It was sort of drizzling on and off all shift tonight, which made it really busy. I was driving along Kings Road when two guys and a girl flagged me down and asked to be taken to Tulse Hill. They were South African and Australian so I knew straight away there would be no tip. A few minutes into the ride and one of the guys asked if I had any music I could play. I put Virgin Radio on and they instantly recognised the song and started singing loudly to it. The song finished and the DJ announced “And now for something really special”. The opening few words “A long long time ago…” produced screams of delight from all three in the cab and they started singing the song word for word. I must admit I love that song too and was gently mouthing the words under my breath. “Bye Bye Miss American Pie” rang out from the partially opened windows as we drove through the streets of Brixton turning heads in our direction. They played the whole song which must have lasted a good eight or nine minutes and by the songs end my fares flopped down in their seat to catch their breath, it was almost as if they’d just had sex. As predicted, we arrived at their destination with £18.60 on the Hickory*, plenty of thanks and good wishes for the rest of my night but they took the £1.40 change from me with out batting an eyelid.
*Hickory Dickory Dock (from a children’s nursery rhyme) = Clock = meter.
Cockney Rhyming slang, it’s a London thing.
Talking of tips AGAIN they generally add up to 10% of the nights takings, sometimes even more. Tonight for some reason they only added up to 3%, I wonder why.
The shift ended with another disagreement with a cab driver. I was probably out of order but sometimes you have to do what’s best for you. I was looking for a fare to take me towards home and drove onto Victoria rank with my doors locked and my light off. As the first in the queue approached me I shouted out “are you going north ?” They said they were going south and so did the next 2. The fourth passenger was going my way so I told him to jump in. The cabby that pulled up behind me and jumped out of his cab shouting “Oi what’s going on here, why are you fucking brooming those jobs” I said I wanted to go home to which he said “Then turn your fucking light out and go then, don’t come in here picking and choosing, you’re worse than the minicabs” He was bubbling. But as the saying goes, possession is nine tenths of the law. I had my job in the cab so I just leaned out and said to him “Be lucky mate” and drove off into the night.