.
Marilyn: “I’m telling you ya asshole Payton’s not gay! He’s the best quarterback in football, a hall of famer to be sure and he sure as hell ain’t boinkin guys!”
Of course what one of the guys had actually said was, “Hey John, do you know if Manning’s going to play this week?” Marilyn sometimes had minor comprehension issues, usually right after the fifth vodka.
Over at the end of the bar Reggie was playing DJ and the bar was filled with the sounds of Ray Price, Tennessee Ernie Ford, and Thomas Dolby’s “Science?” which had everybody just a bit confused. A couple of the bartenders were showing more than just a little skin as the pregnancy bug had been going around and we were now expecting little miniature bartenders. I stretched my back, which gave the most worked part of my body that day, my butt, some relief and took a sip of beer.
Just as I did a cold mist seemed to settle on the bar and something moved in the doorway. I looked to my left and there he was, “The Dark Lord” a part time cab driver, dry waller, but more importantly, full time biker. It was Primo, “The Driver from the Dark Side.”
A quiet hush fell over the bar as Primo surveyed the place looking first South, then North, then spying me, he nodded and headed my way. I was surprised to see he was wearing some pretty fancy leather chaps and that his arm was in a sling. He grabbed the chair next to me and slid in. All three bartenders came up and fawned over him.
The Brunette: “Hi Primo, how’s my favorite rowdy?”
The Blonde: “Primo, what’ll ya have hon?”
The Blonde/Brunette with hints of Purple and Calico: “Hey Primo, we missed ya.”
Primo: “I know but you’ll just have to deal with it.” He looked at me and smiled.
Primo: “Hey Cabbie, what are you doin besides cuttin farts and lookin stupid?”
Me: “Dude, what happened to your arm?”
Primo blinking and then glaring: “Got rear ended by some broad in an SUV and thrown across an intersection.”
Me: “No shit! Dude you OK? You coulda been—-,“ He cut me off with a wave of his arm.
Primo: “Hey, hey, hey, stop right there. Are you a member of my organization?”
Primo: “You heard me you putz.”
Me: “The Cab Driver’s Association?”
Primo: “No you nimrod, my biker gang?”
Me: “Ahhhh, no.”
Primo: “You ride?”
Me: “Hell yeah, a 2006 Crown Vic! You knew that!”
Primo: “No you dumb ass, do ya ride a Harley?”
Me: “I don’t even know the guy.”
Primo wincing: “You can’t call me dude if ya don’t belong to my crew and ya don’t even ride a Harley. It’s a motorcycle club you dumb ass.”
Me: “Oh, I can’t call you dude?”
Primo: “Nope, it’s disrespectful and I’d have to kill ya if ya kept it up. You gotta be a member to call me dude.”
Me: “Kill me?”
Primo: “Yeah, but you’re a friend, so I’d do it humanely.”
Primo: ”Yeah, ball bat up side your head. Ya wouldn’t feel a thing. Well, I guess ya would, but then it wouldn’t matter would it? Normally, under standard business conditions I’d use a gun or a knife, but you bein a friend and all, I’d use the ball bat. It’s more humane.”
Me: “Gee dude, er Primo, that’s nice of you. Your friendship means a lot to me. That and the fact you hang out with a lot of young biker chicks.”
Primo: “Keeps me young my friend and remember what I said about the dude shit.”
Me: “Uh, right, how old are you anyway my friend?”
Primo: “I Don’t keep track and it don’t matter. Who you are and how old you are is a matter of your mind set, that and some good Jack Daniels with a hint of Viagra. Hell, I’m probably spiritually 15 years old dude.”
Me: “You’re kiddin me, you don’t look a day over fifty four to me dude.”
With that Primo got up and started heading towards the door.
Me: “Where you going dude?”
Primo: “To get my bat. I’ll be back in a jiffy.”
Lee: “Look, there’s another car that’s fuel injected. Another six cylinder 57 Chevy! Can you believe it? It says so right there on the TV, see, it says it’s fuel injected. Well ya just don’t see that every day now do ya?”
Marilyn glaring at the table behind her: “Payton Manning is the greatest quarterback that ever lived and you better stop the crap about him being gay!”
Ed: “Will you shut up? He asked if Manning was going to play, that’s all. PLAY, not GAY! God help me, I need a drink!”
The Blonde/Brunette with hints of Purple and Calico: “Bill, BILL! Where are you going? You didn’t even finish your beer!”
Me: “Headin home, I feel a head ache coming on.”
As I headed out the door Reggie was playing Cindy Lauper:
“Girls just wanna have fun, oh ooooh girls just wanna have fun.”