Health Code Violation
As I might have mentioned, my vocabulary is limited to American English, and I’m barely proficient at that. I have been lucky enough to have the majority of this rides I’ve given to customers that grasp the English language about as well as I do. (Dafuq is a participle?) Even if someone is from another country, they usually speak the language. With small exception. And by small exception, I mean two. Exactly two. The first one was quite easy to deal with, he didn’t speak. He got in the car, said “No Ingles.” He didn’t attempt to talk so I kept quiet as well. When I dropped him off, out of habit I closed with: “Have a great day.” To which, he replied: “Yeah, you too, man.” in perfect fucking English! I got trolled. If you’re reading this, well played, good Sir. Well played.
The second ride started off fairly similar. I was in the shady part of the big city and got a request from a Latin-sounding name. Not like “Et tu, Brute?” Latin like Octavius or Flavius, but Latin American Latin, like Juan or fuck me, it’s going to be hard to write all of these tales of woe without sounding like a sheet-wearing, cousin-fucking, cross-burner. I promise there is no racist intent implied in these stories. But, that’s the way it sounded. I get to the pick up location as daylight began to fade. The side door opened within a minute or two of pulling up and out walked a larger Hispanic woman with a brown leather jacket and super tight-fitting jeans on. I was desperately hoping she didn’t drop anything and have to pick it up. For her sake, not because I just ate.
She plops down behind me and I greet her immediately, to which she does not respond. I start the ride and begin to pull away. The lady in the back says something that sounds unintelligible to me so I say “I’m sorry?” in hopes she’ll repeat it so we can understand each other. It was in Spanish, but I’m hoping she speaks English as well. No dice. She seemingly understood me because she began to speak again, but I didn’t understand her this time either. Not for lack of trying, but I’m pretty sure she was getting aggravated at me so she said it faster. It was like one of those really awful anti-drug commercials. “This is what Charlie Brown’s mother sounds like. This is what Charlie Brown’s mother sounds like hopped up on crank and Adderol.”
The destination I was heading to I had never heard of. Fitting the trend of the ride, the name of the establishment is in Spanish. Fuck me, right? But, fuck it, I’ll trust my GPS and try to get this over quickly; it was only an eight minute drive. Eight minutes of pure fun! I’m hoping that this trip will go as smoothly as the last language barrier I faced. Nope. She insisted of trying to talk to me in Spanish, to which I politely responded the best I could that I did not speak her language, using what little Spanish I did know.
Her: [Something in Spanish}
Me: “No habla Espanol.”
Her: [Something else in Spanish, but with more chutzpah.]
Me: “Seriously, no habla Espanol. Por Favor. Habla Ingles?”
Her: “Habla Ingles.”
Me: “Excellent! Where are we headed today?”
Her: “No.” [Something new in Spanish, pretty sure had something to do with my Grandmother.]
We went back and froth like this for a few moments before I got all aggro and started saying random shit. I don’t know why I take so much joy in little things like that. Like getting someone who is super wasted in the car that keeps passing out, then when they wake up and start asking where they are, start answering them in German and watch them freak out. It never gets old. But I tried with this one, I genuinely tried to understand what she wanted me to know and tried to pick things up with context clues and hand signals. You can go ahead and add “American Sign Language” to the list of things I don’t speak. And Emojis. Seriously, I can think of next to no occasion where I would need to send someone a miniature representation of a Kimono. Yet.
Me: “No, I agree completely. I think Darkwing Duck was a very under-appreciated show. It was geared towards the children, but I think it had some rather adult themes.”
Me: “No, no. That’s Howard the Duck. It’s based off an old comic book. Really before it’s time though.”
Me: “The billionaire was Scrooge McDuck. Although, I’m fairly certain that there were some antisemitic overtones going on on Duck Tales.
Her: [Spanish Spanish] “Work” [Spanish Spanish]
Me: “Oh, you’re headed to work?”
