What happens in Vegas cabs…

WelcomeToVegasNite“You goin’ around eatin’ horses out there? Aw man, that’s f*&$£d up!”  And in a flash, we stole the culinary innocence of our chatty Thursday morning cab driver in Las Vegas, who was treated to a debate about the respective virtues of horsemeat, rabbit, snails and frogs which are clearly a no-no in the Nevada desert.

It all stemmed from a lost-dog poster I noticed tacked onto a pole as we were waiting at a red light. It just so happened that the “Have you seen Spotty?” missive was tacked directly beneath a giant sign advertising cheap hot-dogs and my mouth blurted out the obvious link before my brain could check it for political correctness. Not that it matters, the opportunity was exquisite.

This led to a discussion around the horsemeat burger scandal and about what people do or don’t view as pets and therefore, sacred meat. Again I found myself the pariah, extolling the virtues of horsemeat while mentally retching at the thought of eating a rabbit. Having, at the age of 9, bravely waved off a very gentle but dying white-eared red-eyed family pet to the great hutch in the sky no doubt shaped my palate in that manner, as has my general disinterest in all things equine.

This was just one of many memorable trips we took in Vegas cabs this year, which is something of a novelty considering previous yearly pilgrimages to the centre of the broadcast world, the NAB show, yielded no more than silent, disinterested ghost drivers.

The 2013 crop included the loud and bolshy local lady who picked me up at the airport and immediately informed me that as a poor soul from Ireland my skin was going to desquamate with immediate effect if I did not pour litres of water down my throat. “It’s the desert honey,” she explained as though talking to a 2 year old. “You’re gonna look like a prune, my dear, and there ain’t nothing you can do about that!”

I’m pretty sure that’s what caused the heavens to open the next day, drenching the city in 40 days worth of rain in a few hours. That and the fact that the Irish girl had arrived and the desert felt the need to ease me in gently. How kind.

Next up was the strange lady from Croatia, who assured the porter she could drive us to our destination only to ask us to direct her as she pulled away from the hotel. She promptly suggested a name and street we had never heard of, tried to follow a random cab which she assured us contained our friends, before eventually driving us to our destination half grumbling curses at other drivers and at us, in Croatian, as we exited the cab. The tip was perhaps not up to her high standards of service.

The cherry on the cake was the Bob Marley wagon that picked us up that night. As we sat cackling in a thick green cloud of smoke, left either by the previous occupants or the horizontal-looking driver with a fierce passion for speeding to a stop and turning bends at top speed, I realised that sometimes the most interesting encounters can happen in transit. There, drivers and passengers become a tiny cultural microcosm for one trip only, sometimes with a helping of horse-meat hot-dog, witchcraft and hash-brownie on the side.

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About monicaheck
Monica Heck is a bilingual freelance writer and journalist based in Dublin, Ireland.

2 Responses to What happens in Vegas cabs…

  1. Brendan Stephen Heck says:

    Love the article mo :-)!! Looks like you had an AWESOME (they say that in the US right?!) time in Vegas 🙂

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