I don't feel so gute...

This tale is not only from the road of sorts, but took place on a road.  Not long after I moved to Brooklyn, and was struggling to make a living, I was getting wedding gigs from a Long Island club date band.  The owner would from time to time act as a car service to make some extra cash.  He called me one day to see if I wanted to drive an older gentleman from the upper west side of Manhattan out to Great Neck, Long Island for $50.  I eagerly accepted.  It was a hot summer day and I was driving an old Chevy Vega station wagon.  I pulled up to the high rise apartment building and a MUCH older gentleman with a heavy eastern european accent came out.  I loaded his bag in the back and he got in the front seat and we departed.

It was hot and my windows were down because my air conditioning was broken.  Several blocks into the drive across town, I made a left onto Central Park West and as i did, my muffler fell off.  Now it was not only hot but the motor was rumbling loudly with fumes coming into the car.  We got onto the Triborough Bridge and the traffic came to a stop.  Mr. Klauber said in his thick accent, "don't you have air conditioning?"  I told him no, it was broken.  He paused for a moment and then responded.. "I don't feel so gute.."  I had visions of this 80-something gentleman dying in the front seat of my car, and pulling up to his son's Long Island estate with his dead father sprawled in the front seat.  

We finally pulled up to his son's home and he got out of my car without speaking to me.  His son met us in the driveway.  He turned to his son and said, "That vas the virst ride of my life.."  Oy Vey!  No tip.. I never took a car service gig after that.

John ClayComment