The Rogue Voice


April 01, 2007

Cabby's corner: The cheerleader

‘My longest, most fulfilling relationships have come out of dives. You can get good and drunk and make an ass out of yourself in dives, and the ladies’ll still like you.’

‘You guys shouldn’t be messing around with foxes and dreamgirls at this stage anyway. All that’s important right now is to get laid, gain some confidence, and you do this by going after very average-looking barflies and cocktail hussies.’

Photo by Stacey Warde

The cheerleader

Sage advice for
spoiled white boys

By Dell Franklin

There were four of them, all drinking-age Cal Poly students, all coming out of the hottest pick-up mill on San Luis Obispo’s main drag—Mother’s Tavern. They seemed hangdog at one in the morning, these white boys who possessed all the right credentials—solid affluent backgrounds, decent attire, fine manners and breeding, strong even teeth, diplomas and good jobs awaiting them, credit cards.
I’d picked them up before. Very pleasant kids. Always asking me how MY night was going. This time I told them it was pretty much like any other night. Then: “So how’s YOUR night going, guys?”
The three kids in back jeered.
Shotgun said: “I spent eighty bucks buying Jagermeister shots on my credit card for this foxy chick and her friends…”
“And struck out,” announced a voice in back, with mock sadness, “poor guy.”
“Shot down by his dream girl,” added another voice.
“Again. Ten-time loser. Ha ha.’
“Hey, you guys, you took gas, too,” said Shotgun, facing his accusers. “I wasn’t the only one bought shots.” He turned to me, a sheepish grin on his face. “Hey, chief, you been around, seen it all, huh? What do I do?”
Before I could answer, a guy in the back spoke: “There's this foxy chick he’s after, a real knockout, unbelievable body, smart, great personality, just broke up with her boyfriend…”
“Yeah, Mr. All American boy,” added another voice. “The All American boy and the All American girl. Mr. and Mrs. American Dream. Ha ha ha.”
“I’m thinking about asking her out, Boss,” Shotgun confessed to me. “What do YOU think I should do?”
“Don’t ask her out,” I advised. “Instead, abuse her verbally.”
“What…?” He was shocked. “Abuse her verbally?”
“First of all, let me explain why I’m an authority on affairs of the heart, guys.” I peered through my rearview mirror to make sure I had their undivided attention. “You see, I’ve been where you are now. You’re nervous around ‘em, you’re not sure how to approach ‘em, much less talk to them, you’ve an inclination to try and say something you think they want to hear, a little flattery perhaps…you’re in a state of torture with your horns sticking out, and they sense this, and so, to counter this bullshit you get drunk and when you do talk you make a fool out of yourself, blow all your money, get shot down, humiliated, your confidence shattered, and ultimately you get cynical about the species, which is perfectly understandable. Listen, you’re not alone.”
“Please don’t tell me my life story,” said a kid in back, and they all laughed, but it was not a joyous laugh.
“So how do I deal with this?” asked Shotgun. “Mr. Experience.”
I drove slowly, not wanting to distract my friends.
“What I did was get behind the bar at an early age. Ended my drought. You don’t have to make a play for them when you’re tending. You can put away your forced hustle and talk to them like a human being, treat them like human beings, get to actually KNOW them as human beings, which, incidentally, they are, not just sex objects.” My audience spellbound, I niftily negotiated a turn. “Listen, they almost always know what they want and who they want. It’s glands. You can’t talk them into liking you, loving you, or fucking you. They’ll pick you out, and when you sense this, just try not to blow it by getting too drunk and talking too much.”
“That’s fine advice,” noted Shotgun. “But what if you’re NOT behind the bar. I’m no bartender, I’m gonna be an engineer.”
“Well, if they’re foxes, really popular and fought over, everybody hitting on then, like this one you’re after, you abuse her.”
“I don’t know how to do that,” said Shotgun. “I’m not built that way, man. How would YOU do it?”
“OK, first of all, these gals’ve been coddled and pampered all their lives, everybody trying to impress them, win them over, like ultimate trophies. Everybody ooohing and ahhing when they walk in the room. So, you never agree with them—lesson number one. Number two, you find some flaw in their make-up or character and ask them about it. Once you’ve got them on the defensive, you try and turn it into an argument. You find their strongest beliefs, or insecurities, and go on the attack, make fun of them, agitate and bait them, make sure they never forget you and are troubled when they walk off on you, or tell you to get lost, or, best of all, tell you to go fuck yourself. Now you’ve piqued their interest! You’re a challenge! Not a goddam lackey, a beggar, a disgusting Mr. Nice Guy sucking hind tit.”
A voice emanated from the back seat. “That sounds like good advice for your dreamgirl, Jeff.”
Cackles and snickers. Poor Jeff. I winked at him.
“You guys shouldn’t be messing around with foxes and dreamgirls at this stage anyway,” I said. “All that’s important right now is to get laid, gain some confidence, and you do this by going after very average-looking barflies and cocktail hussies. You treat THEM like queens. Always be a gentleman around the neglected and downtrodden. You’ll find a steady lay. You’ll both end up having fun and relax around each other, even become friends. Be a human being. It’s good karma in the long run.”
“Hey, doctor, you ever been married?” asked a voice in back.
“Hell no. Nobody’s as unhappy as the married bachelor.” They all laughed. “You’re the man, doc.”
“Got any more tips, doctor Feelgood?” asked another.
“Sure. Don’t go to hotspot pickup mills, with everybody waiting in line, everybody on their cell phones. You wait in line to get into those places, you look like a desperate chump, just another follower. Go to dives. The best women I’ve ever met, my longest, most fulfilling relationships have come out of dives. You can get good and drunk and make an ass out of yourself in dives, and the ladies’ll still like you. That’s what dives are for. And, if you strike out, you can still make an even bigger ass of yourself with your buddies.” I pulled up to an apartment building in a neighborhood referred to as “the jungle,” a section just off campus where students lived in frat houses and complexes.
“Thanks for the advice,” Shotgun said, offering me his hand,, which I shook. They all flipped singles at me, overtipplng the professor. One kid, standing outside, said, “Thanks for the advice, doc, though I think you’re fulla shit!”
“Thanks, kid. Good night and good luck.” It was a busy night, and I got a call to a bar that most closely resembled the kind I’d recommended to my proteges.

