Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I hate writing titles......

as I can never think or decide on what best to say, so today you're getting this.
I’ve spent the last week driving my daughter to school and meeting her somewhere for the journey home. My two sons are job hunting without much success and Christmas draws ever nearer. My football team is at the lowest position it’s ever been in its history and even a new manager can’t seem to change the losing trend. The years are definitely coming and going much faster and the worlds problems seem to grow and grow. Where will it all end? All I know is that there doesn’t seem to be much time for fun and laughter lately. All I seem to do is work and work. It’s all quite depressing. I have managed to watch a bit of TV though so it’s not all bad. I managed to get copies of Lost - Season 3 Episodes 1 to 6 which were great and also Ricky Gervaise’s Extras which is a must see.

However hard I try, I just can’t help picking up nutters. I’d just dropped a fare off in Holland Park when a stunning blonde walked over to me whilst I was waiting at a red light. It was raining pretty hard and she had on a white blouse/top. As she reached the cab she turned her back towards me and her back made contact with the cab and she started talking in a seductive way and rubbing her back up and down the side of the cab. I can be quite lazy when it comes to washing the cab and as I mostly work nights the dirt doesn’t show up. Add pouring rain to a dirty cab and chuck in a white blouse and you have a right old mess. The whole of the back of her blouse was now grey to black. I don’t think she was aware of that and I certainly wasn’t going to tell her. She was asking me if I fancied running her out to West Ealing and could we agree on a price by shaking hands. She also had a few other stipulations such as would it be ok to smoke, again, we shook on it. She also wanted to be able to talk to me en route; once again, she insisted we shake on it. Get the picture? A nutter. My first instinct was to drive off but I’m a sucker for a pretty girl and she was extremely pretty. She got in and started talking and smoking straight away. It was mostly bullshit but she did let slip that she was PA to a top billionaire who shall remain nameless. I asked her if she did what she said she did why she would need to negotiate a price to which she answered that she was careful with her money and that she’d worked her arse off to get where she was blah blah blah. All of a sudden she changed her demeanor and started calling me rude and impertinent or words to that effect and I thought “what did I say?” The best way to handle these people is to completely ignore them and that’s what I did. She decided to lie down on the back seat and I thought “Oh no you don’t”. I called to her to give me her address including door number. She refused to answer me. No problem, I simply pulled over and told her to get out. She started protesting. I asked her again for her address. Isn’t it crazy how a job can deteriorate into this sort of bullshit just because a person has a few drinks in them? I eventually got a street name and a number and proceeded to the destination whilst she slept it off. Outside her house I had to raise my voice a few times before she woke. She opened the door and got out and started walking to her front door. I called her back and asked for my money and it took a few seconds for her brain to click in to gear. “How much is it?” she asked. “How much did we shake on?” says me. A distant look changed into a knowing one and she suddenly remembered the handshake and started rooting through her overcrowded handbag for my money. We’d agreed on £26. The figure had started at £30 and we’d gone downwards pound by pound until I refused to go any lower. She produced a twenty and carried on rummaging for the rest. She handed me her keys and a small makeup bag to hold while she dug deeper. She suddenly announces that there’s no more money and that I’d have to settle for the twenty. Really? I told her we’d shaken on it and that she was going back on it. She was adamant that there was no more money. I told her “no money, no keys” as I closed her bunch of keys in my fist, “possession is nine tenths of the law” springing to mind. “Give me back my fucking keys” she shouted “or I’ll call the police”. “Why don’t you do just that, I guarantee you they’ll be on my side and I’ll get my money”. “I haven’t got any more fucking money on me” she screamed getting a little hysterical now. I told her to calm down and have another look in her bag. She passed the bag through the window and screamed “here, you have a look” All I could see in the bag was crap, crap and more crap. Why must women have so much crap in their bags? I persevered and found a ten Euro note. That would be good enough. I shoved the bag back at her, put the makeup bag on top and finally handed over the keys telling her to get her drunk useless arse indoors before someone mistook her for a prostitute and roared off leaving her standing there with a stupid look on her face. Oh the joys of working nights.

