Xander Vale

Chemical Warfare – reworked

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Part Four:

Chemical Warfare

 

I seriously don’t know what to do with this one.  I didn’t when it happened, and I don’t now.  I can sum it up pretty easily though: people are stupid.  Some people are bags of dicks just simply to be bags of dicks.  That, and their Soccer Moms didn’t spank them as a child.  How do we make a society full of self-righteous pretentious sheep who only care about themselves, you ask? That’s easy, don’t discipline them and give them trophies just for participating while letting them watch TV instead of reading books.  I’m pretty sure the Oompa-Loompas have a song about this.  Gene Wilder’s Oompa-Loompas, just to clarify.  I’m ranting again, aren’t I? I was making a point, what was it? Oh, yeah. People are fucking stupid.

 

I had taken some time off to go visit family, then a few days off out of sheer laziness, and this was my “Welcome Back” present.  What better way to get back in the swing of things than to pick up a troupe of douche-twats. Rude, obnoxious, disrespectful, twat-shaped frozen douche sundaes with Monistat sprinkles. Am I driving that point home hard enough for ya? But, I digress. I had made a significant effort this evening. I had made sure my car was cleaned and vacuumed, even gave her a bath. I was wearing some nice slacks and a button-down with my favorite tweed jacket. It’s like a respectable Professor’s jacket, even with the leather elbow pads; it’s amazing. Got it at Goodwill for $6. Can’t believe anyone would want to get rid of this thing. Picture the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith)’s jacket from seasons five and six; but darker. I appreciate the fact that you are probably getting tired of me bringing up Doctor Who but I don’t care. The point is I was primed and ready for a good, positive night. I looked good, I felt good. I had a massive fire under my ass that night. It might have been from the Chipotle, but that’s not important right now.

 

As you might have noticed by now, I have some bad habits. Swearing, stereotyping and Doctor Who are some big ones, and I’m not even going to touch on the chronic masturbation. “Touch on,” get it? Ha!  My dirtiest habit that I am indeed ashamed of is smoking. I’m not like a 2-pack a day or even a pack a day person, but maybe three or four a day total. Unless someone gives me a free one, then that number tends to go up. But I also have anxiety issues, and we can all tell how I feel about people in general.  So if a handful a day keeps me from hearing the phrase “Will the Defendant please rise?” then I will continue to struggle with it. Especially on nights where people like to play “let’s see how far we can push the driver before he drives this car into a pole.”  I try my damnedest not to smoke in the vehicle because it’s my livelihood, but sometimes it’s cold and I’m lazy. I know my passengers don’t want to smell it or come out smelling like it, so I try not to.  But my habit all boils down to one deciding factor: fuck you, it’s my car.  But, being the responsible person that wants your money that I am, I tend to carry an ancient magical formula in my vehicle with me: Febreze. We discussed this earlier.

 

Also, I totally think I’m falling under the Mandela Effect here because I totally remember it being spelled “F-e-b-r-e-e-z-e” and not “F-e-b-r-e-z-e.” It doesn’t make sense, it’s playing on the word “breeze” like a fresh smelling breeze or some other marketing bullshit. But, just in case I do decide to have a puff or twelve and in case some bitch decides to shit her pants in the back, I will unleash some Fresh Linen scent. Typically, I’ll do it every few rides just in case. I wanted my clients trip to be an enjoyable experience, not smelling like ass, nursing homes, or a Waffle House bathroom.

 

I’m not sure what all that shit was about but I’m sure I was trying to make a point.  I was dressed to the nines, got in my sweet ride, fired up the engine, then sparked up a smoke.  Nothing quite like a jolt of nicotine and a little bit of calmer nerves before I spend the next ten minutes kicking my own ass because I need to quit before these things fucking kill me. I had made it from my place to the interstate and almost out of the not-quite-as-big city when I finally caught a ride. It was from a smaller bar that recently opened and is usually filled with the upper-middle class.  It was a refined establishment of taste and class that was off the interstate and a bit confusing to get to.  I pulled off my exit and navigated some back roads when I decided it was time to reach down in my door and grab the Febreze.  I sprayed a quick swipe in the back, one across the roof, and one over me.  What? You never know, my next ride could be Anna Kendrick. And not only would I want to smell good for her, I might actually take care of myself better in general.  Yes, I realize how implausible this scenario is. The point is, I sprayed a minute amount of smell-good stuff in the car; just enough to take the edge off.  I actually contemplated spraying more because I couldn’t smell it, but decided to play it safe.

