Craven Gets Flashed IX
“It’s starting to snow, FDR. Those ladies better hurry. My tires don’t like getting their feet wet anymore than I do. And downtown’s a long way to go in the snow. You warm enough, boy? Here, I’ll put it up one more notch just for you. I don’t even do that for my regulars. And the complainers get no heat at all. Yer driving too fast! Yer driving too slow! The radios too loud! Yer cab smells like dog! That’s when I turn off the heat and pretend I’m deaf till we get to where ever they were going. That'll teach them to insult a perfectly good dog who can’t help smelling exactly like he's supposed to smell. Pardon me, FDR, I see them coming now.”
Mildred and Betty stood alongside the cab with their heads tilted back and their mouths wide open, catching snowflakes.
“If you stand there long enough,” said Sidney, “you may get an offering from a passing pigeon. Or you can get in the cab and we’d be that much closer to your destination”
“Since when did you stop being fun?” said Betty.
“Since a moment ago when I lost all feeling in my toes. It’s freezing out here. Now, if you would be so kind, climb in and let’s get this inebreated caravan on the road.”
“Will do, sarge!” said Betty. “Private Mildred! Eyes front, mouth closed, and climb in. We’re being transferred to another base.”
Mildred stumbled into the backseat head first.
“I think your sitting on the wrong end,” said Betty.
“Where are we, Betty?”
“In the back of Sidney’s taxi.”
“Oh, brother, I must have fallen asleep. Are we in the Village?”
“Village? We just sat down. Sidney hasn’t even shut the door yet.”
“God, I love martinis. And what’s that smell.”
"Who knows. You’ve got your nose where your backside should be. Could be anything. Just don’t ask me to sniff along.”
“Oh, boy,” said Sidney. “It’s gonna be a long night. But as long as you two don’t lose your olives all over my clean seats, I’ll put up with it.”
“All right, Sidney. We’re settled,” said Betty. “To Ramone’s on Bleecker!”
“Is there any other?” said Mabel.
“Yeah, there’s Ramones Pizza on Bleecker. Ramone’s Crystal Ball Boutique on Bleecker — a particular favorite of mine when I’m looking to see what I’m in for. I’m only sorry I didn’t get a consultation before this day started. Then there’s Ramone’s Love Palace, also on Bleecker.”
“Love Palace?” said Betty.
“It’s not what you think, kid. For a buck Ramone will sit you down and tell you how much he loves you, even if he don’t really mean it. And it seems many people really need being told they are loved, because it made Ramone so well-heeled, he was able to open up his pizza, psychic, and tattoo shops.”
“Mabel, if we marry Ramone we may never go hungry or be left in the dark again.”
“Not to mention the free tattoo’s.”
“I’ve seen Ramone’s current wife,” said Sidney. “She look’s like a Russian armored tank, who would have no difficulty molding my cab and its occupants into a decorative side table. Glass top optional.”
“We’ll mold her,” said Betty.
“Yeah,” said Mildred. “Into a martini glass and then we’ll drown her in vodka and drink it all up.”
“Then throw the glass in the fireplace and get all toasty warm.”
“I love you, Betty!”
“I love you, too, Mildred!”
“Put your paws to your ears, FDR. And I’ll put on my earmuffs. We don’t need to be hearing this so early in the afternoon.”
“I thought you said this broken-down jalopy had heat.”
“Ah, shuddup, Mr. Danger.” said Jenny. “If I had known you came with a suitcase full of complaints, I’d have gotten myself a dog instead. The police radio said there was a shooting down on Bleecker. So that’s where we’re headed. Heat or no heat!”
Photo sourtesy of Wiki Commons: