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June 28, 2007

Sad Sex

A few reflections on this week's Hackie story, "Let's Play Yahtzee" . . .

The Hackie oeuvre (could I get anymore pretentious?) seems to cover the waterfront - from farce to poignancy, politics to humor. A reader might reasonably assume that I make a conscious effort to mix it up; if a couple of columns in a row have been dramatic, I might then go for a story with comic overtones.

In practice, however, this is not how it works. I don't choose the stories; the stories choose me. Week in and week out, I'm out there pushing the hack. Every so often, a fare passes through my taxi that, for some reason, moves me. I jot down some notes, and at some later point, a column appears in Seven Days. The tenor of the story is dictated by what happened in the cab. In other words, I take what the streets give me.

Every so often, perhaps less than a couple times a year, something transpires that feels - well, to revert to my baby-boomer slang - heavy. The incident portrayed in this week's column certainly qualifies as such. So be it.

I wondered, as I wrote the story, whether it would be received or understood differently by men and women. Because here's the thing:  if a random guy makes unsolicited sexual advances, a woman's attitude is, "F..k-off!" But, reverse the scenario, and guys tend to gladly accept anonymous random sex, particularly if the offerer is attractive.

So, as the story reaches its denouement, I thought, "Jeez, a certain percentage of male readers will be thinking, What are you nuts, Jernigan?! Why didn't you just go for it? A gift horse in the mouth, and all that.

Maybe I'm way off, but this is what came up for me as I reflected on this story.

June 28, 2007 at 01:02 PM in Hackie Unplugged | Permalink


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As I was reading the whole story I was a bit disturbed. I'm wondering if in all of years in the business you've been has this been heard of, a passenger coming on to the cab driver? Rare as it is, have you heard from other cab drivers on similar, bizarre experiences?

Posted by: Daniel Sanchez | Jun 28, 2007 5:01:47 PM

Good point, Daniel. Customers come on to cabdrivers all the time, particularly the younger, good-looking ones. It's happened to me a few times - invited in for a "drink," etc.

What made this story column-worthy, as it were, was that this young woman clearly had serious problems; God knows her history with the men in her past and present.

Posted by: Jernigan Pontiac | Jun 28, 2007 5:38:49 PM

Well, to all those guys who jump at any chance to take advantage of an unknown woman's offer, I frequently think "How Sad." In both the case of the guy and the woman. I've taken a lot of flack from friends (male and female) for not taking advantage of opportunities offered by women I'd known only briefly. I guess I prefer "quality over quantity".

Posted by: Carl | Jun 29, 2007 1:27:32 PM

I think the fact that the girl had serious problems was really evident and portrayed in a compassionate way. Without knowing what might have transpired before, at least her friend got her into a cab and made sure she was on her way home.
Some guys probably would've "gone for it," but I don't think that kind of experience is likely to be satisfying for anyone involved, unless maybe you have no soul...which can't be very fun in itself.

Posted by: David | Jun 29, 2007 3:08:35 PM

I think your response to her was kind and uber appropriate. Let's look at this broken down.

1. You said early on that there was something off about her energy. So, you weren't comfortable.
2. She was drunk and none of us like to look forward to charges that the sex wasn't consensual because of the involvement of certain substances.

For those people who would have jumped on this chance, and her, there are cheaper and probably more satisfying ways to get your rocks off.

I certainly can't know what was going on for "Janet." But I would fathom a guess at her being lonely. Yes there is definintely such a thing as women being horny, having spur-of-the-moment anonymous sex. Even if it is that, though, connection with themselves and others is almost always on a woman's agenda. If this was something Janet was looking for, she would have felt the same or worse when you left and got back to work. And at the worst you might have incurred a "puppy-dog" for life thing. Ick!

'Nuff said. You did good, Hackie.

Posted by: Kate | Jun 30, 2007 4:10:58 PM

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