Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Easter

What does it mean when you have to force yourself to write this blog?
Maybe Roy of Irish Taxi is right when he says I should write less but more often.
Anyway seeing as I’ve managed to open up a Word document I might as well do a post as it’s been three weeks since I last did one.

I’ve been busy just working away. The cab rent, amazingly is up to date and the old finances are doing well. That’s all folks!!!!!

Wouldn’t it be great if I could just get away with a post like that?

The truth is I have been working hard….too hard. I feel drained and worn out and in need of a holiday. Roll on September.

Looking through my notes for the last three weeks there’s a few jobs that stand out for various reasons.

Thursday the 28th February I started my shift at 6.50pm and was going well until someone upset me. You might find this account trivial but it took me a while to compose myself. I stopped for a lady on the South Kensington Junction and she asked for Church Street.

Me: What Church Street? Edgware Road?
Her: No
Me: Kensington Church Street?
Her: No it’s near here
Me: Old Church Street?
Her: Yes that’s it.

Off we go for the two minute trip. I turn into Old Church Street and there are roadworks and temporary traffic lights which I stop at. There are cars behind me now and the lights are about to change. She decides she’ll get out here. I reach up and stop the meter at £4.20. She hands over four coins. I tell her it’s four twenty.

Her: It was £4 when I looked
Me: Well it’s £4.20 now and the meter is on stop.
Her: But it was £4.20

The lights have changed and the traffic behind me is getting impatient. Horns are being honked. I feel the need to put this woman in her place.

Me: It’s £4.20. That’s what the meter says and that’s what you have to pay.
Her: Well, seeing as you’re going to be like that…

And she proceeds to count out the 20p in coppers. I say nothing and accept the shrapnel. She walks away from the cab and when she got about twenty feet away I shouted out: “Oi, you can stick this lot up your arse” and threw the coppers in her direction. They landed all around her as I drove off through the lights feeling immense satisfaction. Was that trivial of me? I don’t think so.

Sunday the 2nd of March was Mothers Day here in the UK and sons and daughters across the land, including me and my brothers and sisters, visited their mothers bearing gifts of some description or other.

Wednesday the 5th of March and I dropped off at Le Meridien in Piccadilly. An old codger cabbie in an old cart of a Fairway comes to my window and asks if I have a spare bulb for his “For Hire” sign as both bulbs have blown. He’d been driving around with one bulb for a few days. Surely that would be the time to buy another bulb wouldn’t it? No, much better to ponce one off a muggy cabby like me. He asked how much knowing full well I would say “don’t worry about it” and went back to fit the freebie. I hate spongers of any type.

Thursday the 13th of March I try a new Chinese Take Away in Denbigh Street, Victoria called Yum Yum. I order a Special Fried Rice and a Sweet and Sour King Prawn. £12!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At least a fiver more than all the other Chinese’s. It didn’t taste like it was worth a fiver more so I’ll put that one down to experience and avoid it in future.

Friday the 14th of March. I have to pay my cab rent and need a few quid to make up the money so I start work at 11am. I turn into Maida Vale and am flagged almost immediately by Jude Law. He wants the Wyndham’s theatre in the West End. The traffic is bollocks and I try three or four different routes before I give in to the London traffic. Jude settles in for the journey and spends the whole time on his phone talking to various people. He talks about work, his kids, his parents. I hear him mention his ex’s name. He seems oblivious to the traffic. I hear him say he has a rehearsal at 11.30 and think to myself “you’ve got Bob Hope and no hope of getting there for that time mate.”
We arrive at the theatre exactly 45 minutes after he’d gotten in to the taxi. He needs cash and goes to the cashpoint near the theatre. The people at the bus stop see him get out and instantly recognise him. They look at me with that “do you know who that is?” look on their faces but I give nothing away. He’s just another fare paying passenger to me. When he returns from the cashpoint the meter has clicked over to exactly £20. He looks up at the meter and gives me the exact money. I thank him and drive off.

Sunday the 16th of March I start work at 5pm. A nice job from Paddington to Tredegar Sq in East London gets the ball rolling. 7 hours later I’m on £176 and looking to complete "the bottle" (£200….don’t ask). I pick a guy up from Victoria who wants to catch a train from Marylebone Station. He spends the next few minutes on the phone checking train times. By the time we arrive he’s ascertained that he’s missed his last train and asks for and estimate to Bicester near Oxford. I ask how far it could be and he says no more than sixty miles. The tariff works out to £3 per mile on rate 3 but I don’t want to scare him off and say somewhere in the region of £150. He gives me the OK and off we go. I haven’t been on a motorway with the cab since I had the gearbox seen to. At seventy miles per hour a funny smell starts filtering through the nooks and crannies of the cab. The gearbox fluid must be seeping from the seal and is burning on the exhaust. I trust the cab to last the journey. The £150 mark is reached and passed. We’re still a good few miles away. The final meter reading is £196. I apologise and tell him it’s sometimes difficult to give an exact amout. He’s not bothered and gets the money from a cashpoint in Bicester town center. He pays me the exact amount. I’m ecstatic as I have earned much more than I expected. I put Toto on the ipod which is hooked up to the stereo and drive the sixty miles back to London.

