Saturday, July 15, 2006

Is it safe to post?

Was my anonymous poster more than a little pissed off at me? Personally I think it was disproportionate to the offence but I admit to my wrongdoing wholeheartedly. I can’t say for sure it won’t happen again as things like this have to be done from time to time but I won’t mention it on this blog again unless I need to wind somebody up.

So what’s been happening in this last week? I’ve only had one day off and that was last Monday when my brother Joe came round and we watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I really enjoyed the film and Jim Carey was excellent in a straight role. As for Kate Winslet, I’d like to marry her, she’s gorgeous.

My son entered and won a darts competition earlier this evening. He's been getting better and better over the last few months. He even managed a maximum score of 180, his first infront of an audience. He texted me while I was at work to tell me about the maximum and I told him he was a lege(nd) and that I was proud of him.

My daughter has been doing work experience at a clothes store in north London and I have been getting up after only a few hours sleep to drive her there. Most days I turn around and come back home and dive straight back into my still warm bed but on a couple of occasions a hand has been waved at me and I have taken the job. The best of the lot was last Tuesday when a guy flagged me down at Brent Cross and asked to go all the way to Westminster, a £25 ride. When I got into town it was buzzing and I just carried on working until about 4pm. I had a day’s money by then but still went home and came out later for another shift. Greedy? No, just skint!!

My satnav has started playing up in the last few weeks. It seems to take ages to lock on to satellites and even when it does it loses the signal intermittently. Another thing it does is un-mutes itself so that the voice starts blurting out the directions so that all and sundry in the back can hear, causing heads to turn. I want to buy a Tom Tom 700 in the next few weeks. It has maps of the whole of Europe included on an onboard hard drive, which will be handy when I go to Spain for a week in September. I plan to hire a car and drive around a fair bit so the new gadget will be invaluable.

My Satnav

Do any of you cabbies out there hate it when a person starts directing you to somewhere you know well? As far as central London goes I would say I pretty much know every street name bar only a few. The worst ones to remember are Mews. There are loads of them all over the place and they often have two, three and even four parts such as Belgrave Mews North, South, East and West and they’re not always in the obvious locations. A lady got in and asked for Devonshire Mews West. I happen to know this one well as Barbara Windsor lives there. This lady I picked up earlier started off from Victoria railway station and started directing me from the word go. I said I knew Devonshire Mews West pretty well but that never stopped her piping up with “take the next left please driver” and "straight on here driver” and all the other turns I had to make to arrive at her destination. I suppose I should be glad she was going the way she wanted to go but I couldn’t help getting riled all the same.

Tonight, being Friday night was busy and eventful as are most Fridays. I can’t help noticing that people seem to be getting drunk quicker these days and by 8 and 9pm I was already having to avoid picking these people up, not all of them just the ones that couldn’t stand by themselves. A respectable looking bloke once flagged me down in Piccadilly and when I stopped he retreated into a doorway and emerged dragging a very drunk male over towards my cab. As he got to the cab I locked the doors and said “where are you going?” to which he replied “not me, him. He’s going to Gants Hill” Not in my cab he wasn’t as I sped off and did a quick right turn into Duke Street St. James’s. I’ve had these jobs before and the longer the drive the worse it is as they have had a good half an hour or more to become semi-comatose. It’s always impossible to wake these people up and as for females they are the worst ones altogether. I only ever got in the back of the cab once to wake a drunk lady up and she started screaming because she must have thought I was going to assault her or something. The next time it happened I had to call the police to wake the woman up but waited half an hour for them to arrive. Who needs that sort of grief? I wonder if Anonymous has any views on that.

One of the last jobs I did tonight was a bunch of young 20 something’s with various drop offs in south London. When the penultimate one got out the last one said “back to Fulham mate”. He was really drunk and almost incoherent but managed to ask if any of the others had given me any money for their ride. I thought to myself “here we go, this one hasn’t got enough money on him” It was going to be a £30 ride all told and I was gearing myself up for some sort of action. He started babbling “bloody women” and tutting over and over and I was getting the hump with him. All I was concerned about was if I was going to get my money at the end of the ride. As we passed a garage with a cash point I asked him if he needed to get any money out. He replied “don’t you worry about that mate you’ll get you’re money just get me home”. His destination turned out to be the Esso garage in Kings Road and he produced two crisp £20 notes and asked for £10 back and staggered into the garage. As I drove off I noticed something on the back shelf. I pulled over and got out for a closer inspection. It was some sort of bag with “First Aid” and a cross on it but it was damp and had all this white stuff all over it. It smelt like battery acid and started warming up my fingers. I kicked it under a car and got my water bottle out to wash my hands. God only know what that could have been.

Night Scene


wil said...

Do any of you cabbies out there hate it when a person starts directing you to somewhere you know well?

Then when I finally get on their street and ask for them to let me know when we are at their destination (most homes here have rural mailboxes in front with no numbers on them) they shut up. Not a word, until we pass the residence they wanted. Geez.

Anonymous said...

Hi L_C

Glad you had a good night, mine was pretty much "event" free.

As you have mentioned, comotose women are the worse without any doubt. What part do you shake to wake them up, if any at all :-)

I once picked up a young lady in Roslyn Hill going to Jardine Gds (off the Highway). On arriving she was sparko so I used the "heavy brake trick" a couple of times with no success. I then enlisted the help of a passing young couple, again with no success. At this point I was fearing for her health as we could not find a pulse! Suddenly her mobile rang, I answered it to see if the caller could help, Lord above as luck would have it was her brother! He went onto explain that she had a sleep disorder and that it would be best to take her back to where he had popped her into the cab. On arriving he jumped in and dragged her out and then really screamed her name out, it was like a scene from an Ealing comedy instantly she awoke flew her arms around me and gave me a kiss, then thanking me for taking her home...Only she was not home, she was back at her brothers where she stayed the night!
The next morning my mobile rang and my wife answered it to the sound of "Kate" thanking me for all I had done, took some explaining i'll tell you.

Be lucky


jo said...


Is the anonymouse above the one that was so insulting in your previous post? If it is, then he/she has had a personality transplant - so nice!!


Tesco Codes said...

Enjoy reading your blog, keeps me amused on the frequent boring days in work.

Keep it coming!

STAG said...

When I drove (way back in '76!),
I was very much the junior, and so got those drunks. The other guys didn't mind me poaching THEM! For some reason, I had very little problem. Or maybe I had a different way to deal with them. I tried if at all possible to get them to ride with a friend...the help was worth the free ride back to the bar.
The tricky part was getting them to throw up "outside" the car. A back window that could roll all the way down was handy for that....and washing the car off is pretty easy. I could usually guilt the guy into an extra 5 bucks for the cleaning job.
They often dozed off. That was better than trying to talk to them. So, my experiences were that I got lots of fares, I cleaned up lots of puke, I met lots of people, my fellow cabbies liked me, (in fact, they would drop problem fares onto me "just as a joke"), the company thought the sun shone out my ass, and I generally had a good time.
But then, I was doing this as a part time driver. I am in awe of people like you and wil who deal with those twits on an everyday basis!

brow said...

A word to the wise here - if you already have a IPAQ 5455 - go get the TOMTOM for the ipaq - i have it and love the thing. Better than that - do the Ipaq phone thingy - that way it has a data connection, so it pulls traffic and weather off the net
Just a thought.....

london_cabby said...

could you tell me a bit more about what i need to get. I have the ipaq h5555