50 Candles

Place:  U.S. Naval Base, Yokosuka, Japan –

Time:  Approximately 2100  (9:00 pm)

Incident: Taxi Driver Fails Breathalizer Test, occupants of cab fall into laughing fit.

taxiIt was just a base taxi, the ones that drive people around base.  We had just left the command holiday party, all of us with a couple of drinks in our system so we decided to grab a cab back to our tower.  We had enjoyed just enough libation to make the following situation completely hilarious.

Our taxi driver was a nice lady not much older than us and as we all settled in she asked us to make sure we are buckled in because there is a police check point down the road.  We all strapped in and we pulled away with me at her left passenger side (we are in Japan you know), my husband and our two friends in the back seat.  She wasn’t joking, just around the bend there was a check point and she had to blow into the breathalizer.


This is when our evening went from normal to extraordinary.  She rolled down her window and the officer asked her to blow into the contraption, at this point she looked at him and said she’ll try but she’s 50 candles.  I raised an eyebrow, what does that mean I wonder.  Then her attempt to blow into the tube was a failure like nothing I’ve ever seen before.  She apologized to him again and said 50 candles, it’s hard.  Tried again, same result just a puff of air and that was all.   I looked back at the people in the back seat and smiled.  What’s going on here? Our driver can’t produce enough air to blow into a tester.  And it hit me what 50 candles meant, she’s 50 years old and blowing out that many candles is more than she can handle.  She tried several times, while we are all in giggling fits because of her apologies and explanations of candles.  She pushed my arm and started laughing too, which made blowing even harder.  After many attempts she finally produced enough air to satisfy the officer and allowed us through the check point.  At this point, we were all doubled over in laughter, the driver kept shoving me, saying 50 candles and laughing because we were all laughing at her.  I was close to having an asthma attack by the time we pulled up to our tower, about a 5 minute drive.


And that was the conclusion to our festive party night.  Who knew taking the lazy shortcut home by hailing a cab would result in ending the evening with tears of laughter.

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