It isn’t uncommon for people to rent a limousine to take them to a party. It is, however, a little more uncommon for the limousine to be the location of the party. A little more unusual still when that party happens to be a children’s birthday party.
I got a request this week from a very nice young mother who only told me that it was her eleven-year- old son’s birthday and that him and his friends would like to be driven around in a limo for a couple hours. The directions would come from the birthday boy and I could expect a lot of slow, residential driving. Hey, in an industry that comes with a lot of, uh, “lackluster” clients who may border on the perverted side, I am most definitely not going to turn down a laid back afternoon cruising around with some kids drinking pop and blasting some music in the back.
I picked up the little birthday man and his friends and they all happily scrambled into the back. I heard their ooh’s and ah’s at the glory that is the back of a limo – the leather seats, the mini fridge (pop only, today, kids!), the sun roof. I climbed into the front and unrolled the divider, asked the man in charge where we were headed and was promptly told we were headed nowhere. Just start cruising around, he said, nice and slow. And if I hear him shout to stop, I best punch those brakes into the floor!
He kept his promise almost immediately as we began to coast down the empty road. He yelled “stop” and my reaction time, true to the best of drivers (*hair flip*), sent half the kids flying onto the ground.
They all seemed unfazed, most just scrambling for their dropped phones. Over the beat of their music, I could only hear cries of joy and squeals of excitement emanating from them all. I could see them murmuring things to each other, pointing excitedly out the windows and glancing at each other’s phones.
At this point, I started to wonder if I had inadvertently got myself into another one of my many strange jobs. It wasn’t until one scream from the smallest of the boys broke through the music and humming of my engine that I realized what was going on.
I’m not sure if you’ve heard – well, actually, if you haven’t heard, I’m not sure where you’ve been – but there’s this new game called Pokemon Go that has taken the world by storm. My friends play it. I might… play it… occasionally.
So, like I was saying, the scream that broke the air?
Well I don’t think a car has ever come to such a fast stop. Kids jumped out through every door, running to a field yielding an imaginary monster. I watched them finger-pummel their phones and curse the empty sky.
Me? I stayed in the car. Turns out that Charizard was actually riding shotgun.