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The Diehard Soccer Fan

The couple entered the cab on north Milwaukee near Damen, the epicenter of the Bucktown club district. After seeing many heavily intoxicated people staggering by, it was a relief to see an apparently sober and appropriate couple hailing a cab. The woman immediately and cheerily said, “Oh, your cab is so clean, and it smells good.” I laughed and thanked her. Her boyfriend gave me a Streeterville apartment address. As I put the cab in drive, her tone of voice changed, and she said, “Don’t think I didn’t see you flirting with that bartender.” Her boyfriend denied he was flirting and said, “Why would I be flirting when I’m out with you?” She responded that she knew what she saw, and the sudden increase in the volume of her voice made it obvious she was angry. I thought that surely he would apologize so she would calm down. She said she knew he was a (insert expletive) whore – always had been, always would be. He defended his actions, saying he was British, and “She was Irish and a soccer fan-it would have been rude not to talk to her.” This remark made the woman escalate, in anger and volume level. She then took off the plastic party beads she wore (those free beads bars give away). She began to repeatedly whip him with the beads as she continued name calling. He kept saying, “Baby stop. Baby stop.” She ignored his pleas and continued swinging until the beads broke, sending small, colored projectiles throughout the cab. She then scratched him on the neck. I attempted to intervene, asking her to stop and calm down. She continued screaming expletives at her boyfriend. The front windows were partially lowered, as it was a pleasantly warm night.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, they did. At the next stoplight a police SUV pulled alongside the cab. The officer driving leaned out his window and made a gesture which suggested to me he wanted the melee to stop. I nodded to the officer and shrugged my shoulders, hoping this would indicate I concurred. I told the couple that the police were involved and again asked them to stop. The police, apparently having more pressing matters, then sped away.
As the woman was giving me no indication she was changing her behavior, I pulled the cab over. She then stated, “Fine. I’ll get out,” and exited the cab. As the gentleman and I drove on, he said, “Dude, you gotta help me with her.” He said she had a violent temper, and the police were called the last time he upset her when he tried to defend himself. I told him it was not my business, but he couldn’t be hitting women, and I suggested he walk away if she started hitting him. He went on to say his parents told him to break up wih her, but he loved her and wanted it to work out. He added that his parents were coming to visit him the next day.
A few long minutes later, I pulled up in front of their building. On the steps waiting was the formerly bead-wielding woman. She had her arms crossed tightly, was tapping one foot, and had an angry look on her face. The gentlemen then repeated, “Dude, you gotta help me.” In response I said, “Sir I’m sure you two will work it out. Good bye and good luck.” He paid me and exited the cab, looking much like my dog after he’s been scolded for being naughty.
Well, anyway, I guess some people are more serious about their soccer than others. “Go Manchester United!”(image courtesy photobucket.com)

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