Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Now what?

After yesterdays carry on getting my cab all fixed up I thought I would at least be good for a couple of weeks. Not so. Me and my son, Michael, went up the road to buy a few things and when we got back in to the cab and I tried to start it there was nada, zilch, nothing there. "Now what?" I thought to myself. I knew it couldn't be the battery as I've only had a new one fitted recently and it's German so it's good for about three years at least. I had an earthing problem last year and I suspected it might be that but didn't really know how to proceed. I was on a main road and the wardens were coming towards me. I intercepted them and told them of my plight. I had the bonnet up to add credence to my story. Wardens are the most unsympathetic sons of bitches on earth so I was quite surprised when they basically said no problem, carry on. What to do next? I know. Ring Super Mechanic up for advice. Once he was sure it wasn't the battery he asked me if I had jump leads, yes I did, put one end on the negative terminal and the other on a part of the body or engine and try to start it. Result? It started first go. Deano had sorted me once again, I love that guy, in a non gay way of course.
Me and Mikey went straight to Halfords, a car spares and accessory shop in West Hendon, quite a journey during the rush hour, but it had to be done. Once there I bought an earth strap at a cost of £3.99 and fitted it to the cab and I was mobile once again.

Halfords in West Hendon

After giving the cab a bit of a clean up inside and out I finallly got out to work at 9.05pm. I trapped almost immediately and the work continued at a steady rate for the next five hours. The next six jobs kept me in and around the Kensington and Chelsea areas, my favourite hunting ground. It was while I was driving towards Hyde park on Queens Gate that a young lady flagged me down outside a bar, got in and asked me to pull over and wait. She was trying to ring someone on her mobile phone but it must have kept going to voice mail. After she tried 3 or 4 times to ring she sort of blew her top and shouted "Oh for fuck sake come on, I don't know what I'm doing with this loser" at no one in particular. I had a little chuckle to myself and said "What's up?" to which she repeated that she didn't know why she was with this guy as he was a loser. Just then a disheveled male appeared from the same door she had. He had a suit on but his shirt was hanging out, his tie was crooked and his hair was all messed up. She saw him and said "Oh my God look at the state of him". He saw us and came over and got in and directed me to Chiswick. He tried to give her a kiss but she wasn't interested then he started talking in a really peculiar voice, a bit like those old Jerry Lewis films, it was cringeworthy!! All of a sudden she said "Driver, can you take me to Hallam Street, I'n not going to Chiswick". Used to couples having arguments after all these years I just said OK and did a U turn. They then proceeded to have an argument but kept their voices very low so it sounded like a snake hissing. Just before I got to Hallam Street she said "can we go to the Albany" (a pub in Great Portland Street). OK says me. I dropped them off, she paid me £16 and into the pub they both went. By the time I'd put the money away, written down the amount on my notepad, had a swig of water and did a U turn to drive back towards town, I saw the guy come storming out of the pub stamping his feet and waving his arms about like a madman. She must have given him the sack.

The Albany pub, Great Portland Street

Three or four jobs later I picked up an eccentric spinster, well that's what she looked like to me, and took her up to New Southgate in the extreme north of London. This is satnav territory and I was thankfull that she'd given me her street name at the begining so that I could plot a course. About ten minutes into the journey she started sneezing. One after the other. She obviously had an allergy or something but the amount of times she sneezed was ridiculous. I called through to her "are you alright love?" She said that she wasn't. I asked what was causing it and she said it could be one of three things. After shave, asbestos or dogs. In some form or other I think there were traces of all three things in the cab. Yesterday, while having my brakes done my brother in law used an airline to blow all the crap out from around the brakes, probably including asbestos. The Magic Tree air freshner (new car smell) I have hanging up in the passenger compartment could account for the after shave as it is quite strong and as for the dog, well, my mad Jack Russell called Dude is in the cab all the time but I never told her that I just put it down to the work I had done yesterday. I opened the rear windows for her and she seemed to settle down after that and I carried on concentrating on the journey. Every now and then she would shout out "left here!" or "right here!" contrary to where the satnav was telling me to go but I just did as she asked. Eventually we linked back up to the satnav route and all was well. I pulled up where she told me to and stopped the meter on £36 and a few pennies and she proceeded to rumage through her bag. The meter goes up 20 pence every twenty seconds so after about five minutes of her rumaging through her bag I would have earned another three pounds had I not stopped it. Next she declares she hasn't got enough money and we'll have to drive to an ATM. Once the meter is stopped you can't start it up without resetting it but if you drive on a stopped clock it will increase as you go along but once you stop at lights and traffic you lose out. Also on a stopped clock the interior lights are wired to go on automatically and go off once the wheels are turning. So, as you can imagine, the next few minutes were a right old song and dance with her asking me why the lights kept going on and off (because I stopped the meter outside your house before you realized you never had enough money on you, you dotty old cow...I thought this to myself but of course I never said it to her) and why couldn't she turn them off with the switch (for the same reason). Anyways, she got the money after the interior lights had gone on and off about fifty times and I got her home safely and the meter had increased another £6 making it £42 in all, no tip either, oh well. Enough for one night.


wil said...

A good mechanic isn't expensive - they're priceless!!

london_cabby said...

That is so true'

oli said...

Very interesting blog, I am studying the knowledge at the moment. Yours is the only London Cab blog I have found so dont quit.....



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