Something Special for ChristmasbyFredoberto©
You might think I'm mad, or some sort of inhuman, cold-blooded, unfeeling creature. Well, that's not the case. It's just that I have a binary emotional response to whatever is happening around me. A binary system only has two possible settings -- on or off -- sometimes expressed as a choice of two digits - one or zero.
Some people think I'm "on the spectrum" and in some way autistic, whatever that means. I'm not sure how all that pigeon-holing of people works, but all I can say is either I like what's happening and react accordingly or I don't like it and then I take what I think is appropriate action to avoid any further unpleasantness. I don't generally recognise shades of grey. Things are pretty much black and white as far as I'm concerned and I don't spend a lot of time trying to fix what can't be fixed.
I'm telling you this, so you will understand that I acted with reasonable justification. I know we all have to live with the consequences of our actions, but I'm not worried about that. I'd just like to make sure folk understand why I did what I did. As far as I'm concerned, it was a simple binary choice involving two digits.
I'll try and give you an example. Say you're a farmer and you found out that your crop was rotting, would you look for the cause of the rot and make sure it wouldn't happen again, even if it meant damaging or destroying the crop, or would you do nothing? You have the choice. You can do something or you can do nothing. Choose one or the other. One or zero.
By now, even if you understand that I see things pretty much in black and white, you're probably wondering what I'm getting at. I guess I better tell you my story and then you can consider whether or not you understand me. My wife and I have been married for nearly ten years and I thought she understood me, but evidently not.
Firstly, I must admit I'm not the brightest bulb in the festive lights, but I work hard and I do my best to be a good citizen. I pay my taxes and I vote in all of the elections. For a living I drive a taxi in a big city. Each fare is like solving a problem - how to get from A to B in the most efficient, effective and economic way. I like to think that, in our city, the folks appreciate good service and it has been my experience that they do tip accordingly. I would probably be poor in New York or London, but where I live my fellow citizens are tough cookies who like it when you don't mess around. I am very direct, both in terms of how I get them from A to B and how I talk to folk.
I've had loads of interesting people in the back of my cab and there have been good experiences and bad experiences. Some folk are all about themselves, but most prefer to have some enjoyable social intercourse, sharing a conversation. It's definitely an advantage that my passengers and I are unlikely to ever see one another again. That's why sometimes I get to hear things that wouldn't be possible if I wasn't driving my cab. I could tell you true stories about football stars and their wives, but that would be betraying confidences.
I've also seen loads of incidents on the roads that you probably wouldn't believe. I once saw a guy use a motorcycle to transport lengths of sawn timber. That went badly wrong for him when he tried to cut across the oncoming traffic and someone hit the back end of his load. I've seen buses and trucks wedged under low bridges. And of course I've seen all sorts of sexy shenanigans going on in other vehicles. That sort of stuff gets more frequent the closer we get to the end of the year.
People party hard, get tanked up and lose their inhibitions. Taxi drivers have to know where to draw the line when it comes to our passengers. I don't mind looking the other way if people want to get a bit frisky in the back of my cab, but I won't stand for any nonsense. If your travelling companion has no idea what is going on, then I'm going to have to ask you to cease and desist. I carry a baseball bat in the cab, just in case anyone wants to argue.
The other thing that happens at this time of year is that normal people go slightly mad and some of them buy large fir trees, which they transport in cars that are too small for the job. Whenever I see people transporting Christmas trees like that, I always think of the story of how the fairy ended up on top of the Christmas tree. It seems Santa was having a particularly stressful day when a little fairy appeared with a large tree and asked him where he wanted to put it.
Unlike all those people who favour expensive little designer cars, I don't have a problem transporting stuff. Apart from the taxi, I have a big red flatbed pickup that I use to deliver stuff for a mad friend of mine who runs a vehicle repair business. Johnny and I have been best friends since we were young lads. He looks after my vehicles and I do his fetching and carrying. During the week my wife Karen uses the pickup, which saves her from relying on our piss poor public transport system to get to and from the office where she works.
Anyway, a couple of days before Christmas, I dropped off an elderly couple somewhere in the outer suburbs of the city and I was musing on what to get Karen for Christmas as I drove back towards the city centre She had asked for "something special", but I still had to decide what that might mean. The safest bet was probably jewellery that she could return if she didn't like it.
All of a sudden a big red pickup came hurtling out of a side street, cutting me up. There was a fir tree strapped to the back of it, which didn't look very secure. Braking sharply to avoid running into the back of the pickup, I glanced at the vehicle registration and realised I was looking at my own pickup. Why the heck was Karen taking time off work to go and buy another Christmas tree? I had fetched a tree last weekend and we had set it up and decorated it in our lounge.
The next set of traffic lights up ahead was red, so I pulled up alongside the pickup and lowered the passenger side window to find out what Karen was up to and let her know that her load needed to be more secure. To my surprise, instead of my wife, a strange man was looking back at me. He lowered his window and scowled at me.
