So, England, my national football team, are given a “get out of jail free” card by Israel and now have their Euro 2008 destiny back in their own hands. Let’s not waste it lads.
Because of the GOOJF card I now have to either miss work tomorrow or go out after the game at around 10pm. There’s always something prohibiting me from working a full week these days. I won’t have the same problem with my beloved Leeds United as they were knocked out of the FA Cup by league 2 side Hereford. We fielded what looked on paper like a full strength team but still managed to lose at Elland Road. At least we can now concentrate on promotion.
My Mondays are now taken up playing for a darts team. I’ve played on and off for a long time. I’ve always had a dartboard on the wall wherever I’ve lived and can stand there for hours practicing. In one of my homes there was nowhere to hang it so I put it on a piece of wood across the toilet door. You had to bend down to get into the toilet and would invariably whack your head or scrape your back at least once or twice a week. My wife used to scream at me to take it down but I never did. My two sons also love to play and the rivalry at home can be fierce at times. We actually won our first game this week and spent the rest of the evening celebrating in style.
The body clock is shifting around again as it does from time to time. I’m finding myself getting out of bed at around five or six in the evening and having to get straight out to work. I didn’t even have time to cook a meal for the kids but luckily there was enough food in the house for them to rustle themselves something up.
I walked out the door at 7pm and drove straight down to the Royal Oak Taxi Centre for a meal. I checked with Chris to see if he was “coming out to play” but he had just ordered a pizza and was debating whether to stay in or come to work. He did eventually come out to play. I had my usual, Spaghetti Bolognese and a chicken escalope and afterwards I drove down to Paddington Station for my first job, which went to the Thistle Charing Cross Hotel. (I noticed all the Thistle logos were missing so I’m assuming it’s been taken over by another company) The traffic between Paddington and Park Lane was at a standstill as the traffic entering Edgware Road was stopping the Bayswater Road traffic from entering the one-way system. It’s a regular occurrence at that junction and if there was anyway that we could know before hand we could divert through Hyde Park, but then we wouldn’t get the waiting time hehe!! The job went £20 instead of the usual £10. Tut tut!!
I found my self on the South Kensington Rank and a couple of likely lads walked up to me and asked if I knew anywhere in Soho where they could “get girls”. Now I know quite a few places and had a particular one in mind, which would be beneficial to both parties, them and me. I headed for the New Georgian Club in Mill Street, rubbing my hands together as I drove along. As I turned off of Conduit Street into Mill Street I looked to my left for the familiar doorway. It wasn’t there. It’s now a Japanese Club. They had been getting ready to leave the cab when I informed them that it was closed. “What now? “ one of them asked me. I told them that I knew of another club in Kingley Street and they said that they wanted something a bit more instant. The only way they would get something instant would be to find a telephone box and ring a number from one of the many cards stuck to the walls advertising all sorts of personal services. I offered to get the cards and ring the numbers and after speaking to a few “madams” they opted for an address a few streets away in Harley Street. A few meters from the address they lost their nerve and they both bottled out and asked me to take them to Spearmint Rhino instead. Pussies!!!
I met Chris in Oxford Street and we had a coffee and a slice of cake whilst parked in the middle of the road. Buses and taxis were passing us on both sides as we watched the world go by. We were sitting in Chris’s cab and the cake I was eating was topped with icing sugar which was making a mess of his carpet so I had to go get my hand brush and sweep it out.
Once finished we went our separate ways. I trapped almost immediately. This guy was rat-arsed. He wanted to go to his new girlfriend’s house in Earls Court. He asked if he could smoke. “No, it’s illegal” I said. He said he’d take care and open the window. I said no again but I think he may have lit up all the same. He talked non-stop. He knew politicians and important people. I just let him ramble on as he didn’t seem to want an answer. Then his phone rang. It was his new girlfriend. He cupped the mouthpiece for privacy but I had the intercom on and could hear the whole conversation. “Do you love me” he asked her. “I can’t wait to see you” “we’re gonna have some fun tonight”. Good luck to him, I thought to myself. Then he started kissing the phone and caressing it and making all the kissing noises. Possibly a bit over the top but so what? The man was in love. Unaware that I had witnessed the whole thing he resumed his monologue after hanging up. He started telling me a story of how he’d got one over on our sworn enemies, the miniscabs (unlawful taxis). He told me how a miniscab had touted him at Victoria. The tout, a Kosovan, asked him in broken English where he wanted to go and he informed him he wanted to go to Folkestone (90? Miles away) on the South Coast. “Where’s that” the tout exclaimed. “What’s the furthest you’ve ever taken anyone?” asked my man. The tout replied “Orpington for £20”. My man then told him that Folkestone was a fiver past Orpington and the tout took him all the way to Folkestone for £25. It could’ve happened but I thought it highly unlikely and humoured him all the same. He asked to stop at a food outlet and I told him the ride would have to end there as I didn’t want food in the cab. I was glad to get him out as he was giving me the hump.
It’s very rare that I have even one conversation during my shift. Partly because they don’t instigate it and partly because I can’t be bothered. Tonight I had three decent conversations.
The second one was with a stunning woman who asked my opinion on whether I found her attractive. She had been to a party and the only person to have approached her was a bouncer “and he was fat” she added. Seeing that I was a bit on the portly side she quickly added “not that there’s anything wrong with fat people” and proceeded to dig a big hole for herself. I had to stop her as she was getting flustered and told her that the reason she wasn’t having any luck with men was that they were probably intimidated by her beauty and felt that they never had a chance with her. She would have to take the initiative. By the end of the trip I had deduced that she would always have trouble with men because she was, what I would call, a prat. Plain and simple. Totally up herself with no humility or charisma. I wished her luck on her quest and drove off shaking my head.
The third conversation was with a lovely old boy wearing a kilt. Yes he was Scottish. We started talking about football and how lucky England had been to get a lifeline into Euro 2008. That led onto how unlucky the Scotland team had been and how tough a group they had been selected into. He got extremely animated as he spoke and as I turned to face him when stopped at lights I could see his kilt was riding up over his knees to reveal he was a traditionalist. It was only a short ride so his exhibitionism was soon at an end. And…..he gave me a five pound tip. Not bad for a Scotsman.
So, not the best of nights but more interesting than most.
Check back soon.