On Tuesday I was just gearing myself up for an early start when my brother in law rang me for directions to a far away place. His Tom Tom software recently got erased from his PDA and he needed to take four Indian guys on a two hundred mile road trip to Llangollen in North Wales. It was a complicated route so I decided to stay at home and constanly update him via the phone. The journey was a nightmare for him as it had started during the rush hour. About five hours into the trip and they changed their destination to Chester, near Liverpool. The meter total was £706 and there seemed to be a problem getting the money together. I was listening the whole time on the phone and caught comments such as “It’s a lot of money” from one of the passengers followed by “yeah and it’s a long journey as well” from my brother in law. He hadn’t expected to be paid the full amount on the meter and had sugested they pay £600 but after much screwing around he eventually cut his losses and settled for five. I then had to guide him to the M6 for the journey home and only when he was safely London-bound did I decide to go out for a few hours myself. I managed a multi pickup and drop LUL job from Earls Court eventually ending in West Sutton to finish my shift about five hours later. The brother in law was only just reaching London’s outer limits by then. He took the next day off through fatigue so lost the gains he’d made the day before. Sometimes these “roaders” are just not worth it.
Yesterday I paid a visit to my parents’ house. My mum was flapping because her nine-year-old washing machine, which she’d recently spent a fortune on getting repaired, was on the blink yet again. She was in a dilemma about whether to have more repairs done or to buy a new one. I convinced her to get a new one with a five-year warranty and drove her straight to Comets before she could change her mind. The one she wanted wasn’t in stock so she picked another one, which was, and I put it in the cab and drove her and the machine back home. It was easy enough to plumb in, something I’ve done a half dozen times before. I told her I’d get rid of the old one and she tried to get me to remove all the new parts from it such as the new water pump and an extra long waste pipe that was attached to the pump. I checked the pipe against the new one and found it wouldn’t fit but she took it and put it away “just in case it comes in handy one day” but the water pump went with the machine which I left for the bin men to collect. By the time I got home I was knackered so only managed a few hours in the saddle before calling it a night.
This morning my legs were as stiff as boards after all the heavy lifting yesterday and I barely managed to walk downstairs. I had to go back to my parents’ house to connect a TV up so that my mum could watch her beloved novellas (soap operas) on the Spanish satellite channel TVE. I had a bite to eat up there then came home to nap for a few more hours. I was at work by 6.30pm and it started pretty slow. It eventually got busier and I trapped a nice job down to East Croydon. I was making my way back to the Kensington area to await an LUL job. The LUL jobs were just being issued on the radio when I trapped, what looked to me like a drugged up girl wanting to go to George St. I thought to myself that it would only take about ten minutes and even if I got offered an LUL job I would have time to get back and do it. So, I’m northbound on Park Lane and the smell hits me.
Me: Don’t tell me you’ve got sick?
Me: For fuck sake what’s wrong with you women?
Couldn’t you have asked me to pull over?
Girl: I didn’t know I was going to be sick.
Me: I bet if you were at home you would have run to the toilet.
Girl: I’m really sorry. I’ll pay for it.
Me: You’re dam right you’ll pay for it and it’s gonna cost ya fifty quid!!
I was in danger of losing control and the expletives were flowing a bit too freely so I decided to check myself and calm down. I think she was a bit frightened and I’d hate that to be my daughter being insulted in the way I was insulting her but as I’ve said before when I lose it anything’s possible. She asked me to stop at the next ATM and asked how much she’d need to take out. We were at Marble Arch by now and there was twelve forty on the meter. I’m entitled by law to ask for up to forty pounds and one look at the carpet told me it would have to go. I told her fifty would cover it. Whilst she was at the ATM I took a picture of the puke. As well as the puke on my carpet she had a lot of it on her clothes too. She got back in and I drove her home to George Street where she handed me the fifty pounds and ran, embarrassed I should think, into her building. I drove straight home and washed as much out as I could and hopefully there’ll be no smell there in the morning. We’ll see. I was quite gutted as I wanted to do a bit more work but from past experience it’s best to try and neutralize the smell before picking up passengers as they can always tell.
59 Days to go for my holidays.
Check back soon.