 

I pulled into the parking lot and tried to find a way to turn around. The bar was two-stories of floor-to-ceiling windows, perfectly suited so that the yuppies inside could gawk at me as I strolled my decade-old rice-burner between their Beemers. Fuck you, you’re not better than me. Call your lawyer and get him off the Golf Course while I rub my dick on your door handles and piss on your tires. I have the time to make a couple of laps around the parking lot/show room floor with many people staring me down, none of which seemingly needing a ride. I called the client and it rang out to voice mail.  I was giving him two more laps before I move on to less aggravating situations.  Yeah, I get it.  I didn’t belong in their little dick trust fund clique. But if they wanted to keep staring, I was ready to fucking give them something to stare at.  I could have called it a night, waltzed my happy ass in the middle of their debauchery; out drank them, embarrass them, and then stole and seduced one of their girls. Possibly in front of them. Or maybe just a quick blowie in her boyfriend’s Mercedes. And then, to really put the cherry on top, I wouldn’t call her.

 

I was on lap four and it was time to call it.  I believe in giving everyone a chance so I decided to attempt to call one more time.  I finally got an answer.  The client informs me that they were on their way out so I pulled up to the front door and stop.  I was thinking to myself “Now which one of you Polo-wearing, stuck-up little Momma’s-boys do I get to spend the next five to fifteen minutes talking shit to?”  But, wait!  I’m abashed!  Were my eyes deceiving me? These were not yuppies that were coming towards me.  Nor was it Anna Kendrick.  I know, fuck my life.  The door was thrust open forcibly and out stumbled four people who actually fit in at this place less than I did.  

 

Every group has an outspoken leader, even if they don’t realize it.  It was strikingly easy to tell this one from the start.  He stumbled jauntily out of the bar wearing a crooked, flat-billed fitted cap and you know how I feel about those.  He finished off the ensemble with a fucking tight-fitting Tap Out t-shirt with his wife-beater hanging out the bottom of it that engrossed his stretch-marked belly and hung on to dear life under his belt.  He was one strong hiccup away from letting the flubber fly and spilling out his muffin-top for the masses to gaze in amazement at. Captain Douche was decked out in a fake gold and even had an obviously aluminum grill. Mother fucker was wearing a grill. Not braces, a fucking grill. Now, before you get the wrong idea, let me point out that this guy was white. I mean like super-white. Pale as a ghost. Like Anderson Cooper pale. Bleached white. Like this guy has never seen the sun because he spent his days shooting rap videos in his mother’s basement and only came out at night to gorge on Mountain Dew and Cheetos. When the rare Doucheous Maximus Twatious did venture in the real world outside of PornHub, he enjoys shots of Patron or Grey Goose because he doesn’t know the names of any real booze.

 

His douche-mates in tow are dressed strikingly similar to their miscreant leader, but sans Mall Kiosk mouth jewelry. Oh, and one of them decided to change it up a bit and wear an Affliction T-shirt instead. Not a varied wardrobe for the sheep. It must suck to miss out on the finer things in life like an identity or personality. I shall call them “Massengill” and “Summer’s Eve.” King douche, on the other hand, is obviously the most misguided and infectious of the bunch so I shall call him “Equate.” Yes, that’s right, the Wal-Mart brand. Now don’t get me wrong, when I say “infectious” I don’t mean like laughter or anything positive; I mean like herpes.

 

The fourth in this crew of failed birth control and pity sex was the most surprising of the bunch. It’s a girl. And she’s not ugly. What? How can dirty cum socks like these pull a chick above a 3? I can only assume she was Massengill’s sister and not actually sleeping with any of these missed-opportunity abortions. And I really hope not because people deserve better and I firmly believe that douche bags like that do not deserve to get laid. Especially by attractive women. I guess self-respect is “uncool” these days and settling is the trend. Besides, I doubt the great ape could find his dick even if you drew him a map. But, King Equate came out with his sweaty arm fat draped around her and was leaning on her heavily. Every time I see something so tragic I can only think one thing: you should’ve stayed in school. You could see the sadness in her face.  Like Belle, she wanted more out of life but got stuck with Gaston.  My daughters are grounded until they’re 30. And yes, I just made a Beauty and the Beast reference. Eat a dick.

 

As the broken condom convention spilled into my vehicle I was struck by two harsh realizations. Firstly: chivalry was most definitely dead. I believe the woman should always get the front seat if she wants it if she doesn’t the offer should at least be made. I understand that she may feel uncomfortable sitting next to a stranger and that’s perfectly okay. If that’s the case, the guy should’ve sat with her in the back and had her brother sit up front.  They could’ve made Summer’s Eve third wheel it in the back while the two of them got all smoochy and lovey-dovey. Or, in this case, Vanilla Gorilla gets all handsy while she gets more uncomfortable than she would have been sitting up front next to a stranger.  But no, Equate crashed his enormous ass in the front and the young lady had to ride the hump and get turned into the semi-sexy meat in a douche sandwich.  Secondly: Not that I really care what the social “elite” think about me, it seriously affects me very little. Fuck them, I hope they choke on a hair ball of pubes from their Step-dad’s nut sack while they’re gargling his balls begging because “all my friends have the new iPhone and I still have last year’s model.” But, I pulled up and this amalgam of regret and failed parenting all pile into my car in front of all the yuppies with the upturned noses. I’m not in a cab, I’m in my car. They probably think I’m friends with daddy issues and the “Scarface is my hero” triplets. And what’s worse, I came to pick them up. What does that say about how shitty my character is if I don’t even get invited to hang out with these skid marks and have to be the backup ride bitch? Maybe I’m just their really cool dad or something? Wait, that’s so much fucking worse. I rather be a loser than a failure.

 

Go ahead, Carl Jung, analyze that swatch of philosophical nonsense. He’d probably come back with some bullshit about how it means I use sex to fulfill my perceived loneliness because I equate physical affection with the love and acceptance I so deeply desire and how I use sarcasm and humor to deal with situations I’m too afraid to face and I belittle others to make myself feel better because I’m an elitist snob with an inferiority complex who constantly feels like he’s not good enough to feel loved or needed and deep down inside I’m just a scared child who will always feel unimportant. Like any of that could possibly make sense.  Damn, Carl Jung, you’re good.

 

At this point, I was thinking that I could just keep my mouth shut and ignored them.  I could sit back let them have their have their little meaningless bullshit conversations that take exactly zero intelligence and they are just spouting off shit that they’ve heard their favorite celebrity say.  I could just sit back, drive, be waiting on one of them to spout off some bullshit like “I think Lebron James would make a great President” so I can roll my eyes so hard that hopefully we fucking crash.  No offense to King James, I just prefer Jordan.  We’ve been on this journey long enough that you can probably guess what happens next: I didn’t get that lucky.  Instead, King Midol unleashed his golden cough all over my fucking dash.  This guy started hacking up a fucking lung like his bronchus is allergic to New Era caps and are trying to fucking escape. The bronchus is part of a lung. Google it.

 

To make it worse, Fat Back Mountain apparently didn’t know how to cover his fucking mouth and within minutes my glove box had cold sores.  And, as if on cue, his fucking sheep started following suit. Seriously, did I pick up a car load of coal miners?  I didn’t realize people had it that bad in District 12.

 

Between the chorus of rhythmic coughs and baritone dry-heaves, I tried to drive to the destination. We were heading to a bar I knew fairly well.  It was one of my regular stops and yet another place where these people wouldn’t fit in.  Some of the initial hacking may have been real, but as the debacle progressed the coughing became more forced and fraudulent.  They were fumbling, trying to get the windows down and were waving their arms frantically. Did someone drop some CS gas in here? Because I wasn’t feeling shit. I understand some people are sensitive to certain smells, maybe I just got the unlucky happenstance to get three of them on the same ride.  But there are other outwardly signs of such a thing. As I looked around I didn’t hear anyone sniffling or having to blow their nose.  I didn’t even see any watery eyes unless you count the girl in the back regretting all of her life’s decisions.  I was instantly convinced that this was an absolute farce and that I was the butt of some inside joke they were all in on.  Did they do shit like this to all of their drivers? I felt it was probably more of the “let’s fuck with him because he doesn’t have a ‘real job’” bullshit; even though they still lived with their parents.

 

They found small chances to catch their breath during which they used what precious air they have to fucking complain. I was catching hints of “What is that?” and “What’s that smell?” I didn’t know what they were talking about.  Maybe they get sprayed with a skunk on their way to the car?  I seriously didn’t smell anything.  I got some dumbass question about cologne and then someone actually formed a coherent thought and asked me if I sprayed air freshener.

 

Me: “Well, yeah.”

 

Massengill: “What the fuck scent is that?”

 

Summer’s Eve: “That’s fucking strong, man.”

 

Equate: “Keep your windows down, man. This man’s trying to kill us.”

 

Me: “What are you talking about?”

 

Eq: “Did you use like a whole fucking bottle of that shit man?”

 

Me: “No, I did three quick sprays about fifteen minutes before y’all got in the car. I seriously don’t smell anything.”

 

Eq: “That’s bullshit man, don’t bullshit me fucker. I can’t breathe in this bitch.”

 

Me: “You might want to calm that down.”

 

Mass: “I’m getting light-headed.”

 

SE: “I think I’m gonna pass out.”

 

Eq: “Man, I’m about to throw up.”

 

Me: “Would you like me to pull over? If you puke in my car, you’re paying for it.”

 

Eq: “Fuck you, man. Just get there fast before I fucking lose it.”

