Friday, June 01, 2007

It always happens to Chris!

Tuesday’s shift started with me putting £30 diesel in the tank at the Texaco in Edgware Road. I shot round to Paddington and got my first job, a shortish one to Mayfair. Being the third cab I had to wait for the other two in front of me to load up and pull out. The front cab was loading about 5 passengers and shitloads of luggage so it was taking quite a while and everyone around me was getting impatient. I already had the meter running and from the £2.20 flagdrop it had increased to £3.40 when the lady in the back pipes up. “Do I have to pay for being stuck here?” Luckily she caught me on a good day and I’d fully intended to reset the meter before she spoke. I told her so and she calmed down. The front cab was still trying to get all the luggage in the cab but was making extremely slow progress. In the end I had to reverse out, as it was, by this time, all clear behind me.

Being a Tuesday, I never expect too much but this one was turning out to be a good one. Most of the jobs were under ten pounds but if you do enough of them in quick succession it makes for a great shift. I ranked up at South Kensington at least 5 or 6 times. When I sit on ranks I like to scan the area with my iPaq to see if I can lock onto any wireless networks. Lot’s of them come up but are nearly always secure. I managed to lock on to the Pelham Hotel signal but my browser defaulted to the hotel homepage and wouldn’t let me surf the net. I read on someone’s cab blog that they use a laptop with an internet connection that only costs them $60 per month for unlimited browsing. Is that possible? I’d like to do something like that here so if anyone has any suggestions drop me a line.

So whilst admiring the Pelham homepage a guy walks up and asks for Richmond. I love jobs out that way. He was on the hurry-up as his girlfriend had arrived on a train at Richmond station and was waiting out front for him. He asked me to step on it and that he’d see me ok at the end. We got there in about 15 minutes and she was there waiting. He said to keep the meter running as they were going on. The little forecourt at Richmond Station is very tight and I was sort of in everyone’s way so I hoped he’d hurry up. He seemed oblivious to my problem as he stood there chatting and kissing her. In the end I had to honk the horn and as nicely as possible tell him to get his arse in gear as it was getting stressful. Once back in I said “where too now?” “Back to South Kensington please driver” It doesn’t get any better than that.

Wednesday’s shift was totally uneventful apart from the fact that I stopped at the Mayfair Piccolo for dinner. Spaghetti Bolognese, Chicken Escalope, a buttered baguette, two homemade custard tarts and a large latte all lovingly prepaired for me by Tina. I sat on the Intercontinental rank along with a few other dining cabbies and felt thoroughly bloated after eating all that. Although it was uneventful I still managed to take £8 more than Tuesday.

I never slept a wink on Wednesday night as I had a few things on my mind. I had to go for my annual retinal screening this afternoon and hopefully they won’t find any problems with my eyes. Michael came with me and after the screening we went to the café in Kensal Rise for lunch. I had Chicken Curry rice and chips and Michael had Spag Bol. I went home after that and got at least four hours sleep. When I got up there was no one at home so I had to ring around to see what everyone was doing.

I was at work by 8.05 and went straight to Paddington where my first job took me down to Hammersmith. After a few more jobs I got a call from my cabbie mate Chris. He normally works days but has been doing a lot of work on his garden and occasionally comes out to play at night. Whenever Chris is out in the evenings the chances of some sort of occurrence happening are greatly increased because he is the type of person that that sort of stuff happens to. Over the years he has had to call the police out on several occasions because of passengers pulling some shit or other on him. Tonight he picked up two people heading towards West Hampstead. The guy got out first and left the extremely drunk woman to go a further mile up the road. He was on the phone to me at the time and I heard him call through the partition to wake the lady up. It took several attempts by him for her to realize she was on planet Earth and she eventually woke up. I heard Chris tell her the price, which was around £15. As it was getting stressful he said he’d call me back. When he did he said that she’d had no money on her. She wanted to go into the house to get it and when Chris asked for some collateral she refused and called him a tosser. Wrong thing to say. Doors locked, next stop Fortune Green Police Station. He’d parked outside the Police Station and, reluctant to leave the cab unattended lest she get away he attempted to ring those inside. All they had to do was come outside and sort it out but they kept him waiting ten minutes. Chris flagged another cabbie and asked him to go inside and see what was keeping them. They eventually came out and mediated. She agreed to let Chris hold her phone whilst she went indoors to find some money. She came back out penniless and they had to drive back to West Hampstead to the Barclays. The fare had increased from £15 to just under £30 and he said she had tried to give him the £30 plus an extra £10 for his troubles but Chris refused the extra money (He’s funny like that ain’t ya Chris?) I would’ve took the money and then slagged her off for calling me a tosser but that’s just me. Thankfully these occurrences don’t happen too often but I suppose it makes for good blogging fodder when they do.

So whilst Chris was having fun trying to get paid I was quietly going about my business of driving hither and thither for maximum returns. A nice little five job sequence happened for me during the above period. Oxford Street to Waterloo, Waterloo to Bermondsey, London Bridge to Clapton, Shoreditch to Greenwhich, back through the Blackwall Tunnel and up onto Canary Wharf where I was tested for explosives by the keen security guards. Passing the test (I’m no Al-Qaeda) I trapped a job 100 yards short of the rank all the way to Lavender Hill. £118 is what I netted for that little burst and after a really tough week I finally have enough to pay my cab garage the £800 tomorrow. I’ll be glad to get that out of the way yet again and I’m sure they’ll be glad to see me. On my last visit there I had asked them to ring me if the money wasn’t paid after two weeks but I never received the call. Well it’s hard to receive calls if your phone’s switched off!!
Check back soon.


