Saturday, August 6

Pub or Home

It was a slow Sunday with few rural runs but two jobs stand out from today.
The first was from Walney Island, I got to the address and was waiting for a minute or two when a guy walked down the garden path towards the car, then he stopped and went back inside presumably to answer his phone which had started to ring. I seemed to be then for waiting ages after that and so I blew the horn, just then another car pulled up behind me and also sounded his horn. Then I spied the guy sneaking out of the house and who then actually climbed over the hedge and into next doors garden to use their gate to make his getaway. What I think happened was that his mates had rung him and offered him a lift instead of paying for a taxi and he was too spineless to tell me and then maybe have to pay the no pick up fee. All to save a couple pounds, I hope he ripped his pants and gets a dodgy kebab for supper. 
The last job of the day was from a pub in Dalton and when the couple finally come out and get in the cab they both say different destinations,” Which one first” I asked no he said” just the one we’re going home” “oh no we are not she says we’re going to the Railway pub”. This went on back and forth between them and got increasingly heated, now then which one do you listen to? After a minute or two I worked out that the guy was the  soberer of the two and took them home, with the women getting more and more abusive to him I was glad when they got out, but as I drove away I could still hear her shouting that she wanted to go to the pub from a few hundred yards down the street.

Thursday, July 28

Muck Magnet

As I pulled up outside an address to pick up a fare today I noticed a big black dirty oil patch outside and so I parked just past it to save my fare walking through it and messing the car up. The fare turns out to be a harassed mum and her three young kids, the two older boys got in the car and told me that they were going to a party meanwhile the girl of about two ran around and danced in excitement outside. Then, of course, the muck magnet which is built into every kid kicks in and she goes head over heels into the oil, she is covered from head to toe and all over her party clothes. And so the harassed mum finds a clean bit, picks her up and takes her in to wash and change.
Ten minutes later she runs out dancing and giggling and whilst harassed mum is locking her door she tumbles straight into the oil patch again if it wasn’t for the little girls tears and cries of” mum, mum” I would have laughed. Harassed mum decided enough was enough and just wiped her down and said she’d have to go as she was.
I guess that she never did a good job of the clean up judging by the perfect black child’s footprint on the less than perfect butt of my next lady passengers white jeans, I almost felt guilty but it was the last job and so I went home laughing.

Lament

Overseas readers might know an operator as a dispatcher.


OPERATORS LAMENT

We sit behind glass windows like being in a goldfish bowl
Sat glued to our seats looking at our console
Taking calls galore from our work stations

Sometimes it feels like the United Nations
Chinese and Italians not to mention Irish and Scots!
We’ve got to decipher these bloody clots.
Then we have our drunken friends
Most named “harpic” because they’re right round the bend

You know when they’ve had too much beer
When asking for a taxi from “Here,”
Some can’t even get the words out
Whilst women just continually shout

And we have to listen to complaints and abuse
At times you feel like putting your head in a noose
It’s worse when your drivers go without saying
And the angry hordes for your blood are baying

We’ve got to sit and pacify screaming people
I think I’ll jump off the highest steeple
But no we can’t let down the others who matter
The lonely old folk who just want to natter,

Then of course there’s the drivers our bread and butter,
They’re not bad apart from the odd nutter,
So please spare a thought for your operators,
And keep us free from these masturbators.


Anon

Friday, June 24

Brown Eyes

I had picked my very first job of the day up this morning at about 7.30 am and it was to be just a short ride into town, I was talking away with the fare when I saw a guy with a loose dog on the pavement up ahead, luckily I braked and slowed just in case.But yes you’ve guessed it the dog runs straight into the front of the taxi, I could see it coming but couldn’t stop in time, then comes the sickening bang and the dog disappears. Luckily for the dog, I was driving a modern car with a plastic bumper which is shaped to help save pedestrians by hitting low and scooping them up onto the bonnet and saving them from going under the car.
And so in what seemed like slow motion to me a large brown dog appeared on the front of my bonnet looking straight at me with surprised big brown eyes. Apart from a few brown hairs, there was not a mark on the car, oh and the dog was okay too. The guy with the dog was as drunk as a skunk and didn’t say a word he just stood in the road swaying gently back and forth until his wife led him away. All was well and so we set off again and only got a few hundred yards when the local postman who was walking along sorting his letters sauntered out straight in front of us, after another narrow miss I considered making the first job of the day my last.

