Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ooh, That Smell . . .

I just got back to the house from the most horrific cab ride I've had in months. I realize that this story is going to be in direct contradiction with my previous story extolling the virtues of D.C. cab drivers, but it's one that has to be told. WH and I went to dinner near Foggy Bottom, and were on our way home when we hailed a cab. We got in and WH screamed, "AAAHAAARGGH!" I thought he'd banged his head getting in the car, but that was not the case.

As we sat in the car, we were hit with a whiff of something so foul, it could evoke screams from my mild mannered husband. The entire, extra-warm car hung heaving with the "funk of 40,000 years" (as Thriller once told us). It was a steamy green bad breath odor. Not a chewing-on-onions-for-breakfast bad breath, or even a spicy-curry-for-lunch bad breath. No, this was a just-woke-up-in-the-morning bad breath (though, perhaps the night before he did chew on onions or have a spicy curry). It was one of those smells so bad that your eyes water.

I told the cabbie that we were going to Adams Morgan, to which he replied, "Oh no." Great. Though I could sort of relate -- Adams Morgan on a Saturday night is no treat for anyone, but did he really need to voice it so vociferously? Though, at least the ride would be as much of a pleasure cruise for him as for us. To make matters worse, he was listening to some sort of club music, and the song that was playing at that moment was some sort of remix that had a booming bass with vocal clips from the (oh-so-classy) cast of Jersey Shore dubbed over it. "I'm a guido, gui- gui- gui-DO," the song boomed.

WH and I tried to carry on a conversation, shielding ourselves, each in our own way, from the smell of the cab. (The trouble was compounded by the fact that he had the back seat windows locked, as if to seal in the smell and marinate us all in it.) I put my fingers up to my nose, pushing on the cartilage between my nostrils in order to brace myself. WH chose to breathe through his mouth, which made his voice sound a little like Kermit the Frog with a cold. "Rebember the tibe you went to Abex?" he said as we drove past the club (Apex, incidentally) on 22nd Street.

We finally arrived, virtually unscathed, though I'm sure we lost some brain cells from the lack of oxygen. I paid the driver and as we got out, WH says, "Oh my GOD! That smelled so bad. It was morning mouth, and it felt like I was making out with him all the way home. And you, asking me, 'Did you hit your head? Why are you screaming?' What is wrong with you? You honestly didn't know why I screamed? As soon as I got in that car, I got a giant breath of that air. That morning-mouth air!"

As soon as we got into the apartment, we dissolved into giggles as WH opened all of our windows to air out the stench from our clothes. So as I sit here, freezing, breathing in the sweet fresh outdoor air, and hoping that the stink doesn't linger in my hair, I can't help but pity the poor fool who's going to get into that cab next. And then I think, better him than me.

*This post is dedicated to my friend Kevin who thought I went too easy on cabbies the last time I wrote about them. Is this better?

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