Health Code Violation
It might come as a shock to some of you to know that my vocabulary is limited to American English. And you might have noticed that I’m barely proficient at that. Like, seriously, what the fuck is a participle? I was 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. Even if someone was from another country they usually spoke English decently. As with most things, though, there was a small exception. And by small exception, I mean two. Exactly two. The first one was quite easy to deal with because he didn’t speak. This smooth mother fucker got in the car and said “No Ingles.” He didn’t attempt to talk the entire ride. So I kept quiet as well. When I dropped him off I closed with a “Have a great day” out of habit and politeness. This son of a bitch stepped out and replied with a “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 a shady part of the big city and got a request from a Latin-sounding name. Not “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 without sounding like a sheet-wearing, cousin-fucking, cross-burner. I promise you I mean no racist intent despite what’s implied in these stories. But, that was the way the name sounded. I got to the pickup location as daylight began to fade. The side door of the house opened within a minute or two of pulling up and out walked a large Hispanic woman with a brown leather jacket and super tight-fitting jeans on. I desperately hoped she didn’t drop anything and have to pick it up. For the sake of her pants and not being embarrassed. It had nothing to do with the fact that I just eaten recently.
She plopped down behind me and I greeted her immediately. At first, I thought she didn’t hear me because she didn’t respond. Not even a “fuck off.” So I said my greeting again, slightly louder this time, to which she still did not respond. I said “fuck it,” started the ride and began to pull away. The lady in the back said something that sounded unintelligible to me so I gave her an “I’m sorry?” in hopes that she would repeat what she said so we could understand each other. I think she was speaking Spanish, but it could have been Portuguese or something that makes this story seem less stereotypical. I had hoped that she could speak English as well, but no dice there. She seemingly understood me because she began to speak again, but I didn’t understand her this time either. It was not for lack of trying, but I was pretty sure she was getting aggravated at me so she said it faster this time. 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 Adderall.”
We were headed to a destination that I had never heard of before. Since everything in life is connected, the name of the establishment seemed to fit with the trend of the ride so far. It was in Spanish. Fuck me, right? But, fuck it, I trusted my GPS and tried to get this over with quickly. I didn’t think it would be that bad, it was only an eight-minute drive. Eight minutes of pure fun! I didn’t get as lucky as I did with the last language barrier and just had a quiet ride. Oh no. She insisted on trying to talk to me the entire ride in Spanish. I politely explained to her the best that I could, using what little Spanish I knew, that I did not speak her language.
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 forth 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. I used to like to get a ride who was super wasted and kept passing out. Then when they would wake up and ask where we were I would answer them in a really aggressive tone and fake German words. It was fun to watch them freak out.
Passed Out Dude: “Woah, where are we?”
Me: “MEINE TASCHENRECHNER IST WEG!”
Me: “WO IST MEINE TASCHENRECHNER?!”
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’t think of an occasion where I would need to send someone a miniature representation of a Kimono and a watermelon. Yet. Although I have been known to send out peaches and eggplants.
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 Ducktales. They revamped it recently with the Tenth Doctor as Scrooge. I’m kinda excited about it.”
Her: [Spanish Spanish] “Work” [Spanish Spanish]
Me: “Oh, you’re headed to work?”
Now we were 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 was grasping at straws and ended up doing 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 the conversation was so aggravating 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” again. 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 complete opposite. “Work” implies that you are gainfully employed or pursuing a worthy goal or idea. “Twerk” implies that you can’t get a job and are a self-indulgent cunt. But I digress. As I looked through 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 had 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 bar?”
I gave up. She had confirmed that she was going to work and that she was indeed a bartender, then we went back to not understanding each other. I went back to talking about cartoons and how Invader Zim was an amazing show that doesn’t get the credit it deserves. She went back to talking trash about members of my family. Or at least that’s what I assumed. Is that racist? I don’t think so, but it is a lot of “went 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 could not pronounce.
I pulled up, parallel with the entrance, trying to make it easy for her to just step out and head in in case she was running late or in a hurry. I tried my best to make things convenient for my clients. I was ready to end the trip but the client was still in the back seat fidgeting with her belongings. My inner Scrooge McDuck was hoping she was searching for my tip. We had sat in the parking lot for a solid three minutes and she still had 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 got very still. Her face became strained and uncomfortable. My mind immediately went to the bad spots. Was she about to have a heart attack? Maybe a stroke? Did she smell toast? Is there a fee I could charge if she died in the vehicle? If she did pass on, would I be a bad person if I just pushed her out and went on about my day? If I have an inner Scrooge McDuck, does that mean part of David Tennant is inside me?
