Marathon Man | Hackie | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Marathon Man 

Published May 29, 2007 at 1:18 p.m.

I always enjoy marathon weekend in Burlington. The event attracts a more, let's say, lucid crowd than the beer festival later in the summer. Or the Green Mountain Chew Chew food fest, for that matter. And, of course, I get to drag out my marathon joke for the occasion.

Sadly, my material is limited. I have not more than 10 jokes I recycle endlessly through my out-of-town customers. (For my regular fares, I try to limit the repertoire to once a year per joke, hoping that they forget year-to-year.) For instance, if, along the way, I'm forced to execute a hairy traffic maneuver and I sense some alarm in the vehicle, I say, "Don't worry, folks. I haven't had a head-on collision in, like, five months." Rim-shot!

So, on marathon eve, I use this one-two punch on the customers who appear the most clearly non-race-worthy (you know, 250-pound guys with a sausage in one hand and a kielbasa in the other): "So, I guess I'll be seeing you eight tomorrow morning at the starting line?" After the raucous laughter begins to subside, I hit them with, "I get tired driving 26 miles!"

It's just a gift to be so very hilarious.

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About The Author

Jernigan Pontiac

Jernigan Pontiac

Jernigan Pontiac was a Burlington cab driver whose biweekly "Hackie" column appeared in Seven Days 2000-20. He has published two book-length collections, Hackie: Cab Driving and Life, and Hackie 2: Perfect Autumn.


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