Sunday, June 19

Dresssenseless


Now you may not believe this but the taxi drivers here in Barrow aren’t really well known for their sense of style. But what with the heat wave which we have been experiencing for the last week or two, some of them have really surpassed themselves some of the tee shirts and shorts look like they were bought on some long ago foreign holiday at a time when the driver had had a good sample of the local tipple. Maybe at some time, they may have fitted as well, who knows but sadly with the ravages of too many pies and fries that’s not the case now. One driver I saw today broke all the rules cargo style three-quarter length pants (guys when you reach a certain age and size just don’t do it) and a black and white vest top way too small, looking down past the glimpse of white calves revealed black socks (pulled well up) and open toed sandals. But all was explained when I saw that he was proudly sporting in his left ear the biggest shiniest bluetooth I had ever seen, the radio waves from this must have caused temporary insanity.

Saturday, June 11

Testing Time

I went out on a job to a country lane near the small town of Dalton-in-Furness when I got there it was a driving school car which had broken down miles from anywhere. The two passengers wanted to go to the Driving Test Centre and they explained that one was a driving test examiner and the other was actually taking his test when they had broken down. Well this was a first for me but I guess it does happen now and then, funny thing was that I felt a bit nervous with a driving examiner in the back of the cab and found myself driving as if I was on some sort of test myself. When we got back to the test centre the driving school instructor, who owned the car was waiting outside and you should have seen his face when his pupil and the examiner got out of the cab, he must have been thinking that his car had been wrecked. I ended up driving the instructor and the pupil home after that and the instructor was telling me that it was going to work out rather expensive for him as they are self-employed like us and like us no car no work, which means no income.

Tuesday, May 24

Judderbutts

I picked up an old German lady today and a good old stick she is too we were cracking away as we drove along. I was about to turn off down a street when she said “no de judderbutts” this had me baffled for a minute or two and then I remembered that this street had lots of large speed humps on it. I laughed when I realised that this is what she meant. Judderbutts what a great word it describes speed bumps perfectly, go on just say it a few times, isn’t it a great word. Watch out for those judderbutts!

Wednesday, May 18

On The Meter

A 15-minute drama, written by Nicholas Hargreaves and Tabitha Konstantine. - We follow the journey of a black cab and it's driver, through three different jobs which are all inspired by true events. Everything that happens, all happens inside of the four doors of the taxi.

https://soundcloud.com/nick-nock-hargreaves/on-the-meter-radio-drama

Tuesday, May 10

Gone Fishing

My first job this morning at 7; 30am was to take a guy up to High pond Roanhead he was going fishing. I knew where he was going straightaway I had picked him up many times before the amount of stuff he had with him seems to multiply, enough this time to fill the boot (trunk) and a good bit of the car as well. It has always bemused me the dedication of this guy he’s out fishing in all seasons breaking the ice if need be. Knowing nothing about fishing myself I’ve asked him about it on the many trips to Roanhead and was amazed when he told me that he doesn’t even get supper out of it the fish are put back in the water. The biggest fish caught there was a carp weighing 35lb 9oz “that would feed me for a day or two” and the pond isn’t natural it's flooded iron ore workings last worked in the 1920s. I was still not sold on the idea of sitting there all day and kept asking him what he gets out of it “relaxation” he says. So today when I dropped him off I got out and had a walk round the pond and took a few photos, then I sat down for a while and you know what it really is relaxing. Still couldn’t be bothered 
carting all
that gear about, though.

Tuesday, May 3

Dud


A customer I picked up today never ever tips, so I was very surprised when the fare was £3.40p and he said here's £4.00 keep the change.  But when I looked at the four "pound coins" I was not shocked to find that one of them was a worthless lead forgery,  Ah well nothing changes eh!

Monday, April 25

Road Kill

I took a fare out to the village of Baycliff today and on the way out down the coast road, we came across a beat up looking car parked haphazardly on the road with the hazard warning lights on.   As we got closer and slowed to go around it the driver got out and went to the rear of his car and stood looking down at a dead seagull on the roadside. So after that, the fare and I laughed and tried to figure out what on earth he was doing. "Giving it the last rites, " said the fare “no he wants to make quills with its feathers "I replied" or an Indian headdress" he answered.  Or maybe he's one of these guys that likes to eat road kill I said "not much of a meal there" he said, " unless he puts it in a stew."  On the way back into town I checked, and sure enough, the seagull had gone.