When I arrived there, four guys and a girl piled into my cab. Three boys in back, another shotgun, the girl wedged between us. She smelled like soap and shampoo. A petite blonde, with long, naturally curly hair and an expressive, un-neurotic face. She had nice knees and calves. Very small breasts. As she smiled at me, I could feel her energy and exuberance. “How’s our cabby doing tonight?” she chirped.
“Fine. And you?”
“Great! Have you had interesting rides tonight?”
Now the rugged-looking crew, all in T-shirts and rugby shorts, began making wisecracks.
“Hey, cab driver, do you know you’re sitting next to the head cheerleader at Cal Poly?”
“Yeah, they all give out,” said another voice.
“Cal Poly’s got the ugliest cheerleaders in the country.”
“They GOTTA give out, dude. Ugly as they are.”
“It ain’t like high school, dude, when they were hotties.”
“Ha ha ha."
“Hey cab driver dude, can we nip from our flasks?”
“Sure, go ahead.”
“Want a nip?”
“Yeah, man, Cal Poly cheerleaders are Mickey Mouse. Nobody likes ‘em. They’re the laughing stock of the campus.”
Although I was a jock in high school and college, I’d never liked cheerleaders, thought they were corny and could not stomach rah-rah bullshit. This cheerleader was now pinning me askance with an up-fromunder leer, an imp in her clear, cobalt blue eyes.
“Do you know, Mr. Cab Driver, that over ninety per cent of the male students at Cal Poly are homosexuals?” she asked. “I mean, they almost have to be, they’re such wimps and geeks.”
“Geeksville,” I said, nodding. “Like a production line.”
“Exactly.” Her smile gleamed at me.
“There goes your tip, cabby, agreeing with the bitches.”
“Yeah, you blew it, old man. Ha ha.”
“Ha ha ha.”
The cheerleader patted my knee reassuringly. “Guys that talk about women in a disparaging way, or brag about all the ass they’re getting…you know what we call them?” she asked me.
“No beautiful, I don’t.”
“Male hysterics. It’s in the psychology books. I’m a psych major. They feel they must brag about their conquests and treat all women like sex objects to hide the fact they’re momma’s boys and really want to have sex with men. You know, the pseudo-macho act to hide their insecurities about being gay.”
“Male hysteric,” I mused. “Great phrase.”
They were all booing in the back, calling her a lesbian, dyke, whore, etc., including the guy riding shotgun. It was a very short ride, less than a mile, and I pulled up to another apartment complex.
“Don’t worry about the tip,” said the cheerleader. “I got it.” She handed me a ten spot for a five dollar ride and told me to keep the change. When all the bozos had piled out, she demanded a hug, and I gave her one, and she gave me one. She was feather-light yet fibrous, a real heartbreaker, a keeper. I watched her go off with the straggily drunken crew, knowing that, if I were her age I’d wanna carry that ball to pay dirt if it was her cheering on the sidelines.§

Dell Franklin is publisher of The Rogue Voice. He can be reached at publisher@rogoue Read more of the Cabby's corner series, here:
  • Ode to Tobias Wolff
  • Sisters from South Central
  • A soldier's story
  • First fare (hair of the dog)
  • The good lawyer
  • Mr. Headphones
  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • A rainy New Year's Eve in the 'A' cab
  • The mayoral candidate
  • Old blind Lizzie

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