Now, we’re getting somewhere. While I was spouting off my childhood cartoon waterfowl rhetoric, I was throwing up random hand signals hoping something would stick. Although, strictly speaking Howard the Duck wasn’t a cartoon. Meh, semantics. I did what I believed to be the universal symbol for drinking. I tossed up an invisible mug a couple of time as if to simulate that this conversation was so boring that I wanted to drink myself to death. But the sign excited her for some reason. She sprung forward and spouted off some nonsense from which I was able to pick out the word “Work.” Probably because it was the only word she said in English. Unless there is a Spanish word that sounds very similar to “work” but means something completely different. Like “Twerk.” Which sounds similar to “work,” but has nothing to do with anything productive whatsoever. It is nearly the exact opposite. “Work” implies that you are gainfully employed or pursing a worthy goal or idea. “Twerk” implies that you can’t get a job. But I digress. As I’m looking in my mirror at the excited woman, she did a hand symbol in return that appeared like she was pouring something out. Possibly a drink? And we have a winner.
Me: “You’re a waitress?”
Her: “No.” [She repeats the pouring motion]
Me: “Oh, a bartender?”
Her: “Si! Bartender!”
Me: “Oh, that’s excellent. I’m so glad we understood each other. So, we are headed to your job as a bartender at a local dive?”
I give up. She had confirmed that she was going to work and that she was indeed a bartender, then we go back to not understanding each other. I go back to talking about cartoons and how Invader Zim was an amazing show that was pulled over some bullshit. She goes back to talking trash about members of my family. Or at least that’s what I assume. Is that racist? I don’t think so, but it is a lot of “go backs.”
Now, you may think the point of this story would be the racist connotation or the mildly amusing things that can happen when cultures collide peacefully and don’t understand each other standing side by side, like we all just landed after being struck down from the Tower of Babel. But why the title “Health Code Violation?” Well, boys and girls, that fun didn’t start till after we arrived in the dirt parking lot of the exotic Latino bar whose name I cannot pronounce.
I pull parallel with the entrance, making it easy for her to just step out and head in. I try my best to make things convenient for my clients. I’m ready to end the trip but the client is still in the back seat fidgeting with things and securing her belongings. We have sat in the parking lot for a solid three minutes and she still has not even opened the door. I tried to ask if I was at the right place with no response. Then the fidgeting stopped and she was still, with a strained uncomfortable look on her face. My mind immediately goes to the bad spots. Is she about to have a heart attack? Maybe a stroke? Do you smell toast? Is there a fee I can charge if she dies in the vehicle? If she does pass on, am I a bad person if I just push her out and go on about my day? The strained look on her face looks as if its about to crescendo. Like the flood gates are about to open with just a bit more pressure. Like the pimple that’s just about to pop and splatter all over your bathroom mirror. Like John Hurt at the end of Alien (or Spaceballs). Like your partner is screaming “Faster, don’t stop, I’m about to cum!” but your arm is getting really tired and you know you can’t keep up that pace. And then, release.
Without all the convoluted nonsense I just tried to turn into an analogy, long story short this woman looked like she was about to have an aneurysm. But instead of dying grotesquely in the back of a stranger’s car, she did probably the only thing she could have done worse than that. A violent, bloody, vomit-spewing death would have been more dignified than what actually happened. Right before cracking the door, she let out the loudest, wettest, dirtiest, seat-vibrating fart to ever pass through a loosened sphincter. Loosened because it was letting a monster out, not because she often takes massive cock in the ass. But I’m just speculating.
Imagine, if you will, a small child letting go of an untied balloon. The quickly deflating sack of air flies around the room as the escaping air causes the rubber opening to rapidly slap against itself. But this small child tends to salivate excessively and is actually Pig Pen from Peanuts, so the balloon is caked in mud and little droplets of spit are flung haphazardly as the balloon makes it’s laps, spitting raspberries until it’s spent. This balloon also happens to be of excessive size and over-filled, so it’s sputter to finality is uncharacteristically long and arduous. Not clear enough for you? Well, let’s make it gross but keep it relatively similar. Imagine yourself eating out an overweight persons asshole after they just did three miles in Spandex on an Elliptical and to prevent from gagging on the yogurt of dirt, sweat, and dead skin clinging to the hair in their crack, you decide to motorboat it. You can feel the fleshy heaps of their ass as they perform a wet quick-step against your face as you both sob because mommy didn’t love you enough. Pick one of those, and that’s about what it sounded like.
