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This past weekend I was a little down in the dumps. I couldn't put my finger on it. Maybe it's the month. Is anything bleaker than November? Or it could have been a case of post-Thanksgiving letdown.

When I'm plying the streets of Burlington feeling blue, I shamelessly trade on the goodwill of "Hackie" to cheer myself up. It's a simple process of casually working into the conversation with the fare that I'm Jernigan Pontiac, the writer of the column.

I would never, of course, simply announce, "Guess who I am?" That would be too much, even for the likes of me. Oh no, I just wait for the customer to come out with something like, "I bet you pick up some interesting people. You must have some great stories."

That's all it takes. I then come back with, "As a matter of fact, I have a separate mini-career in which I chronicle my taxi stories." You know, casual as can be.

About 90% of the time, the customer goes, "Oh my God! Don't tell me that you're the guy who writes those stories in Seven Days?"

I demurely bat my eyes and say, "Oh, do you read the column?"

"Are you kidding? We love that column! It's so great to meet you!"

And away goes those blues!

I don't know if I suffer from horribly low self-esteem or, like the large and lovely Harvey Fierstein, I just wanna be loved. Is that so wrong?

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About The Author

Jernigan Pontiac

Jernigan Pontiac

Jernigan Pontiac is a Burlington cab driver whose biweekly "Hackie" column has been appearing in Seven Days since 2000. He has published two book-length collections, Hackie: Cab Driving and Life, and Hackie 2: Perfect Autumn.

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