Friday, September 01, 2006

Pucker Up!

I started my day at around noon after only 6 hours sleep. Had to pay some bills at the bank and purposely never went into Prêt a Manger on Baker Street as I had other lunch plans. Only did about 3 jobs then went home. Went down the cafe with Michael and Jenny and had a "fat munch" in the form of chicken curry, rice and chips followed by a maple and pecan cake from the bakery in Kensal Rise. Feeling totally bloated I went home and slept for another five hours. The doorbell sounded at 8.15pm and woke me up. It was a neighbour looking for some freebie anti-virus software. I told her I get mine online so have no disks and that she's gonna have to part with £50 to £60 to get a decent one such as Norton or McAfee. She didn't look too impressed at the thought of having to pay so much for something as trivial as anti-virus. I made that mistake once. Never again.

Realised it was after 8 and thought about the masterplan which, by the way, isn't going to plan. The last few days have been so quiet that it's a miracle I made any money at all. I got all my shit together, jumped in the cab and drove out on to Maida Vale looking for my first fare. I made it all the way to Edgware Road and still no fare. I decided to head for the Paddington Rank, at least there I will get a job after a short wait and in the meantime I can set up my satnav and sort my stuff out for the night’s shift.
The queue moved slowly and then a train must have arrived as a flood of people came out in one go. My job was a lady to the Cromwell Tower in the Barbican. The route that takes you there was blocked last night and I was sure that it would be blocked again tonight so I chose another route. She was obviously a regular traveller as she spotted this change in route and piped up. I explained that the usual route had been blocked yesterday and I beefed it up a bit to include other roads that weren't really blocked, as I didn't want to use them. I got her home safely and she was appreciative of the information I had given her and added a nice tip.

The work picked up noticeably after 10pm and I took a fare out to Canary Wharf. Once I'd dropped him off I drove up to one of the many ranks on the actual Wharf and waited my turn. On the way in to the Canary Wharfe Estate the security guard must have been feeling a little bit bored because he came out of his box and asked for my ID and made me open up the boot for inspection. I suppose it's only right and proper that they should do their job but after going there 100 times and not getting searched it's a bit of a surprise when it does happen. Back on the rank people of all description walked past. Some took cabs some had cars waiting for them. I made it to the front of the rank and awaited my fare hoping for something juicy to Richmond or further west. A man and a woman emerged from one of the many bars and stood near the cab talking. She was obviously very drunk and I hoped someone would get in while they stood there chatting. Five whole minutes passed and still they chatted. I took out my iPaq and started playing Solitaire. All of a sudden I felt a thud on the side of the cab and when I looked to my left the woman was sprawled against the cab and then reached for the door handle. I groaned inwardly and thought "why me?"
She was an Australian lady in a business suit. She slurred some instructions at me and I couldn't understand one word of what she said. I made her repeat herself telling her to speak more slowly and eventually understood the destination which turned out to be Cheshire Street near Brick Lane. Not a fantastic job but considering I had an unstable passenger I was glad that she would be out of the cab in around ten minutes. She decided to go to sleep and curled herself into a ball on the back seat. Ten minutes later I was screaming at her to wake up and drew some sniggers from passers by. She eventually woke up and searched for my money. Next she gave me a tenner and said she had to go in for the rest (fare was £13.40). She stood at her front door and started calling through the letterbox. This went on for five minutes and in that time I had nearly decided to drive off forfeiting the £3.40, but kept holding on at the last second. Someone eventually passed her a note through the letterbox and she walked back towards me and gave me a Scottish £20 note and said to take a fiver. Next she leaned right in and planted a kiss full on my lips and said goodnight and thanks. It's been a while since I was kissed on the lips and I have to say it felt really nice but no sooner had she done that the moment was over and she disappeared in to her house leaving me surprised to say the least.

I cruised around after that. Through the West End, through Mayfair and up as far as Marylebone then back down Baker Street towards Marble Arch. Not a hand went up anywhere and things were already looking very dire indeed. There was nothing for it but to rank up yet again so I made my way to Victoria. There were losers everywhere. On the final portion of the three-part rank there was a drunk guy leaning on the railings with his head down. As I drew level with him he decided to start puking up and other passengers had to jump out of the way to avoid getting sprayed. It was at that point that I just felt total despair for the human race and complete disgust for people like him. I was getting myself all worked up and even felt like getting out of the cab and having a go at the guy (I never would though) when my fare walked up to me and asked to be taken to Upper Clapton (as in Eric) in North London. I set the satnav to his road but then asked him what route he preferred. Surprise surprise it was completely different from the satnav so I was glad I asked as he looked like a miserable git who would have piped up had I gone the other way.

That was my last job, as I couldn’t face the drive back to town and possibly a long wait on a rank followed by a shit job. The weekend should mark the end of the slow times and I should be able to get the masterplan back on track. Only seven and a half more shifts to go before my trip to Spain. I can’t wait!

4 comments:

jo said...

I agree, the 'Masterplan' never goes according to plan. I have been the same this summer, trying to get money together for my trip to New York in October. Every time I try to do a Car Boot Sale it pours with rain - I think rain is forecasted for this Saturday as well!?

A drunken kiss, mmmmm, sounds delightful - not!! Whatever rocks your boat.

Love big sis xx

Keith said...

When I compare your journal to Melissa's, it seems you deal with a lot more tossers in London. KP

london_cabby said...

Yes mate. London can be tosser-central at the best of times specially at the weekends. I had another one last night but i'll save it for my next post.

ang said...

Keep it up bruv, the master plan only works if you're constant! Also looking forward to seeing you and mum in Spain.
Besitos Ang xxx