My buddy Timmy got an awful case of the piles. And by piles, I mean hemorrhoids. Yet somehow, the funny thing is, I’m the one who ended up with the pain in the butt this week.
Of course, Timmy’s not the type to go around talkin’ about his arse or anything – I mean if it was just a couple of the fellas sittin’ around Hortons or somethin’ he might kind of lean over and say right quiet, “My piles are actin’ up.” But if there’s anybody around, or if it’s crowded and there’s people sittin’ at the table right next to us or somethin’, he got this sort of code he says and we all know what he means. He’ll say, “Oh, got an awful pain in my lower back today.”
I’m sure half the people who’ve ever set foot in Tim Hortons heard Timmy talk about his lower back pain, not realizin’ he was tryin’ to say his piles were actin’ up.
Anyways, Timmy’s a cab driver and one morning last week when we were havin’ our coffee, he came in all in a tizzy because he was cleanin’ out his cab (which is really the cab company’s cab), and on top of all the empty coffee cups and cheeseburger wrappers, I guess he decided to empty the ashtray.
Now, that’s natural enough – if you’re cleanin’ a car, you’d probably clean out the ashtray. Only problem is, this ain’t a regular car, it’s a cab. And it’s illegal to smoke in cabs around here (though Timmy’s interpretation is that it’s illegal to get caught smokin’ in cabs around here). Anyways, when he emptied the ashtray, he did such a good job of it he let go without realizin’ it and threw the ashtray right out with the cigarette butts. He said it was right before he took his lunch break and by the time he realized the ashtray was missin’, a young fella already came along and emptied the garbage can in the parkin’ lot and threw the bag into the dumpster.
Anyways, Timmy figured if his boss asked where the ashtray went, he’d have a hard time explainin’ what in the hell he was doin’t emptyin’ the ashtray if nobody smoked in the cab.
Well, I said to him, it just so happens I got a milk crate full of car ashtrays out in my baby barn, I says to him. C’mon over and we’ll see if I got somethin’ that fits.
Now what was I doin’ with a crate full of car ashtrays, you’re probably wonderin’. Well, when me and Cyril started our Backyard Auto Sales business tryin’ to sell that Pinto a few years ago, we had the idea – What if we put an ashtray in the back of the front seats, so people in the back seats could smoke too? I still think it was a great idea, but the problem was the guts of the ashtray were too big to fit into the seat, and there was nothin’ to screw it to, to hold it in place. So we ended up with a couple of holes in the back of the seats and a milk crate full of ashtrays.
So Timmy comes over and we manage to find one that’s just a bit smaller than the ashtray he had, and a slightly different colour grey, but we slapped it in and then taped it in place with about a whole roll of Scotch tape.
Minnie sees us out in the yard, and as Timmy’s bad luck would have it, she just made a whole batch of her famous five alarm chili. So, bein’ right nice, she comes out with some chili in a tupperware dish for Timmy.
Now, you probably already figured out it’s not a good idea to eat five alarm chili if you already got an awful case of the piles, but apparently the idea never occurred to Timmy.
I got a call from him the next morning – Ugggh, Billy, Minnie’s chili did me in. My piles are so bad today, there’s no way I’m gonna be able to sit in my cab for the whole shift. Why don’t you cover my shift for me?
Holy cripes, me, drivin’ a cab. Just a few weeks earlier, I seen Robert DeNiro in the movie Taxi Driver and I could see myself bein’ a big tough guy like that – “Are you talkin’ to me??”
Anyways, I don’t got a taxi driver’s license, but Timmy said – Don’t worry about it. Just pretend you’re me. All ya gotta do is say Yup when they give you an address and Clear when you drop your customer off.
So Timmy went to the taxi stand to pick up the car like he usually would, did his first call, and then came over to pick me up. He drove to his place and he got out and I hopped in the driver’s seat.
Piece of cake! he said. Just come back and pick me up at the end of the shift and I’ll bring the car in like it was me the whole time.
What a plan we had!
Of course, when I drove away, I realized that to get to the first address, I’d have to drive right by the taxi stand. Just as I got in front of it, I pulled my hat down low and hit the gas a bit so I’d get by there quicker. I took a peek out the corner of my eye to see if anybody was watchin, but that’s when I rear-ended the car in front of me. Crash. Bang.
Timmy’s boss runs out of the taxi stand, looks at the front end of his cab crumpled under the bumper of the other car, and comes right up to my window and looks in at me.
Who in the hell are you? he says. And why is the ashtray taped shut?