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Posted on Sunday, July 16th, 2006

Dave!The taxi driver smelled so bad that my eyes were watering. And it wasn't like he was oblivious to the fact, because he'd occasionally whip out some deodorant spray in a futile attempt to mask the stench. Of course this did nothing but make things worse. The guy smelled like he crapped his pants, took a bath in a urinal, and then slept in a sweaty, stanky locker-room for a week. The 100-degree heat wasn't helping much either.

By the time I got to Lincoln Square, I was inundated with a melange of horrible smells and about ready to pass out...

Chicago Taxi

But I did my best to stay conscious, because I was meeting Jenny for dinner and a movie and thought she might appreciate not finding me passed out on the sidewalk.

Or maybe she would. I'm probably a much better conversationalist that way.

Anyway, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest was a convoluted story filled with never-ending coincidences and lots of mind-blowing special effects. While not as good as the first film, it was still an entertaining ride (mostly due to Johnny Depp, who once again delivers out a masterful performance). The surprise was that they brought back Jack Davenport (of Coupling fame) to play Commodore Norrington. He completely eclipses Orlando Bloom at every turn, and is by far the more sympathetic character. That's actually kind of bad for the plot, but a happy accident for the movie, because it ends up adding some depth to the story.

The evening ended at a German bar full of elderly people partying down to a live band. Some of those seniors had brilliant moves ON the dance floor, which was surprising considering they could barely walk OFF the dance floor. Jenny and I were regretting that we didn't have a video camera, because this is the kind of stuff that thrives on YouTube.

Unable to find a taxi back into the city, I decided to hop on the train. Right behind me was a man trying to manage his sloppy-drunk girlfriend from falling over as she started gyrating wildly to music that wasn't there. It was amusing at first, but quickly became embarrassing. She was cursing profusely and jabbering on endlessly about stuff nobody really wanted to hear. Even worse was that she was scowling (for emphasis, I'd imagine) as she spoke, which reminded me of somebody...

Emperor Palpatine Evil

I also suspect that she had head-lice, because she was forever shaking her hair like a woman possessed. I kept waiting for her head to snap off or maybe spin all the way around like Linda Blair in The Exorcist.


I wish I could say that this was the end of my travel entertainment, but my taxi ride to O'Hare this morning wouldn't allow it. The driver, who was talking to himself the entire way, decided to LIGHT UP A CIGARETTE as we pulled on to the airport expressway. Why he couldn't have waited ten minutes to drop me off first was a complete mystery. So instead I got to sit in cigarette smoke which pissed me off pretty bad. I hope he spends the $2 I tipped him wisely, because the idiot shouldn't have gotten anything at all. Dumbass.

Chicago Taxi

What happened in the month that I was away? Did Chicago pass some kind of city ordinance whereas taxi drivers are required to make their cabs smell as bad as possible?

Oh well. I'm home safely in my sweet-smelling apartment, so I guess that's all that really counts... isn't it?

Categories: DaveToons 2006, Travel 2006Click To It: Permalink


  1. I felt exactly the same way about Pirate’s. I saw it opening night, and aside from that three way sword fight (on a wheel!) it was kind of more of the same: Not quite as good as the original, but still better than most things out now.

    As for the stinkcabs I suggest you carry travel febreeze from here on out, and spray to your hearts content. After all, the customer is always right, right?

  2. Jeff says:

    I took a cab Mpls one time and was sure the guy had pissed his pants. A forest of those pine tree thingys wouldn’t have covered his stank.

  3. Bec says:

    I have yet to see Pirates but have heard the same thing from everyone… but, sigh, Johnny Depp… Anyway, if the Emperor was wearing a pink fluffy dressing gown with hood – that picture would look exactly like me after a heavy night out drinking…

  4. RW says:

    Glad to see you got home safe. I can tell by your reaction to the taxi rides, however, that you are not a native Chicagoan.

    In our town, under those circumstances, you actually have every right to kill your driver. This is not something out-of-towners know, though.

    I’m sure Jen will bare me out on that.