Goosed

Awww how sweet you may say, yes but after the fifth or sixth time of being held up within a few hours that's not exactly what I say.

Spring

Loads and loads of pretty girls out and about today I seemed to pick lots of them up one after another. This seems to happen when the sun shines but where are they at other times I wonder, or is it that they look better in the sunshine. You tend to have to drive a bit more carefully to as you get lots of guys whose eyes are on the girls walking out in front of you or driving erratically. Yes,I would say that it’s definitely spring.

Tuesday, April 12

Time Out

A lady who I pick up now and again asked me what the time was, I told her the correct time and she went to adjust her watch. I noticed that she set it five minutes fast. Why do that I asked "so I know the time" she said, this had me puzzled and so I asked a few more lady fares and they all seemed to think it normal quite a few said that they had different clocks and watches set either fast or slow” so they know the right time". This must be a female thing because it baffles us guys I can't figure the logic in this even the wife thinks it's perfectly normal. I wonder how many guys check the time at home and assume that the clock is set right.

Thursday, April 7

Glitter

Picked up three passengers early this morning and they all had garish eye makeup on and lots and lots of glitter and blusher.  The only problem was that only one of them was female. The tale they gave me was that they had fallen asleep at a party and someone had given them a makeover, but the guys one of whom carried a bunch of carnations made no attempt to wipe it off and promptly fell asleep on the drive to the nearby town of Ulverston. I had a bit of a struggle to wake them to find the address they wanted and they kept muttering and falling asleep again. We had driven well past it so I let them out and they set off walking through the busy streets, getting lots of amused looks from passers-by.

Thursday, March 31

Kills

I took a guy through to the nearby town of Ulverston today and he was telling me along the way that he was in the army and had recently returned from a tour overseas. He told me that nowadays a lot of soldiers are fed up with the political correctness that has started to find its way into army life. Apparently the old idea of the sergeant shouting or even swearing at new recruits is now frowned upon and a lot feel that this is undermining discipline and in a combat situation could endanger life.
But what did shock me was when he told me that the military no longer keeps a record of confirmed kills on a soldier’s service record. I wasn’t aware they did and if so that’s one that should definitely be consigned to the history books. He then went on to tell me that he had two confirmed kills and I found myself not knowing how to react to that. At the end of the day that’s what these guys are trained and paid to do but no congratulations from me, sorry.

Sunday, March 20

Sentence

I took a guy round to the local Magistrates Court building this week and he had with him a large bag and what looked like all his worldly possessions with him. Are you off somewhere nice I asked little thinking that he would reply" no I'm going to jail." Maybe not I said they may look kindly on you and you may get off lightly, no he said, "I have been found guilty already and I'm up for for sentencing today and they have said it’s pretty certain that it’s time in jail". Not a lot I could say after that I could see that he was worried and nervous, but as they say, if you can’t do the time don’t do the crime. 

Wednesday, March 9

Chav Sense

I had a local chav couple in the back of the cab today and I couldn't help but overhear the bizarre conversation that they were having. Girl chav" why didn't you eat the dinner I made you?" Guy chav "cos it was crap luv" Girl chav "but starving people like what you see on the telly would be glad of grub like that” Guy chav" I’ve got no sympathy with any of em why don't they just move like, get a bus or somethin an go somewhere a bit more lush" Girl chav "oh yeah" and she sighs and looks at him all admiringly and is gob smacked at him for solving the world's food crisis.

Friday, March 4

Lacquer




My passenger was a young lass of about eighteen years of age and she looked as if butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. Where do you want to go I asked?  "Dalton” she replied and so off we went to the next town along which is about six miles away, as we got closer to Dalton I asked her whereabouts she would like to be dropped off at. “The lacquer knacker” she replied brightly, I looked at her blankly and said I have never even heard of that, it’s a pub she said looking at me as if I were daft, I still never had a clue and so she said “The golden ball” and then the penny dropped. That was the first time I have ever heard it called that,it must be a local Dalton thing.

Saturday, February 27

Jitters

In stark contrast, to yesterday's run of funeral jobs I had a few wedding runs today. One was with the bride, chief bridesmaid and the bridesmaids brother going to the bride’s mothers to get themselves ready for the big ceremony. They were going a nearby village which is a six-mile ride away.
The two girls seemed to get more and more stressed for every yard that we drove along, they were on the phone making last minute arrangements and asking each other if they had forgotten anything all in all in a total flap. On the way, we stopped off at the posh hotel where the reception was to be held and when the bride and bridesmaid got out of the taxi to drop something off there was silence for a minute or two then the brother and I looked at each other and just burst out laughing. Talk about stress give me a good funeral do anytime.