 

Me: “I told you to knock it off with that.”

 

SE: “Do people like that shit, man? No one ever complains about it?”

 

Me: “Not once in over 500 rides.”

 

Mass: “Bullshit.”

 

Eq: “Yeah, man, that’s some straight bullshit right there. You’re fucking full of shit.”

 

Me: “Whatever you say. But seriously, you need to watch the way you speak to me.”

 

Eq: “Fuck you, man. What the fuck are you gonna do about it? You’re already killing us with this fucking smell.”

 

At this juncture in my journey, I had been doing it awhile and have realized that there were things I could and could not do.  For instance, if a passenger was being unruly or if I felt threatened, I could stop the ride at any time and ask them to exit the vehicle. If they refused, I had the option of notifying the police. I’m not demanding respect or anything, but this shit was getting ridiculous. Usually, I’m super polite to the customer, even if they are verbal with me or there is an issue.  A person can only take so much, and this was obvious bullshit from the get-go. So, I let my professional bearing kinda slip. My bad.

 

Me: “Look, if you want me to pull over, I’ll pull over. But you’re not gonna curse at me and shit just because you think there is a problem.”

 

Eq: “Fuck you, bitch. There is a big fucking problem. I’m paying your ass, ain’t I? Just shut the fuck up and drive so I can get out of this damn car.”

 

Me: “Keep that shit up and you’re walking, got it?”

 

Eq: “Whatever, man. God damn, can we turn on some vents or something?”

 

Me: “The only thing I smell is your nasty-ass Axe body spray.”

 

Eq: “Fuck you.”

 

Me: “Real inventive on the vocabulary, aren’t you?”

 

Mass: “Do you do this shit on purpose, bro?”

 

SE: “Where are we?”

 

Eq: “Fucking step on it before I lose my cool, little bitch.”

 

First off, I’m a grown-ass man. I’m not gonna back down easily from some shit like that. Secondly, bad timing asshole. We had just pulled up to a red light, and it was the damnedest thing, I didn’t feel like driving anymore.  I thought it was a good time to take a break.  And I did just that. I put the car in neutral and pulled on the parking brake.

 

Eq: “Light’s green, you gonna go, man.”

 

Me: “I asked you to calm that shit down and you just keep pushing.”

 

Eq: “Whatever, just fucking drive, man.”

 

Me “I even told you what was going to happen if you didn’t.”

 

After a few seconds of silence, other than the people behind me honking their horns, the light turned back to yellow. And still, I did not budge.

 

Mass: “Can we all just knock it off so we can go?”

 

Me: “That sounds like a good idea.”

 

Eq: “What the fuck ever man, just go! We missed the fucking light! I’m fucking tired of dealing with you, man!”

 

Me: “The way I see it you have three options if you want this car to move. You can calm down and shut your mouth and I will gladly take you where you wanna go. Or, you can continue to run your mouth. To which, if that’s the case, I will put you out in the middle of the road. Option three, you can just get the fuck out right now and walk. Because obviously, you can use the fresh air and the exercise. It’s your choice.”

 

Eq: “Alright, man, I feel ya. Let’s just get on the road, okay?”

 

Me: “One more incident and this ride is over, got it?”

 

Eq: “Yeah, man. I got you. Man, y’all need to shut the fuck up back there before we walking home.”

 

Holy shit that worked. I doubted I could have taken all three of them, but they would have known they were in a fight.  Once the light turned green again I continued toward the destination.  They remained almost silent except for continuing to passive-aggressively fake cough loudly. After a few minutes and as we were approaching the next bar, the coughing became incessant. You wanna play fuck-fuck games? Because I can play fuck-fuck games. As the coughing reached a fever-pitch and was nearing a crescendo, I slide my free hand into the pocket of the door where I kept my Febreze.  As the coughs grew so loud I couldn’t hear the street noise I was slyly letting off tiny bursts of Fresh Linen. No one complained about the added scent, they just continued to be shitty, fake people.  All the while I was continuing to smile internally. By the time we reached our destination I had probably set off about seven more sprays of air freshener.  But no one seemed to notice.  Imagine that.

 

We pulled up to the bar and they filed out of the vehicle wordlessly. The young woman in the back finally spoke up, thanking me for the ride and wishing me a nice night. But her crew remained silent, probably debating on whether to call what happened a victory or not and devising ways in their heads to go into this new bar and start talking shit about how they “punked-out” their little bitch of a driver.  I ended the ride and another one immediately came through from the same bar.  Within a minute or two, two well-dressed ladies probably in their late thirties climbed into the back of my car.  I greeted them and loaded the destination. “Oh wow,” said the woman directly behind me, “it smells really good in here.”

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