  5. ms. sizzle says:

    deodorant spray makes smells worse in my opinion because then they just smell like floral poo or something equally as disgusting.

    i am glad you are back in washington, safe and with good smells. 🙂

  6. I think it’s a rule that cabbies have to smell or be scary or something.

    I haven’t seen Pirates yet although I keep meaning to do so. Maybe this week…ya’ know, such a hard schedule I’m keeping these days. Heh.

  7. apricoco says:

    Wow… you are a much better person than me. If some cabbie had lit up while I was in the cab all hell would have broke loose. Once, I had to take one of those courtsey vans to the dealership when I was having my car fixed. Well the driver had to pick up several people and he let the old guy he picked up before me light up in the damn car that I had to sit in for the next 30 mins. I ripped the old guy a new one and complained so bitterly to the dealership that they sent me a written apology. Now, in my defense I have severe asthma so I was justified. But, really what damn person doesn’t have the sense to realize that not everyone likes the smell or odors (not to mention second-hand smoke that causes cancer) of cigarettes? Like you I try to follow my buddist tendencies but some people should be shot.

  8. EDDIE says:

    I’ve learned this trick from the movie Silence of the Lamb. If you remember they were putting menthol under their nose before they check dead body. But I do not want that under my nose.
    I carry L’Occitane solid perfume(no, it’s not girlish!) in my pocket when I travel. I do not like the smell from the airplane or any public trnasportations. It comes with small round tin.
    Green Tea or Spicy Orange are my favorite from them so far.

  9. Mooselet says:

    I can’t tell if Cartoon Dave is screaming for help or high on drugs… maybe if you were high on drugs you wouldn’t have cared about the zoo-like smell.

    As far as cigarette smoke – every time my mother sends a package the first thing I can smell when I pick it up at the post office is stale tobacco. Not even a flight half-way around the world is enough to kill the smell. Ick.

  10. Belinda says:

    SO glad you’re home! And just in time…

    For you’ve been tagged in the infamous BlogHer Blog Me interview festival. No obligation, no pressure. Although I did talk you up as my one obligatory “daily read” in MY interview…but really, no pressure.

  11. Arwen says:

    I think if I was in a major metro I would jump to see ‘Scanner Darkly’ since it will seemingly never come to a small city like mine. Is the priate movie worth seeing on the big screen? Should I wait until it hits the dollar theatre that has it’s own brewery or see it in Dolby sound and hi def screen?

  12. Dave2 says:

    Given the choice, I’d go see Pirates on the big screen because the special effects are amazing.

    Scanner Darkly is kind of raw, and may actually be better if watched on television because it would only add to the atmosphere. I know I’ll be waiting for the DVD.

    If you want to sample it for yourself,
    ” target=”_blank”>IGN has the first 24 minutes online.

  13. Andy says:

    so how much did you tip the first cabbie? 😉

    I enjoyed Pirates – some funny moments but the dragon thing was a bit ott – reminded me of a flashback to an old 50’s horror film.

  14. Bre says:

    Ugh – Just the description of the smell makes me gag! Thank goodness you’re finally home!

  15. Troy says:

    I’m surprised you tipped the second cabbie. I probably wouldn’t have. Personal B.O. is one thing (due to unforseen circumstances he may not have been able to shower – i.e. he spent the whole night in the emergency room with his child) whereas smoking in an enclosed space, while you have a customer is blatant disregard for your health.

  16. Laurence says:

    Bonjour Dave,
    Heureuse que tu sois revenu chez toi ! (Happy you’re home !)

  17. jenny says:

    You couldn’t find a cab on Western? Man – that’s odd! And I totally agree with RW – if a cabbie starts smoking while driving, you are legally within your rights to murder him. But you should wait until he pulls over first.

    Yow. Well thanks for being a trooper and sticking with me all night, and glad you made it home alive, albeit a bit smelly… 🙂

  18. Deb_LA says:

    The last time I took a cab, the guy asked me out. A guy that smelled like he crawled out of a urinal thought I would go out with him. My ego was crushed. Crushed.

  19. ChillyWilly says:

    It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a smelly taxi.

    jenny.. your comment was great, funny and wise.

  20. Melina says:

    Hey Dave! I haven’t seen PotC, Dead Man’s whatever (haha! that says “Potsee”!) yet, but as soon as I read that that foxy Commodore Norrington was back, I was sold…yum!

    Hope your stay at your non-wireless hotel gets better.

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