Friday, February 19

The Coin Juggler

I had what I always refer to as a coin juggler in the back of the cab today. I pick this particular type of folk up maybe once or twice a week, and they can be of either sex and old or young, rich or poor but they always sit in the back and try to be discrete. What they do is they watch the taxi meter obsessively and every time it clicks over they move the coins from one hand to the other so that they have the exact fare ready in small change, minus the tip of course! You don’t get very much conversation out of a coin juggler just the soft obsessive clinking of coins, but still they always amuse me no end. What does catch the juggler out now and again is when the meter adds the waiting time on when we stop at lights or in heavy traffic and the meter goes up a few bob, that’s when they tend to juggle faster and then panic and drop all their precious coins on the cab floor.

Monday, February 8

Pardon


Today was one of the very few occasions when I found myself lost for words, I usually have no problems understanding just about any nationality, but today the two lasses who got into the back of the cab might as well have been speaking broad Martian. In the end, they had to point to where they wanted to go. They started to talk to each other and it dawned on me that they were actually Irish, I’m usually Ok with the Irish brogue but this dialect was one I had never heard before. Still we had a laugh and got there in the end, but this reminds me of the drunken lady I picked up a while back one rainy day.
She was so drunk that she could not speak at all and she just waved her hands in the direction that she wanted to go. When we eventually got to her house she wasn’t capable of counting the fare so she just threw her bag at me to get the cash out for myself. Next comes the bit I was worried about, there was no way she could walk and I didn’t fancy carrying her rather large bulk into her house, you never know what you may be accused of later. After banging on a few neighbours doors, I managed to get some folk who knew her and her drunken habits to help her in. If this is the state she gets in the middle of the afternoon I wouldn’t like to see her after a heavy night out!

Thursday, February 4

Voices

I was talking to another driver one day this week, he works for one of the last firms in town which still uses the old voice over the radio airwaves system to dispatch work. After about five minutes sat in his car listening to the squeaking of the high pitched voice on the radio my head was hurting and it made me really glad that the firm I work with now uses computer dispatch.
 Some drivers say they miss the banter on the radio, but that’s a small price to pay for a whole lot less stress. Back when we used radio we had some operators whose voices tended to really grate on your nerves especially after four or five long hours you felt like you had to get out the cab and bang your head on the pavement to stop the torture. You know the type of voice I mean the one that you just wouldn’t want them shouting you up for breakfast in the morning after a boozy night on the town.

 We can still talk to the office by radio if necessary to make bookings etc, but some days I can work all day and not know who the dispatch operator is. This works the other way as well some of the operators tell me that drivers come into the office and they haven’t got a clue which driver they are talking to.

Thursday, January 28

The Grim North



One of my fare's today was telling me that she was a barrister up here in Barrow on a business trip from that there London and that it was her first time oop north. “Well, what do you think of the grim north?” I asked,” well I was baffled when none of the taxis stopped when I hailed them I had to take the number off the side and ring for one myself,” she said. I explained that most cabs here are private hire and that most hackney cabs also work for company’s when not on the rank. Then she went on to say (which a lot of visitors also say) how green it was and that she had been expecting a grim grey industrial town. Shortly afterwards we were going down from a high point at the top of Hawcoat looking out seawards over Walney Island towards the Isle of Man, and she was impressed by the fabulous views of the miles of empty sandy beaches. “I bet it gets busy during the summer,” she said and was very surprised when I told her that we get very few visitors.” Well someone sure wants their butt kicking “she said anywhere else and they would be promoting it for all they were worth.

Wednesday, January 27

The Rose

A young girl passenger was telling me about her crazy Saturday night out this morning. It involved lots of alcohol, drunken fallouts, regrets and only hazy recollections. But I think the rose she left behind on the back seat of the taxi tells the story much better than words.

Tuesday, January 19

Lost Tip

A very nice ould lass who had enjoyed her cab ride went to give me a nice tip today, unfortunately as she went to hand it over she dropped three of the pound coins. They rolled down the middle of the front seats out of reach, never mind I reassured her I will get them later. I had forgotten all about them and had picked up three or four fares in the next hour or so. That is until a lady in the back seemed to be bending down and taking a long while to get out of the cab at the end of the ride. Yes, you guessed it the three coins had gone, she stole my tip, what a dirty trick eh! The tip actually came to more than she had paid for her short taxi ride, what a darn cheapskate taking food from my mouth. I could have had gravy on me chips tonight!

