Saturday, October 23, 2010


Since Sesame Street played a significant role in my upbringing, and Pakistani culture contributed to my adolescent understanding of the world (my best friend in middle school was from there), and since the combining of cultures, styles, idioms, etc. is a favorite pastime of mine, I present to you this hilarious little music video of Grover grooving to a 1970s Pakistani film song.

I come across such fascinating eccentricities as the clip above thanks to good friends who know what sorts of ethno-meshing make my day, and take the time to send me the links. The same thoughtful ally sent me the audio-clip below, which is from WNYC radio. It's a short interview with the official borough historian of Queens, who answers questions like how Flushing really got its name. I love history as it relates to ethnology and geography.


In other news, a drunk tourist from the U.K. pissed in the backseat of my cab, a while back. I wanted to share this event with you right away, but of course I got caught up in other endeavors.

He hailed me outside of Southside night club in SoHo and asked me to follow the minivan cab in front of me, which had just picked up four women. I didn't know if they were together, but it all seemed odd to me from the start. I made a left and another left, trailing right behind the other cab. As soon as we stopped at the first red light I began hearing the sound of a liquid stream behind me. I asked him what that noise was and he replied that it was his beer and he apologized for accidently spilling it. That's a common occurrence late weekend nights as people pile into taxis. I went back to silent driving concentration.

At the second red light the stream of liquid resumed and I became certain it was urination, though I was in utter disbelief. I turned my entire body around and peeked over the bottom of my partition to see him holding his penis out toward the floorboard and an arch ending in a puddle, and splattering on the seat cushion, partition, and TV screen.

He immediately flung back in embarrassment, zipped up his pants, and begged for forgiveness. I yelled at him and threatened to drive him straight over to the first cops I could find. I would have to clean up that mess. I interrogated him as to why he didn't just ask me to stop somewhere so he could go. "Cause I didn't wanna lose that cab with the pretty girls in it."
The cab had already disappeared ahead anyhow, and he offered me twenty extra dollars if I would just pull over right there and let him go. I snatched the cash from his fingers and told him to scram. Then I spent 10 minutes wiping everything down with Lysol and continued my shift.

The way to bring about the messiah (codeword for immortality and a few other goodies), according to Kabbalah, is to be happy for no good reason at all. The music video up top and otherworldly quirks like it give me that feeling of happiness for no reason. Just smile, dance, laugh, hug, care... just because. The opposite would be the usual human condition known as "hatred for no reason." That, I'd like to add, is not how I feel about the silly Londoner who thought he could get away with pissing in my cab. As inconsiderate as his actions were, they really weren't the end of the world. They were probably just hidden little blessings. Perhaps it happened so that I'd stop following the other taxi with girls who probably didn't want anything to do with him. Anyhow, I didn't stay mad at him for long at all. He sort of just made me laugh inside. I giggle every time I picture the scene in my head.

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