The two weeks cab rent were due on Monday but I’ll be going to the garage later on today to settle the bill. I was told by a cabby pal of mine that his friend was renting his cab from a particular garage and that the owner had TXI’s for rent at a very reasonable price. He gave me the number and advised me to give the guy a call. There was no answer so I left a message. Nobody returned my call so I forgot about it. It turns out that my call had been received but that the owner was reluctant to hire any more cabs to drivers recommended by my pals pal as someone else he’d recommended had recently gone missing owing at least £2000. Mystery solved.

I will drop a fare any where they want but will seldom pick up a fare if I’m out of my element unless the job is going back into my area. On Saturday I dropped a couple in Balham, South London and was turning round to head back to town when five people caught me at the traffic light and asked for a runaround in that area. I told them I wasn’t overly familiar with South London and they said they’d direct me so I thought “Fuck it, it’s money”. We stopped at a few places where they picked up some booze and soft drinks. From the look of it they’d already had a skin full but the night was young and they sounded in the mood for a night of heavy partying. The party was to be held at the destination, Gleneagle Road in Streatham. I had an idea where it was and was also following the instructions on my satnav. One of the passengers then told me to turn in a completely different way, throwing me. I asked if he knew a short cut as my original route was the most direct and he said he did. One of the women then piped up in an incredibly posh English accent “Oh darling, are you sure you know a short cut?” to which the guy said he did. We ended up in a tight alleyway-type dirt track with trees and plants scraping the side of the cab. Had it been my own cab I would’ve refused as I wouldn’t have fancied scratches all down the sides. Next, the posh one pipes up again “Oh this is so exciting, we’re off-roading” producing roars of laughter from the other passengers. It was indeed a short cut and with in a few seconds we had pulled up outside their house on Gleneagle Road. They paid me well and I kept the “For Hire” light off until I got back to civilization.
(Was gonna post pics but Blogger playing up)


12 comments:

Bob Hodge said...

Good morning-it is 8 am in Denver, Colorado. You might try the name of the day you write your blog.Titles don't register of mean a thing to a reader.
I read your London Cabbie every day you post one. They all are interesting. Some more than others.
Adious!

John said...

What you discribe..mood swing..paranoia..where am I , then back to normal is what happens when people are coming down from snorting cocaine..I had a classic one where a girl reported me to the carriage office. I insisted that they watch the video footage of her antics. Then the ball was on the other foot.. Deformation of character,lying to the police, being drunk and incapable, plus waisting police time. What helped was the fact that I had the tape. The guy fron the carriage office said that they would have never believed my story without the tape.She was totally believeable, but all here details are on the computer, so if she cries wolf again she won't be believed.

Keith said...

I really couldn't do your job. If I did, there's surely be a load of dead punters scattered about London.

I had enough of nutters running a petrol station in the 70's and a car audio business in Bristol in the 80's (Bristol is full of loonies).

RedBull said...

Hey, just thought i'd say Hi...I found your Blog last week and i've been catching up on your life as a Cabbie with great interest. I've been planning on doing the Knowledge for some time now and today i finally got round to handing in my application forms at the PCO!...Its great to have some insight in to what to expect as a London Taxi driver if i manage to make it through the 3-4 years studying!!!

Anyway keep up the good work it's certainly entertaining stuff!

Pissedoffcabbie said...

So, you went down the Haunted Lane, and lived to tell the story! Had you stayed any longer, the beasties would've gotten you. Good man.

pissedoffcabbie.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Offroading Cabbie now?

Kalisha said...

hi... ive just surfed around and ended up reading half the stories! very nice... throughtly enjoyed them! im very curious to put a face to ur name "london cabby"!!!!

G.S. said...

You know, I do the same thing - I'll take a fare anywhere they want to go but if it's to a bad part of town, like the Bronx, I'll put on my Off-Duty light, lock the doors, and drive back to civilization. Happens every night.

Anonymous said...

when you going to show all your readers your face?

Anonymous said...

Hey, LC... treating them women mean is making a whole bunch of them keen. You've got them all wondering what you look like now. Cabbie groupies. ;)

On the topic of writing titles, I just read this on Lifehacker and though of you: Learn to write the world's greatest headlines

John said...

Just came to me PA is it short for Pigs Arse..cause thats what she's doing to her life

bklyn'r said...

Yes, please. Definitely would like to see the pics you tried to post.