"What are you staring at?" he asked.
Now, just because I see things as black and white, that doesn't mean I charge in like a bull in a china shop. I can be very diplomatic and I wasn't going to get agitated without knowing the facts. I had no idea what was going on, but it occurred to me that maybe Karen had loaned someone my pickup as a favour, albeit without my permission.
"Er... Your load is loose," I replied. "You need to tighten the strapping."
"OK," he replied in a friendlier tone. "Thanks for that."
"Nice pickup, by the way," I said. "Is it yours?"
"It's my girlfriend's," he grinned, as his window closed, terminating our brief conversation.
This was looking like very bad news, but I needed to know more. I gritted my teeth and tried hard not to think about the implications of what he had said, as I followed him along the road. He stopped briefly to tighten the straps more securely on his load and I drove slowly past, turning off at the next side street and doubling back to wait and see if he continued along the main road. Sure enough, he passed by and I quickly turned onto the main road behind him.
Taxis are everywhere in our city, so I was easily able to remain undetected as I followed him to a detached house in a nice inner city area much favoured by better paid white collar workers. I parked farther up the street where I had a view of the house and waited to see what would happen. I could see my red pickup in front of his garage, still with the fir tree strapped to it, which indicated to me that he was in no hurry to return the vehicle to my wife. I briefly wondered whether he had stolen it, but that was unlikely if he had driven it to his home.
Karen knew I was on a back shift and wouldn't be home until around 10pm at the earliest. If this guy really was Karen's boyfriend, or hopefully just someone who used the term "girlfriend" in a platonic sense, then he would have to return the pickup to her before my shift finished. I decided before I leapt to any wrong conclusions I better call Karen and hear whether she had any news, like for instance whether she had loaned my pickup to a friend or reported it as stolen.
She told me she was busy and she didn't have time to chat, so I decided to see if I could jerk her chain a little and I told her I'd probably be back earlier than I had thought.
"Oh," she responded. "What time do you think you'll be home then, Charlie?"
"Probably between nine and ten," I told her. "But there's no need to keep any dinner for me. I'll get something on the way back home."
Not long after that, the mystery man reappeared, presumably having been told he better unload his tree sooner, rather than later. He wrestled the tree in the front door and then ran an electrical extension cable from the back of the house and used a portable vacuum to tidy up the pickup and remove any evidence of fir tree debris.
In the meantime I radioed despatch and told them I had a mechanical breakdown and would be off the road until the next day at least.
The weather was comparatively mild for December, but the sun sets early and dusk was encroaching as the afternoon wore on and I sat and waited. It was now getting quite dark and the lights were on in the house. The curtains were open in the front room and I could see the guy setting the tree up near the large bay window, ready to be decorated.
Around five thirty a taxi drew up outside and Karen emerged. The mystery man was expecting her and I saw her almost throw herself into his arms when he opened the front door. They embraced and shared a passionate kiss. As the door closed behind them I felt as though a switch had been flicked in my mind. The scenario that had just played out seemed to indicate that Karen was indeed the girlfriend of the mystery man. It was unlikely that there would be any benefit of the doubt, but I decided I needed to find out for certain whether she was putting the horns on me.
I have a nice pair of leather driving gloves for cold weather use, so I pulled them on and grabbed the baseball bat I kept in the cab. I wasn't sure what was going to happen, but I wanted to be prepared and I wasn't going to leave my fingerprints all over the place.
The street was dark and empty, so I didn't need to skulk around. I strolled over to the house and up the path towards the front door, then skirted round the side of the house to the back of the property. I waited outside the back door for a very long ten minutes before trying the handle. I have to admit it wasn't all that great, standing there in the cold and the dark, but I needed to allow some time for any action to commence before I checked up on Karen and her friend. They would either be chatting over a cup of tea or playing hide the sausage.
The back door was unlocked and I stepped carefully into the darkness of the kitchen, taking care to avoid tripping over the electrical extension cable that was curled on the floor like a snake. I closed the door quietly and listened, but I couldn't hear a sound. The hallway beyond the kitchen was ablaze with light and I moved cautiously forward.
There was no sign of them in the lounge, so I started up the stairs and then I heard it. The groaning and moaning coming from one of the bedrooms was unmistakable. I crept further up the stairs and was able to gain a clear view of their naked arses bobbing up and down as they screwed missionary style in one of the bedrooms, their clothes strewn all over the bedroom floor. That was all I needed to see. I'd eliminated any doubts about Karen's relationship with this man, but it wasn't pleasant watching her getting fucked by someone else.
I was angry, but I decided not to confront them in flagrante delicto. It would have been an interesting experience, but I wanted more than just a confrontation and some sort of useless argument. I was going to get revenge, but I wasn't going to use the baseball bat on Karen. I would wait until she left before I dealt with her boyfriend. I could deal with her later.
