Monday, August 21, 2006


London is full of mugs. For all non-Londoners my definition of a mug is someone, normally but not exclusively, another driver who drives stupidly, aggressively, like he owns the road, like he’s in a big hurry going nowhere you get my drift? Even other cab drivers that stay in the outer lane and when someone flags for a cab they come forcing their way over because they were just too lazy to be in the right lane to start with. You all have them in your countries and you all have names for them. Lately, my tolerance for these people is very low and I think may be in danger of doing something stupid towards them. Three or four times tonight I have been cut up by them or flashed to move out of their way. I have exchanged hand signals of the non-driving type, exchanged verbal opinions of one another and I have found it all just a little too much to take. I’m not even going to try and find a reason for why people act like this because there is no answer other than they are out and out M U G S !!!!!!!

I thought that little outburst would calm me down but it hasn’t helped at all so I’m going to leave this for an hour and have a cup of tea and something sweet.

(One hour thirty-five minutes has elapsed since above outburst)

I’ve worked continuously since Tuesday apart from Saturday when I took two of the kids and the dog on a nutty to Southend. A nutty is when I do something on the spur of the moment and it normally involves a road trip and some sort of nourishment when we get there followed by a quick look around and then the journey home. In the last few years I’ve done nutties to Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and more often than not the east and south coasts of England. Saturdays’ one to Southend was all because we had a craving for fresh donuts, the ones they make by the seaside. As far as I know you can’t get them anywhere in London (if any body knows different let me know). There was some sort of carnival on when we got there at 10pm and all the roads were closed so we had to park a long way from the town and walk back. The only one that seemed to enjoy it was the dog. The rest of us wished we’d stayed at home although the donuts were pukka, as usual.

On Friday night the non-driving mugs were out in force and I had to drive off in a hurry a few times almost taking a few hands with me as they tried to open the locked doors. That particular manoeuvre is always followed by an outburst of “you wanker” or “you fat cunt” and if they have the time a kick to some part of the cab or a thumping of one of the windows. Sometimes I get caught at a red light and they come running up after me, they never catch me if you know what I mean.

I was on the Charing Cross Station rank when the cab in front broomed a job back to me (yes fellow cabbies I’m not the only broomer out there, there are plenty of others). This guy had a cut on the bridge of his nose and was definitely on something stronger than alcohol. He asked for Priory Lane in Roehampton, a very nice job. There was no way I was in the mood for being mucked about so I came straight out with it “ Mate, you’re looking at twenty to twenty five quid and I want the money up front” to which he replied “yeah no probs, sweet as a nut” He produced the money and I had to endure about twenty five minutes of his bullshit all the way there but I didn’t care as I had the money. He was so out of it that when we got there he’d forgotten that he’d already paid me. I told him he’d already paid me and he had difficulty understanding that. As he was already out of the cab I just drove off leaving him scratching his head. The meter was on £24.60 so I only made 40p on top.

Back in The City a guy trying to impress a couple of girls flagged me and asked for Woolwich and “somewhere else”. One of the girls didn’t seem to be in the party mood and asked to be dropped at London Bridge Station. He told her he was “seeing her safely home and that was that”. We had to pick another girl up who had walked on ahead and I eventually found out that the two destinations would be Welling in Kent and then onto Mottingham further to the south, a very nice run indeed. I don’t think the guy realised just how much money it was going to cost him because as the two girls started chatting he put his face in to the partition and asked “ ‘ere mate, how much is it gonna cost me?” I replied “the best part of sixty quid”. “Fuckin hell!!! You better stop at a cash point then” That was probably a big chunk of his wages he was about to blow on a “not so sure thing”. He got the money and we dropped the first girl in Welling. He immediately went to work on the other one, which was just as well because they weren’t watching the route I was taking. I was lost out in the suburbs. I hadn’t set up my satnav but soon dug it out of my bag and set it to take us to Mottingham Station. They in the mean time were getting down to some serious snogging in the back and I had to interrupt them as I approached the station for final instructions. The guy ended up getting out with her and must have thought it was money well spent as he had an enormous grin on his face and handed me the exact amount I’d quoted him including a nice tip.

As I made my way back towards town I did a few local jobs here and there but had to be quite selective about who I picked up. Girls on their own or in pairs is normally the safest bet but not groups of four and five as they get quite bold and can get quite saucy towards the driver. I find that groups of girls like to try and embarrass me by talking dirty amongst themselves knowing full well I can hear what they’re saying. They’re also prime candidates for getting sick so I try and avoid large drunken groups if I can.

As I was heading towards Victoria Station there was a fire engine outside the Victoria Park Plaza at 1.30am and all the quests were there too in various stages of dress including PJ’s. There’d obviously been a false alarm or someone in the hotel had set the alarm off as a drunken prank.

Victoria Park Plaza Friday Night / Saturday Morning

Back on Paddington Rank towards the end of my shift tonight I picked a pretty girl up and took her out to Greenford. She asked for help getting her bag into the cab. It was one of those great big black non-descript holdalls. She said she’d help as it was heavy but I said I had it. Well, I almost put my back out lifting that baby up. It must have been full of books or something as they are the only things that can weigh that much, unless she had gold bullion in there!! It was a little easier getting it back out at the other end and thank God I never had to carry it in and upstairs for her as I think I would’ve had a heart attack.Job done, money earned, home to blog and bed. Nite Nite.


Cabby sought in murder investigation.


jo said...


I noticed a few MUGs getting pulled over in Carlton Vale today. I have heard through a friend who works for the police that there is a blitz on Un-taxed, Un-MOTd and Un-insured cars. There were about 20 police and they were pulling cars over, loads of foreign number plates and dodgy looking white vans. They had a huge car transporter on site, where they were putting cars and vans on, for whatever reason.

About bloody time too. I heard on the Radio the other day that a reserved estimate puts at least 50% of uninsured cars on the roads in Britain.

CharterJames said...

I call them "Rednecks" or the doubly ironic but less perjorative, "Road Warriors"

"Redneck" has a whole slew of connotations and overtones, social and political, but a common denominator might be along the lines of,"not very smart."

Basically I think that rednecks lack the critical/introspective ability necessary to identify when they are caught up in a stimulus-driven situation. "Making" that green light is no different from wanting to be first in line, or wanting to beat the driver next to you to a opening in traffic.

"Road Warrior" is a more subtle slight suggesting, perhaps, a lack of sophistication, or an uncritical consumption of media produced identities.

Ryan said...

For fresh donuts (at least, there were a couple of months ago), there is a little place at Camden markets - its down the small entrance in the wall that's just past the overhead rail line as you are heading north-west towards Chalk Farm. If you get to the main gates that lead into the Stables entrance you've gone too far.


Melina said...

I'm afraid we septics have our own share of mug drivers. I'll have to send you my favourite bumper sticker - all it says is DIE TAILGATING SCUM. I've had two cars totalled by tailgaters.