I’m in the work zone at the moment. Well I have to be don’t I if I want to clear my cab rent debt by Monday? But in my life there’s always something preventing me just working and earning. Be it a birthday that demands that you pay a visit or give an amount of money or a similar special occasion that needs you to attend, there’s always something. It's my Mum's birthday on Sunday, I need that like a hole in the head. Even a rare appearance by your football team live on TV. Tonight my long suffering team, Leeds United, made one of those rare appearances and guess what? We won!! What joy. I had intended to work through the evening and listen to the game on the radio but the need to watch the game was too great and a job from Victoria up to West Hampstead proved too much to resist so I bought a few delights from Tesco in Maida Vale and drove home. I won’t bore you with the details but we played really well and deserved the win, and the much needed three points that came with it.
I went straight back out after the game at 10pm and being a Friday night I had a pair of backsides on the back seat in no time. The second job after that I picked up a couple in Notting Hill. The girl wanted a price for Esher in Surrey and when I quoted £50 to £60 the guy exploded with “Fook off (he was a northerner) we’re not paying that” I think he directed it at her more than me so I never bothered to take offence. They then directed me to Wimbledon Station and started having an argument. She didn’t mind paying the money to go to Esher but he was arguing that they had their return tickets for the train and there was no way he was paying again. “But you’re not going to pay it, I am” she said to him. “Bollocks, you’re not paying it we’re getting the train” he replied. Charming way to speak to your partner, I thought. This rumbled on for a while longer and then died down and they got to talking about other things. We were now in Putney heading up the Hill towards the roundabout and a sign indicating various destinations came in to view. He spotted that one of the exits off the roundabout was the A3 which coincidentally went towards Esher. So he pipes up with: “Fook it mate, take the A3, lets go straight to Esher, I can’t be bothered to fook about with the train” then she pipes up with “you bastard, after having a go at me for wanting to do that in the first place then you do it any way…..” I couldn’t help having a little chuckle to myself at the comedy of it all. I was also relieved to be doing a decent paying job which would go some way towards getting me out of the shit I’m in.
I came all the way back from Esher jobless and stopped at the Shell garage in Putney to put yet another £30 worth of diesel in the tank. Whilst at the window paying another couple asked if I would drive them to Wimbledon via somewhere where they could get “something greasy” to eat. The only places open at that time are Kebab shops and I knew of one on the other side of Wimbledon town centre so I took them there. They wanted me to wait for them and take them home but I said I didn’t want the smell of the food to taint the inside of the cab so they paid me at the Kebab shop. I actually hate the smell of other people’s food in my cab but I don’t mind my own.
After a few more jobs in the Kings Road area and one up to North Kensington I ended up back at Notting Hill Gate and was flagged by another man holding a box containing food which no doubt he would want to eat in the cab. “Muswell Hill please driver” says this well dressed male. “Do you mind if I eat my food on the way I’ll be extra carefull”. Dilema. Do I say no and lose a much needed £30 ride or take a deep breath and say yes?
I drove with both my windows down, boy was I cold.