I knew they would be going downstairs whenever she decided to leave, so I simply hid in another bedroom and waited. Unfortunately, although I couldn't see them, I could still hear them. Thankfully it wasn't long before Karen was shouting out as their big finale approached. "Oh god, oh god, oh god..." she chanted. "Yes, yes, yes... Fuck me, Frankie! That's it, fuck me good, fuck me good, fuck, fuck, fuuuuck!"
So now I knew his name: Frank the Fucker. Well, Charlie the Cabbie was going to sort him out.
After a while there were sounds of movement from next door and I gathered they were getting dressed. I couldn't quite make out any of their conversation, but I expect they were arranging their next get together. As they went downstairs I heard Karen say something about, "...can't wait till next week..." She and I were planning to visit friends and family over the holidays, so it would be a while before she could get back together with Frank.
I heard the front door close behind Karen and then Frank was coming back upstairs. I have no idea whether he was intending to have a shower, change his clothes or whatever. He didn't see me come out of the other bedroom behind him as he turned at the top of the stairs and my swing with the baseball bat nearly took his head off. He collapsed onto the landing, blood oozing onto the carpet. I really wasn't bothered if he had a fractured skull, but he was still breathing when I turned him over to check that he was out for the count. I grabbed him by the arm and dragged him downstairs.
I had some rope in the taxi, but there was a roll of garden twine in one of his kitchen drawers, which was much more convenient. In fact I found everything I needed in his kitchen.
The kitchen was pretty much a standard layout. None of those stupid breakfast bars. There was a traditional rectangular wooden table that would seat four comfortably and was well suited to my purposes. I fastened him to a seat then tied his legs to the table legs at one end of the table, stretched him forward and tied his hands to the table legs at the other end of the table. He looked almost like he had been drinking and just passed out. I got a towel from next to the sink unit and used it to make a gag to keep him from shouting when he came to. The last thing I did was to run a length of twine under the table, tying his wrists to one another and winding the twine round his hands to leave them clasping the edges of the table, with his thumbs on top of table and his fingers beneath.
One of the things that make us humans different from many other mammals is the opposable digit on our hands that is commonly known as the thumb. This has helped us to evolve and become more technically advanced than other creatures. The thumb gives us the ability to grasp and manipulate all sorts of objects, instead of simply pushing, pulling and scraping with undeveloped paws. It allows you to hold a steering wheel, for example.
The power of the thumb should never be underestimated. The emperor's upraised or downturned thumb was very often the difference between life and death for gladiators in Roman arenas.
After a while Frank began to regain consciousness. Strapped to the table, he couldn't see me standing behind him. I stepped forward, aimed and swung.
Bang. The meat cleaver thumped into the wooden table and his eyes popped wide open in agony as he screamed into the gag and his thumb went flying across the room. That's what you get for taking my vehicle without my permission. Lose an opposable digit.
He struggled desperately in agonising pain, shaking his head dazedly as he tried to comprehend what was happening. Meantime I had stepped round behind him to the other side.
Bang. The meat cleaver thumped down again and the other thumb went flying. That's what you get for taking my wife without my permission. Lose another opposable digit.
He fainted again.
I picked up his stray digits, popped them in one of the small freezer bags that I had found in a drawer and got ready to leave. I grabbed his mobile phone and stuck it in my pocket then used the house phone to call emergency services. He had been a naughty boy, but I didn't want him to bleed to death for his misdemeanours. His hands were tied tightly, which would restrict blood flow and I was fairly certain he'd survive. When the operator answered, I said "Help!" in a slightly higher pitch than my normal voice and left the receiver off the hook.
There was still no sign of anyone when I got in the taxi and drove off to see Johnny about an alibi.
The next couple of days were very busy. It's a time of year when taxi drivers are in great demand and I was doing double shifts with a short break for a bite to eat and a snooze in between. I didn't see much of Karen, who was doing all the last minute Christmas shopping. There's just the two of us, but she buys so much stuff you'd think we were going to be holed up for the rest of the winter.
Anyway, Christmas morning rolled around and we eventually crawled out of bed after spending a couple of hours sucking and fucking. I know I was taking a chance, but it was obvious that Karen and Frank had been having biblical knowledge of one another for a while, so either we were all clean or we weren't. I'd put testing for STDs on my list of things to do.
I made us each a nice big glass of Buck's Fizz and we went into the lounge to exchange Christmas gifts. We always try to guess what each got the other before opening our gifts. When Karen found the small box under the tree with her name on it, she immediately shook it, but there were no telltale sounds.
"Come on, Charlie, at least give me a clue?" she asked.
"Well, there's quite a story behind that gift," I replied. "I know how much you like reading and I've got you something to read, but you won't get it until next week. You asked for something special and I was going to get you jewellery, but a couple of days ago I saw something else you liked. You know how the three wise men followed a sign and they brought gold, frankincense and myrrh?"
"Is it gold?" she asked, excitedly.
"No. It's more like Frank in a sense. Open the box and have a look. It's a very special thumb thing."