Let’s Get One Thing Straight: I Am Your Ugandan Cab Driver, Not Your Friend by Andy Kushnir


Hello, my name is Willy. It is short for a much longer Ugandan name. That is where I come from, Uganda. It is a country that has been torn apart by war, crime and drugs. The hardships my fam-ah-ly has seen is more than any human being should ever have to go through. So please do not get into my taxicab with your drunk female friends and say things like, “Willy, I thought we were friends!” after I have told you multiple times not to touch my radio. We are most certainly not friends.

What makes us friends? Huh? We are nothing alike. You do not know anything about me. You do not know what it is like to see your entire village burned to the ground. Stop calling me bro. Why do you say these things? What gives you the right? Is this your way of mocking me? Do not fucking placate me, I will drive us straight into the stupid ass night club that I am taking you to. Don’t test me asshole.

Oh so you saw Blood Diamond did you? I DON’T GIVE A GOD DAMN SHIT. That is a story about Sierra Leone. My country is in Eastern Africa. But why am I telling you this, you are so drunk you won’t even remembah any of this con-vah-say-tion.

In fact I bet I could kidnap you and the rest of your skinny girlfriends. Tie you up and put you in my basement for weeks. I have yet to report this to the taxicab call center that I have picked anyone up. There is nothing tying me to you people. I would then go and burn down each one of your homes and videotape the entire thing and make you watch as your family members die screaming in a fire. I would keep the video on loop just as my family’s horrific deaths are on loop in my mind everyday. Because then, and only then would you understand what it is like to be me.

But no, I will smile and say, “Yes, we are friends!” or “No problem, buddy!” because that is the polite thing to do and I am a polite person. No matter that I was a doctor in my country, who cares?! I make a living and I will get my revenge on judgment day, you swine. When the world comes to an end and we all meet our maker, I will be the one standing above you, watching you crumble like the vapid mountain you have foolishly hoisted yourself upon. That is my promise, that is my oath.

But have fun tonight gang! That’ll be $14.50, my “friend.”

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