this is another horsey tale. sorry, but it’s a good one.
one night as i and my fellow night carriage drivers headed in cabs towards Queens (where we all lived) from Manhattan, at dawn, we noticed a fellow carriage driver involved in an apparent altercation with a limousine driver.
there was a lot of bad blood between limo drivers and carriage drivers. we were frequently competing for the same tourism/fun in the city budget. and limo drivers would take great pleasure in telling their tourist clients to watch out for being ripped off by us.
So when we saw our compatriot in distress we were keen to help out. we were also a bit drunk. so we stopped our cabs and ran over to assist our pal. numerical superiority is a great aid to courage. suffice to say that the limo’s headlights suffered damage. antennae may have been bent. a mirror or two were perhaps wantonly removed. all in good sport! the limo driver was vanquished. we won. we got a cab home and forgot all about it. the limo driver didn’t though. and the limo driver was a member of the teamsters union. the teamsters union is a transportation workers union with close ties to the new york mafia. we didn’t know this.
Cut to say five days later. we are all standing around on Central park south chatting and drinking coffee. when out of the corner of my eye i see an italian looking guy giving me a very fixed stare. i look around and there’s another italian guy covering the other side. he had a baseball bat. standing next to him was the limo driver from earlier in the week. in an instant i sort of instinctively knew what kind of trouble i was in. these guys were muscle sent to extract revenge in its purest form.
the mobsters pointed to each of us individually and asked the limo driver if any of us were “the guys who fucked with you”. i remember feeling slightly faint. i was sure he would recognize me. thank god he didn’t. just then, as luck would have it, the carriage driver who he actually had been fighting with drove past. the limo driver immediately recognized him and the mobsters all set off in hot pursuit of him. a carriage driver was dispatched to warn our colleague that the brooklyn mob was after him. luckily our guy got there first. just in time.
the carriage driver home advantage. he ran into the Plaza hotel. the one made famous by the Eloise children’s books. we all were very familiar with the somewhat labyrinthine geography of the Plaza hotel because we frequently used its bathrooms. the brooklyn mobsters gave chase but got quickly lost the scent of their intended victim in the unfamiliar maze of the hotel.
be nice to new york limo drivers. or else!