The strained look on her face looked as if it was about to crescendo. Like a few more raindrops and the floodgates would burst open. Like a pimple was just about to pop and splatter all over my 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 don’t know how much longer you can’t keep that pace up. And then, sweet release.
Without all the convoluted nonsense I just tried to turn into an analogy, long story short was 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 opening her door, she let out the loudest, wettest, dirtiest, seat-vibrating fart to ever pass through a loosened sphincter. Loosened because it was letting a demon escape, not because she often takes massive cocks in the ass. But I was just speculating.
Imagine, if you will, a small child letting go of an untied balloon. The quickly deflating sack of wind 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. The balloon was caked in mud and little droplets of spit were flung haphazardly as the balloon made it’s laps, spitting raspberries until it was spent. This balloon also happened to be of an excessive size and overfilled, so it’s sputter to finality was uncharacteristically long and arduous. Was that not clear enough for you? Well, let’s make it gross but keep it relatively similar. Imagine yourself eating out an overweight person’s asshole after they just did three miles on an Elliptical in Spandex 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 instead. You can feel the fleshy heaps of their ass as they perform a wet quick-step against your face as the both of you sob because mommy didn’t love you enough and now you’re giving fat rim jobs for smack money. Pick one of those, and that’s what it sounded like.
I was stunned by what transpired, yet oddly intrigued by the effort put into it. It was a good push. But did you have to do in my tiny 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. This woman stayed on the meter while she 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 or twice in their adult life. Maybe you were a bit too tipsy. Maybe you were sick and for some reason, you decided to trust that it was just a fart. 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 were trying to impress the ladies and really tried to push out a loud one and the contents of your bowels came with it. Although it is entirely possible for someone to hop around three different countries in three months in three different regions with three different water and food qualities and three different chances for disease without their body getting the chance to properly acclimatize to each area. Next thing you know, you’re throwing a new pair of boxer-briefs in a dirty dumpster in the middle of fucking nowhere Kuwait. Then you’ve got to free-ball it back to your tent and hope you can sneak off for a shower. But you know that if you go to the showers at the wrong time of night you run the risk of someone being in the shower stall next to you jacking off loudly. Just me? But seriously, everyone can hear you. The rhythmic splashing against the curtain will give you away every time.
People tell me quite often that I’m a bit of an asshole. They never really stop. As the woman 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 things like 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. That would be too easy and expected. Plus, that would just perpetuate the stigma of me being an asshole. I am trying to improve, so I’ll stay away from those types of digs. But seriously, it was rough. Like putrid, stagnant pond water seeping out of an unwiped, crusty, rash-covered rectum and careening through a minefield of ass herpes. Damn it! I did it anyway. But you know what I’m talking about: the kind of hot, wet, steamy, port-a-potty after a chili cook-off smell that singes your nose hairs and causes you to gag on your Jack in the Box cheesecake.
I had to get out of the car. I left the parking lot while rolling all the windows down and peeling the sunroof back. I was hoping against hope that the breeze would clear out the leftover fumes from Saddam’s mustard gas. But the smell didn’t go quietly into that good night. I ended up having to turn the app off a couple of miles down the road and pull over. I couldn’t let another passenger get into the car in the state that it was in. I’m not sure exactly how I still had an appetite left, but I pulled over at a restaurant anyway so I decided it was a good time to take a dinner break. I could never quite put my finger on why, but I had Chipotle on the brain for some reason. I know that sounds racist as fuck, but that Barbacoa is the madness.
I closed all the windows and turned the car off, grasping at a can of cold aluminum as I exited. I left the door cracked just enough to get the nozzle of my Febreze in my door then I unleashed the fury of about half a can. The onslaught was thick enough that I could see the fumes floating listlessly around the car as I looked through my windows. I hoped that that would saturate my upholstery rather than the smell of wet dog fur. I grabbed some grub and read a book for a bit. Before attempting to pick up another ride I drove around with all the windows down to air out the car a bit more. I could just feel my ratings dropping if I let someone in the car before I could rid it of that unholy stench. Before that, fair money could have been on that someone had left a carton of eggs to rot under my seat on an August afternoon in the desert. It was like sulfur. Thick, hot sulfur. I half expected Sam and Dean Winchester to show up and investigate the demon that escaped from this woman’s ass.
Nope, I got it. Do you really want to know what it smelled like? Go home and oil a pack of hot dogs on the stove. Leave them there and then let them sit in the water overnight. The next morning lean your head over it and take a wafting sniff. You’re welcome.