A Night of Mechanical Problems, a Murderous Taxi Driver, and God.

This is a story about one of those nights where everything went wrong and events took you to a small adventure that was a bit surreal, a bit dangerous, and very, oh so very weird. Yes, even weirder that the time a homeless guy kissed me in the metro.

It all started in a small city I was visiting, late at night, after going to the movies at THE movie theater of the city. My friend and I got into my car, and headed for some tacos. After an hour or so, we went out of the restaurant and I casually put my hand on the hood, which I found strangely hot. It turned out that the fan wasn’t working. The restaurant was closing so I decided to drive back to the mall where the movie theater was and, in the worst case scenario, leave the car there where it would be safe.

Some taxi drivers were still around, and I asked them where I could get a mechanic, since I didn’t want to spend the night at the mall and go back home (about an hour drive away) if I could. I agreed to pay one of them to lead the way to the one mechanic that gave service at that hour. The driver assured me that it was a downhill drive, so it wasn’t too much of a risk to drive my car. He told me to go pay the parking at the payment machines and that he’d wait for me outside the mall.

After I paid and drove out, I parked where I was supposed to meet the driver. I waited and waited but he never showed up. There were other taxi drivers around, so I asked one of them to lead the way to the mechanic. He agreed to do it and I should have noticed if I hadn’t been so focused on getting there that this driver speech was a little off. Just enough slurring and Jack Sparrowing to make you notice something may be wrong, but not enough to let you know what it was.

As I followed him, I noticed that his driving was a bit too slow and a bit too erratic. At this point, I regretted hiring him, but I had no choice since I couldn’t drive uphill, it was about midnight and the streets were dark and empty.

We finally arrived to the mechanic’s workshop. It was at the edge of the city, on a one-way exit to a highway, under a bridge. My friend, took the same taxi back home (she later told me there was something definitely wrong with him, but she made it home all right). I got out of the car and found out that the one mechanic workshop that was supposed to give service 24/7, was closed.

Not the most reassuring of places.

Not wanting to wait in the middle of nowhere until the place was open, I looked around and saw a gas station a few blocks away. I figured I could park and spend the night there. You could tell that the station was open because the gas pumps were on, but otherwise it seemed empty. The station was dark and it didn’t have a mini-mart. The employee was tucked away in an office with a light bulb, which was pretty much the only light in the whole place. I explained him my situation and asked him if it would be ok for me to park my car.

“Ok, but at 6 AM you have to leave, because the boss comes in and he doesn’t allow that.”

I decided to lower my back seat and try to sleep, although part of the reason I did it was because I though a person sitting inside a car in a dark and empty gas station would look very suspicious. Since I was worried (and a bit scared too), I wasn’t able to sleep, so I looked around from time to time.

After a while, a taxi driver parked in a nearby corner where there was a pay phone. He came out and he seemed to be just killing time in his very own, unofficial, improvised taxi stand. I decided to come down and talk to him since there wasn’t anything else to do.

His personality was a bit confusing. He was kind, but not agreeable. He didn’t seem to enjoy or be bothered by my conversation. He wasn’t particularly inviting, but he was engaged in the conversation. He told me that it was indeed his taxi stand and that he sometimes got calls from clients at the pay phone and sometimes at his cell phone.

After a while, I mentioned that he was pretty brave for choosing such a dark place to spend the nights to which he replied he wasn’t the least afraid because he was a God-fearing man. As we talked, I discovered that it wasn’t God that inspired fear.

He was a born-again Christian and God had changed his life, which used to be pretty violent. He then proceeded to tell me his adventures.

He told me about the time he was riding a bus and one robber got in and ordered everyone to give him their money. The taxi driver, not intimidated by the gun, took out a wrench and beat the robber to a pulp. Then, covered in the robber’s blood, the taxi driver ordered the bus driver to open the door and accelerate so he could throw the robber out while the bus was moving fast. He smiled as he described to me how the robber bounced off the asphalt. The taxi driver then told the bus driver to continue driving ignoring the bus stops for a while. Afterwards, the taxi driver told the bus driver to stop so he could get off, and ordered him again to drive ignoring the bus stops for a while, which I’m sure he did too.

He also told me about the time another driver cut him off. The taxi driver followed him, and after exchanging insults and stopping their cars, the other driver got down of his car with a machete. The taxi driver got down too and told him “if you’re going to take that out, you’d better be ready to use it.” He then opened the trunk of his car, took out a lug wrench and brandished it at his opponent, who tried to flee. The taxi driver threw the lug wrench like a ninja star at the man, hitting him on the head and bringing him down. After kicking him several times, the taxi driver took the machete and threw his opponent’s car keys into a nearby ravine before leaving.

But the most impressive story was the one about the time he was robbed by two of his passengers, one of which put an ice pick against his ribs. Even though it meant getting stabbed, the taxi driver bent over and picked up the machete from under his seat, which he used to attack his passengers with. He injured both of them. One of them got away and the other one died from his injuries a few days later. The taxi driver was sent to jail for a while for this, and after he got out, he went on a personal hunt to find the other passenger. After about 10 months, he found him and arranged to get him killed.

He told me several other stories like this. He sprinkled them with smiles, giggling, and messages about the wrath of God, how God was going to smite sinners, and how God punishes people for their sins up to their fourth generation (which, according to him, is the reason why bad things happen to innocent children or even babies). As the conversation continued, it was clear that he enjoyed telling his stories and he hadn’t told these stories in a while (or ever). Yet, he claimed over and over that he was a different, peaceful and forgiving man now, because of God, whom he met a couple of years after having been out of jail.

Ok, so my imagination might have affected how I remember him.

I was half-amazed and half-scared-to-death at his stories, but I thought that at least, if a robber showed up, he wouldn’t pose much of a threat. Of course, I was ready to accept an invitation to join his church. In fact, I was ready to accept an invitation to anything that would keep me on his good side.

At about 4 AM, he decided he wasn’t going to get any calls from customers and went home. I went back to my car and slept for two hours. At six o’clock, I had to drive out of the gas station and parked on a steep, little, no-end street. For some reason, the hand break of my car would not hold it in place, so I had to force the car to go back in reverse and park on the high way, which was forbidden.

I still hadn’t figured out how to get the car back to the mechanic’s workshop, which was about 300 or 400 feet away, since I couldn’t drive backwards (it was forbidden, uphill, and difficult because of the many cars that the morning brought). So, I took out a book and started to read until it was nine o’clock and hoped a police car wouldn’t pass by.

At about 8 AM, a stranger knocked on my window. It was the mechanic. The attendant at the gas station had sent him and he had come to fix the problem. It turned out to be a loose cable, which he fixed easily by re-plugging it firmly. Since it was such an easy fix, he only asked for a tip, which I gladly paid before going home, with the memory of one of the most bizarre nights of my life.

It was more like driving into the traffic, but the sunset makes for a better story.

Subscribe to Unhinged Magazine, and I might tell you the story about how I got kissed by a homeless guy in the metro. Or if you are a totally not-violent person looking to establish his or her own religion, read my tips on how to do it here.

When not busy mixing his whites with colors, Flippy works as a writer, translator, and language teacher. In his free time, he plays video games, takes photos, and writes funny stuff. You can find his humor book, Flippy’s Life Lessons Stuff Every Single Man Should Know, published by Relentlessly Creative Books on Amazon.com.

Copyright 2017, Flippy. Published with the permission of the author.