SkippyMom said...

I don't want to sound like an ignorant American [ain't we'all? hee]...but what is Spag Bol? Is it simply a bowl of Spaghetti?

Just curious.

As usual...LOVE the posts...keep 'em coming.

Forman said...

is my blog supposed to be linked on your side bar instead of nyctaxishots? just wondering. and sorry if i'm being rude. (nyctaxiphoto).

its just driving me crazy everytime i click on that link to see what it is.

Chris the trouble magnet said...

Ah come on Carl you had a fair few yourself im sure the Blogging world would love to know a few of your little escapades, far more exciting than some Druken old slapper having to cough up £30 Bouys for the privilege of trying to pull one over yours truly, especially the one about the Doris in the Wheelchair Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeze COME ON EVERYONE IM SURE IF YOU ALL ASK NICELY HIM GOOD SELF WILL ENLIGHTEN YOU ALL AS TO WHAT I REFER IT WOULD BE A SHAME TO KEEP IT FROM THE WORLD
and Yes your right i am a bit touched like that Not taking her Extra cockle

london_cabby said...

Just for you I have updated the link to bring your blog up. The other one hasn't worked in a while. I don't know what happened to it.

london_cabby said...

Skippy Mom:
Spag Bol is short for Spaghetti Bolognese, a staple meal in most British households.

london_cabby said...

I'll save the one about "the one about the Doris in the Wheelchair " for another time". In the mean time I think you should stick to nights so that i'll have something to write about.

Ted Martin said...


I have a $60/mo internet connection that I use in my taxi. I go through Sprint (U.S. cell phone provider). I got a card for the card slot in the laptop, and it dials into the cellular network. It's 60/mo unlimited, and it's fairly quick. It is about half way between dialup (56k) and residential broadband. My download speeds range from 30 to 70 kbps. So, it's good for everything except downloading large movie files. I lose patience with anything above 15mb. It's good for YouTube videos.

The web is good for business, too. If somebody asks an odd question, the web bails me out: "Is there a good sushi place in Kearney Mesa?" I couldn't find stuff like that without the web.

The UK must have similar programs through the cellular providers.

I love your blog. Keep posting!


Anonymous said...

Vodafone offer a small 3G USB modem with unlimited surfing for 45 quid a month. Pop it in a laptop anywhere and Bob's yer Uncle!

jo said...

I had something to eat at the Piccolo in Picadilly the other day and I wasn't impressed. It's all re-heated food and I hate overcooked pasta, plus there were loads of people smoking, which I can't stand whilst I am eating. The real reason I didn't enjoy it there, was because I was expecting to get taken out for a 'proper' meal, somewhere nice and I ended up hearing all you noisy cabbies and even noisier chauffeurs, trying to outdo each other on the decibel level. Guess who took me there?

Love big sis x

Forman said...

Sweet man! thanks for adding me to your side bar. I just came upon another blog actually called hack shots of new york, so maybe this was the one, and he just changed his Url?

Well thanks again, I always enjoy reading your posts.

Tomartin said...

Hi Chris,

Love the blog, I was wondering if I could use some of your stories as case studies for my research project. Im proposing to design a new London Taxi

Please visit my blog



cabhack said...

Hi Chris,

Been enjoying your blog, and linked you to my own awhile back. Wonder if you'd read mine, and consider returning the favour?



Wozza said...

Just curious,
But how common is it for people to either not have the money / refuse to pay or try and negotiate a price with you before the journey ? I have never done either, even when drunk, and couldn't imagine doing so.

Anonymous said...

So many runaway children, 15 year old girls who landed on the streets of Hollywood and elsewhere, ended up prostituting themselves.
This is a topic that nicely illustrates how god is preditory on children, for not only did they popularize the notion of casual sex back in the 60s they instructed Artificial Intelligence to desensitize young women. Now we have people prostituting themselves through college and even choosing to turn tricks in high school.
I suspect it ocurrs far more frequently then they will admit:::I suggest parents inquire about the status of their female children.
Sadly, far too often these parents also are corrupted, and they think their daughters are earning by corrupting these young men.
god is preditory on children::::
-Child molestation/sexual abuse (life was decent before)
-Sugary breakfast cereals
-Free sex 1960s, which continued until the intentional AIDS scare.
-Preditory cartoons.
-This tempation-based popular culture is targetted at the young people:::::It creates "open doors" which are designed to manufacture dysfunctions by conditioning them with peaked euphoria ("magic").
Of course the magic merely justifies the god's behavior with Artificial Intelligence.

Homeless runaways go to Hollywood - gods making a statement/offering a clue about this industry.
The gods place no importance in these individuals. Only this Manifest Destinty society does.
And since there are multiples for each movie none of them are important.
They are disposable.

People today have much in common with the mideval Europeans who were victimized by the Scandanavians:::::
Between the celebrity culture and the gangster positioning that is Manifest Destiny we have OUR Vikings, violators who who raped, pillaged and plundered our society to the brink of the Apocalypse with their corruption and themes that encouraged social deterioration.
People just don't understand this yet. As they begin to differentiate between their thoughts and when the gods push the dysfunctions manufactured by these "open doors" they will realize.

Romans were used as monsters. They were terrorists who raped the region.
Like the Scandanavians.
Like the Pawnee.
Like the Japanese.
Like all the others whom I fail to list.