St. Louis Mardi Gras Mayhem – The tale of a cab driver, a passenger and a lost car!
As each day gets closer, I can hardly contain my enthusiasm about the day that excites almost every cab driver in St Louis. This day is even bigger than New Year’s Eve. What day is that, you ask? St. Louis Mardi Gras of course. This is the day where as soon as you drop off your customer, another customer awaits your service. I must admit – I love the glitter of Mardi Gras beads and customers with fists full of dollars.
Although making money is the bottom line, Mardi Gras is also where the best cab driver stories are born. Every driver has at least one. Last year, my story came the day after Mardi Gras. My first fare of the day was a young lady. I greeted her as I always do, with a smile and a, “Good afternoon! How are you today?”
She quietly mumbled, “Not too well I’m afraid. That is why I called for your service.”
“I am sorry to hear that, but I’m glad you called and am happy to help. Where would you like to go?” I asked.
She blushed and said, “That is a great question…you see, I got a little too wasted last night and I have no idea where I parked my car and how I got home.”
I tried to ease her anxiety (between laughing to myself) by saying, “No problem this sort of thing happens all the time.” I think it helped, at least a little bit.
She then started to explain how her night began. She told me she picked her girlfriend up from her house and drove to Soulard. Due to road blocking they were forced to park on a street nearby. The problem was – she had no clue which street that was. So, off we went, with somewhere in Soulard as our destination. We traveled up and down almost every street in the city and saw many cars parked along the curbs, but none of them belonged to her.
After nearly half an hour into our excursion, her phone rang. She answered her phone and pretty soon her face reddened with embarrassment. She told me it was her mother on the other end and asked if I could take her back home. A little curious I asked, “Did you find your car?”
She said, “Yes. Apparently I called my mother last night to pick us up because I was too wasted to drive.” She said that her mother and father came down, picked up her and her girlfriend and her father drove her car back home. She laughed and said “I am so embarrassed!”
“You may be embarrassed,” I said, “But you should also be proud of yourself. As wasted as you were and so wasted you didn’t even know how you got home, you still were able to make the right choice by not driving!”
As we pulled back into her apartment complex she laughed again and said, “Look, there is my car right there!” It was right where I picked her up earlier. We both laughed. She got out, paid me my fare and gave me a handsome tip. I wonder what this year’s St. Louis Mardi Gras has in store for me!