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The Second Oldest Profession 

Last night was a strange one. Early on things were super-slow. The "adults," it appeared, were not yet recovered from the holidays and were staying home. So, I ground it until the "kids" began showing up around 11'ish. Business picked up, but it was not one of my better nights. Such is January.

At some point, I picked up a nice-looking couple, perhaps in their early thirties. The man and woman were about the same height, which I find cool. They gave me their address, which was just past the police station on North Avenue.

"Sorry it's such a short ride," the woman apologized in a German accent.

""No problem whatsoever," I replied. "My belief is that people should take more cabs, whatever the distance. Why hoof it when you can ride?" Al Gore would hate me.

"Where you guys from?" I asked.

"We're both from Hamburg," the woman replied. "Do you know Hamburg?"

"Of course I know Hamburg," I replied. "For goodness sake, it's where the Beatles honed their act in the late fifties. It's a wild and raunchy town, baby!"

As we cruised past the Hilton, I asked, "Do you work in town?"

"Yes, both me and my husband" the woman answered. "I'm a jeweler at Grannis Gallery."

"Ooh, I love that place. The quality of their gold work is amazing. Isn't it something to perform a job that has been around for thousands of years?"

"Yes, the tools have changed somewhat, but it's still sitting at a desk, tapping and getting dirty."

"You know my job is one of the oldest, too," I said with a laugh.

"What do you mean?" the husband  joined in the conversation. "There have only been automobiles for maybe 100 years."

"Ah, but what of the coachman and the ferryman?"

"OK, I see what you mean," the man conceded.

"Of course," I added as we stopped in front of their apartment, "we all know about the oldest profession."

"Oh, yes," the woman said with a laugh. "We are from Hamburg. We know all about that!"

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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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