By Adam Slight
A large part of our business relies on giving rides to couples, sometimes from a hotel to a fancy restaurant, or even taking a newly wed bride and groom back to the hotel after a wedding reception. These are great customers to have: They’re happy, quiet, content, and demand very little from the runner.
On the other hand, we definitely see our fair share of bad dates as well. You may recall my post from last Friday about the old man using my rickshaw to cheat on his wife. This is just one example. For this week’s Rickshaw Retrospective I present to you 6 Awkward Dates in a Rickshaw.
Last summer I got hired by an awkward middle aged couple on their very first date. It was about 10:30 PM and they must have been drinking away the nervous jitters with supper because things really started to open up during the half-hour rickshaw tour that they purchased. I took them for a romantic ride up to Major’s Hill Park where they could see the lights of the Parliament Buildings dance on the Ottawa River. Listening to the couple talk, I literally witnessed the entire blueprint of their future together, from marriage until death. “This is our first date,” the man announced, “but I think we’re going to get married.” This shocked the woman, and she grew quieter and quieter as the man described how he planned on raising the children he would inevitably conceive in her womb.
She did contribute a suggested baby-name. Bad suggestion. “That’s my ex’s name.” He said sharply. In other words: Shut up and listen to me talk!
Last summer one of our runners was approached by an older couple asking if he’d participate in a ménage a trois. The most disturbing part about this is that they offered him an insulting $20 to participate. When he declined the husband’s offer to pleasure his wife while he watched, they raised the stakes to $40. I wonder if that’s worked for them in the past.
Every now and then we get approached at 3 am by a completely wasted man visiting Ottawa from out of town. He’ll hand you some cash and tell you to just drive around. And then once he has you driving around, he’ll drunkenly demand: “Find me a hooker.”
This is the Byward Market! When was the last time you saw a prostitute chilling out on the corner in the Byward Market? (I know looks can be deceiving outside some of the clubs).
Sometimes these passengers say “find me some weed/cocaine/ecstasy” instead. Why do people presume we have the solutions to these requests?
My business partner Brian had a couple in his rickshaw for a date after dinner last summer. They instructed Brian to take them to their home on Sandy Hill, and Brian was quick to notice that the man in the relationship was completely hammered. The entire ride, Brian could hear the girl repeating the same three lines: “I can’t believe you drank so much,” “You’re such a f#$@ing idiot,” and “You’d better not puke in the rickshaw.” As Brian arrived at their destination, the girl told Brian to make an emergency stop. As quickly as Brian could turn around and see what was the matter, the man projectile vomited all over the street. Luckily the rickshaw was unharmed.
Several years ago our resident personal trainer, Omar was approached by a young man who handed him a large amount of money to take him for a ride with a young lady. The young lady was obviously impressed by this, because the runner was approached by the same couple a week later. This occurred several times, until one week Omar was approached by the young man with a different young lady. The young man quietly explained that he had been using a fake name, and that his latest passenger was actually his girlfriend. During the ride, Omar could hear the couple arguing in the back quite loudly. The girl told Omar to stop the ride, asking if her boyfriend had been taking another girl as well. Omar was tongue-tied, and admitted the truth to the young lady. She stormed off infuriated, and the infidel never took a rickshaw ride again.
Brian picked up a 70-year-old couple from Fat Tuesday on a Friday evening and began to take them for a typical tour. Suddenly he felt the weight of the rickshaw shift. He turned around and witnessed the older lady straddling the man, making out with him. She banged her head on the canopy of the rickshaw and lost her shoes, while people on the streets cheered them on. Who knew a rickshaw could reignite the dormant youthful passion buried deep within the hearts of the elderly?
Share your bad date stories in the comment section below!