Monday the 17th of March is St. Patricks Day. There are Irishmen and women everywhere. Most of them are wearing funny hats with Guinness symbols or Shamrocks or Harps. I’m flagged down by a group of them in Piccadilly. They want to go to Slough and ask for a price. I say between seventy and eighty pounds. One of them asks me to do it for seventy and I agree. We end up at the Shamrock pub in Langley, not quite Slough, but they pay me the seventy no problem and I’m happy with that. They bid me farewell and I drive back to town.

The Easter weekend is approaching and it should be a good earner.
I must remember to buy my kids their Easter Eggs tomorrow before they sell out.
Happy Easter!!!


Anonymous said...

"She walks away from the cab and when she got about twenty feet away I shouted out: “Oi, you can stick this lot up your arse” and threw the coppers in her direction. They landed all around her as I drove off through the lights feeling immense satisfaction."

Yeah, I do think that's petty. Very petty. Get a grip, man. Anger issues?

Roy irish taxi said...

Afraid I agree, you were a bit petty!
That story would have stood on it's own...... as would the guy borrowing the lightbulb, IMO

london_cabby said...

You had to be there and hear her condescending voice to appreciate how she got my back up.
It wasn't the first time and it won't be the last. I'm only human after all.


James said...

£20 for 45 minutes? Bargain!

Regarding the penny throwing - so what if it's petty. Some people need a reality check.

"It was £4 when I looked at it"

Yes, while you were looking away I pressed the 20p button to get a little extra. This is how I make my millions.

Anonymous said...

20p. Get real. What a muppet.

Anonymous said...

I for one support your actions Mr LC, I only suffer so much from arrogant passengers (always a woman) before I feel compelled to say something . . or throw the change back! Lol

I hope you weekend was busier than mine, I struggled to get on the back of Victoria 8 times yesterday. FFS, it was like January the 2nd. Terry.

John said...

Happy Easter.
That gets my goat too.
Guy pissed as a newt giving you short change.
How many free pints did his local publican give him.
Would he leave the barman short 50 cent.
I was nearly hauled into the carriage office once. She threw e10 at me"keep the change you scumbag"
I tossed the change back with " no you take it as you have more places to stick it"
Well she withdrew all alligations when she found out it was all on video tape.

Best to keep your temper though.
Sometimes arsehole begins at the ears and goes all the way down.

Dmitri said...

Hi LC!

I just discovered your weblog this afternoon, and I enjoy what I read so far! Please, do keep on posting, as I have even added your blog to my website.

And all the haggle about those 20p. When there is a price you need to pay for it, and when she is trying to anger you by paying you with those small coins, she now got her own back :)

Best wishes

SkippyMom said...

I am assuming 20p is equivalent to 20 cents [or 20 pennies] here in the US? I don't care if it was 20 bird feathers - if the rate is 4.20 then you PAY 4.20 - I hate people who constantly try to get something for is annoying - and even if it is a nominal amount - if John let every rider off of 20p - it would start to add up, right? I am thinking at least a gallon of gas total.
I get how rude she was and as I said - I hate people who try to get something for nothing/pay is akin to eating all your dinner at the pub and then complaining that it wasn't cooked right and you want it free. You took that cab ride lady - pay for it and don't be a git while doing it. [Is git an okay term? hee....silly American here!]

Hugs and hang in there buddy - we love the blog!

Anonymous said...

Agreed that she should have paid the 20p without arguing, but are you going to have a hissy fit at every person in your life that gets your back up?

A smart comment back, fine - an obscene gesture, even, fine - but throwing coins at her? And at a woman, especially? Christ. Sad.

Dmitri said...

C'mon anonymous. It is crap to say "o, it is a woman, so you may not do anything towards her as it's... a woman!". Some people are taking advantage of your thoughts and claim they may do whatever they wish with 'but you may not do something back to me as I'm a lady'.

Anonymous said...

Dmitri, I highly doubt that he would have flung a bunch of coins at a man, eh?

london_cabby said...

For the record the coins were not thrown at her but towards her when she was about twenty feet away so she was in no danger of being struck by them.
And as for throwing them at a man he would have simply been knocked out, no question about it.

Anonymous said...

So you can't stand a woman paying you 20p short as 4 quid for 5 minutes work is not enough, and then you deliberately underquote to the tune of 30 quid for the bloke who needed to get to Oxford ? You really are a prick of the first order, not unlike most london cabbies in my experience. You should have your license taken away.

SkippyMom said...

Is it my imagination or are ALL of the really vehement assaults on you from "Anonymous" people? I agree it is fair for people to disagree, but being nasty? Nah, that's not fair and hardly upstanding when you can't even to be bothered to post with your name....Only one "Anon" poster who disagreed did so in a mature manner....

Don't change your blog to support the rantings of the unknown, eh?

coma boy said...

You should've thrown the coins at her face. As hard as possible.

I've just read through most of this blog and was surprised to read of your money troubles. Whenever I'm in London I seem to spend almost fifty quid per day just moving around. Am pleased I don't live there anymore!

Great blog. Makes me miss London. Strangely.

Anonymous said...

I am with the cabbie on this 20p debate.

Being polite and professional does not include taking it from everyone.

Also if you do not direct stress to its causes (like this passenger) usually it comes out elswhere (kick the dog, snappy with the mrs etc). That aint fair is it.