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New Year's News 

New Year's Eve Day (there's got to be a better handle) is a full day for me, to say the least. I did two appearances at First Night Burlington. After the second show, I rushed home, ripped off the good clothes, flung on my normal cabbie duds and hit the streets for the busiest night of the year.

The First Night shows went wonderfully well. These are always the mother-of-all yearly Hackie appearances. One of my favorite parts is interacting with (fooling around with) the fabulous "signer" who is on stage with me - Rebecca Damon from Maine.

In one of the stories I read, there was a line about these two students being so soused that they "couldn't distinguish  sarcasm from orgasm." I paused after I read that line and turned to watch Rebecca translate "orgasm" into sign language, which, it turns out, is something like hugging yourself and shivering with delight. I then said, "I just wanted to see what she'd come up with for that."

The audience totally cracked up, even more so when I added one of my better ad-libs of all time:  "I'll have what she's having." (With a nod to "When Harry Met Sally.")

It's such a high for me to spend time with folks who appreciate my writing. The interaction filled me with encouragement and, well, love. I ended the night invigorated with confidence to keep at this wacky Hackie thing.

The cab-driving portion of New Year's Eve was crazy busy, of course. It's the one night of the year when I turn off my cell phone as I make far more money simply grabbing random fares throughout the city rather than hooking up with my regular customers. I feel badly about this every year because I know how hard it will be for these regulars to find a cab on New Year's Eve, let alone New Year's early morn. But, hey, I need to bring home the bacon whiles it's shakin'. Hey now!

As far as the flow, it was a remarkably mellow night. It helps that with dozens of people hailing cabs on every corner, I could afford to pass up the truly shit-faced, and limit my ridership to the mildly shit-faced. The tips were great; there's something about the celebration that opens the wallets wide.

This one night revenue bonanza is much-needed. January ushers in the doldrums . . .

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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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