I am stunned by what transpired, yet intrigued by the effort put into it. Good push. But in my fucking car? You couldn’t have held it for the three seconds it would have taken you to exit the vehicle? No, no. Not you. You were a crafty one. The woman stayed on the meter, waited for it to build inside her, then just before exiting the vehicle she released her fiery fury on my imitation leather, slapping it with a slow vibration.
I assumed she waited in the car that way if she pushed something out I could take her back home to change her peanut butter filled panties. Extra chunky. Oh, come on. Don’t act like it’s never happened to you. I’m sure everyone has blown mud at least once in their adult life. Maybe you’ve been too drunk or too sick and you trusted that it was just a fart. Or maybe one just surprised you and you never felt it coming then you’re experiencing anal seepage like the side effects of some shitty medication. Maybe you had one in the on-deck circle getting ready and let out a violent sneeze at the wrong time. Perhaps you’re trying to impress the ladies and really try to push out a loud one and the contents of your bowels came with it. Or, it is entirely possible that you were in three different countries in three months in three different regions with three different water and food qualities and three different chances for disease without your body getting the chance to properly acclimatize to each area. Next thing you know, you’re throwing away a brand new pair of undies in a dirty dumpster off in the middle of fucking nowhere Kuwait and going back to your tent free-balling it so hopefully you can sneak off for an extra shower that day without running the risk of someone being in the shower stall next to you jacking off loudly. I’ll save that story for another book. But seriously, everyone can hear you.
People tell me quite often that I’m a bit of an asshole. They never really stop. So as the woman finally vacated the premises and shut the door behind her, I began to wonder if I did something to warrant this sort of response. Could my actions have provoked this level of biological attack? I began to think about how I didn’t put in enough effort to be considerate of the situation and that I should have been more involved in finding a way around the language barrier. Maybe I was just an inconsiderate prick. Maybe that’s just who I am as a person. Maybe I will never truly change and will always be the colossal self-righteous jackass that I have become. But no matter how horrible I am as a person, I will never be as horrible as the smell she left in my fucking car.
Calling this smell “hot garbage” would be an insult to hot garbage. Now, I could sit here and crack jokes about poor hygiene and make a stab about anal warts. But that would just perpetuate the stigma of me being an asshole. But seriously, it was rough. Like putrid, stagnate pond water seeping out of an unwiped rectum and careening through a mine field of ass herpes. Damn it, I did it anyway. The kind of hot, wet, steamy, port-a-potty after a chili cook-off smell that singes your nose hairs. I had to get out of the car. I left the parking lot, rolled all the windows down and peeled the sunroof back; hoping against hope that the breeze would clear out the fumes of Saddam’s mustard gas. I end up having to turn the app off a couple of miles down the road and pull over. I can’t let another passenger get into the car like this. I’m not sure exactly how I still have an appetite, but I’m at a restaurant anyway so I decide it’s a good time to grab dinner. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but I’ve got Chipotle on the brain for some reason. And yes, that meant exactly what you think it meant. I close all the windows and turn the car off, grasping a can of cold aluminum as I exit. I leave the door cracked just enough to get the nozzle of my Febreze in my door then unleash the fury of about half a can, thick enough that I can see fumes floating listlessly through my windows. Hopefully that will saturate my upholstery rather then the smell of wet dog fur. I decided I would go eat and read a book for a bit, then air the car out again before attempting to pick up another ride. Because as of that moment, fair money could have been on that someone had left rotten eggs under my seat on a hot August afternoon in the desert. It was like sulfur. Thick, hot sulfur. I was waiting on Sam and Dean Winchester to show up and investigate the demon that escaped from this woman’s ass.
Nope, I got it. Wanna know what it smelled like? Boil a pack of hot dogs on the stove and then let the water sit overnight.