In the City, a party of two couples around 40 years old hailed me, although only one woman was travelling. After helping her in the back seat a fella leaned in the front window and said, ‘Please take this lady home to Cremorne’. ‘Okay’, I replied, but he lingered making firm eye contact. ‘Make sure you to look after her, okay’, he demanded rather than requested. ‘I want her home safely - you know where Cremorne is, right ?’, he challenged in a menacing tone.
This happens from time to time and it really annoys me. What exactly is he assuming - that I’ll abduct his friend ? Rape and bash her then dump her in the Harbour ? The fact is, I’m utterly indifferent to her for she’s just another passenger on a busy night. So long as she doesn’t throw up and she pays the fare, I couldn’t give a toss if it's Halle Berry. Well...
By implying from the outset he didn’t trust me, the abrogating chaperone betrays his guilt for dumping her in a taxi. Thereby foisting his responsibility onto me. Huh ? And one of these nights I’m going to retort, ‘Mate, if you seriously had concerns for your friend’s well-being, then you’d be travelling home with her. I don't appreciate your bullshit assumptions'.
Twice last weekend, I was subjected to men insisting I get their female friends home safely. The above encounter occurred on Saturday night outside the Hilton Hotel and the other being on Sunday night.
Yet the second request was entirely innocuous with the tone of delivery making all the difference. To wit, the request was jocular, benevolent and intended for the sole benefit of the passenger. A gracious gesture for her, as distinct from a direct warning to myself not to try anything funny.
‘You do know where Cremorne is ?’, Mr Menace repeated sarcastically. ‘Of course’, I told him. ‘So you’ll look after her..?’. (whatever that means). Returning his glare I asked, ‘How drunk is she ?’. ‘Nah, nah’, he hurriedly reassured me, ‘she won’t be sick. It’s just she’s not feeling well’.
Yeah sure, I thought, I’d plead sickness too rather than drink with a neurotic like him. ‘She got money ?’, I asked, turning the responsibility back onto him. ‘Of course !’, he snapped, ignoring the chance to pay her fare. ‘No worries then mate’, I breezily intoned, ‘Cremorne it is - easy !’. Idiot.