Wednesday, January 13

Binned

Another busy Sunday and the morning started off with lots of leftovers from the Saturday night. One of the first was from a house in the next town five miles up the road, but the fare had still not appeared after ten minutes of me waiting patiently. It was 8: am and so there was no way I was going to blow the horn and rudely wake the poor local folk up. I was pressing ring back which calls the customers phone every few minutes and after a while I faintly heard a phone ring, it was coming from the backyard of the house where I was supposed to pick up from. I got out and opened the door and there was my disheveled drunken lady fare sitting on a dustbin, she must have expected me to drive into the back yard to collect her. 
She was only going up the road a half mile or so to a local hotel, as we got nearer alarm bells started in my head when she slurred that she was going to collect her car. But as we pulled into the hotel car park she swore when she saw that her car was blocked in by four or five others. I let out a sigh of relief because I knew that the hotel staff wouldn't even consider waking up the paying guests to move the cars for some drunken lady. I was proved right and returned her back to her dustbin within a few minutes.

Monday, January 11

False Impression

Early one morning I had a call to pick up from what I thought was a really dodgy place. My screen just gave the flimsy location of school playing fields in the nearby town of Dalton, when I got there I could see absolutely nobody about, not even the usual early morning dog walkers and was just about to give up when four lads appeared out of the gloom as if from nowhere. 
They all wore bulky dark clothes and hoodies with most of their faces covered and looked pretty dishevelled, I was half inclined to do the sensible thing and drive off sharpish but business was slack so I decided to chance it. They all climbed in the cab and they asked to go to the next village up which was about an eight-pound fare. I was pleasantly surprised when they paid up front and turned out to be a nice bunch of lads well spoken polite and friendly. 
So I guess it’s true sometimes you can’t always go by appearances.

Wednesday, December 30

Numbers Game

A driver’s number or call sign can be very important to him; some drivers want their lucky number or a number that means something significant to them. This leads to drivers trading numbers and even in some cases swapping firms if they can’t get the number they want.  A while back one of our local drivers swapped from number sixty-one to number fourteen because he said "it was too many syllables in sixty-one for him to say on the radio."
 You will find that not many taxi firms have a driver thirteen; I guess you will think that we are a superstitious lot, but round here thirteen is reserved for a call for help. So if you hear your driver shouting thirteen and giving his location you know that you have really spooked him and that you will be surrounded by twenty bloodthirsty cabbies within minutes.

Friday, December 18

Black Eye Friday

Way up here in this part of the North of England, we tend to call the last Friday before Christmas “Black Eye Friday.”
 It's the day most people finish work for the Christmas holidays and they tend to finish work early about lunch time and they then head straight down to the pub for a long boozy session.
 I find it amusing when it gets to about four o'clock in the afternoon I then start to pick up some of the less hardened boozers when they have had enough and want to go home.  Lots of them are then telling me what a good night they have had; they are convinced that because it's dark that it must be very very late at night. I never tell them any different and just drive them home.
 Once a year drunks I call them the very worst kind of drinker because they just aren't used to it, give me a seasoned drinker anytime.  They take ages to come out of the pub shaking hands, hugging everyone in sight, and then going back into the pub several times for yet more long emotional farewells. Then once you get them into the taxi, the struggle is then to get them out of the taxi at the other end, because you are, their new very best friend in the whole wide world and they want to tell you their life story many times very very slowly and emotionally. Then its handshakes and if I’m very unlucky big bear hugs, but of, course none of my new found best friends ever recognise me ever again.
Still it's all good sport, Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Sunday, December 13

Holding The Baby

Some stuff will just never find its way onto these pages, some stuff which I see and hear would just be too hurtful to the folks involved. Other stuff can be told after the passage of time this is just one such story. This took place a good few years back now and maybe the people involved have hopefully changed for the better, who knows let's hope so. The job was to pick a fare up from a large house which was split into flats, it was a rough sort of place and I had to wait a while before someone finally appeared. Then two guys walk out carrying a girl between them who looked unconscious, they heaved her in the back of the car and told me the address she was going to. I went to set off but one of them almost as an afterthought shouted for me to wait and went back into the house. The two guys both of whom were drunk then staggered out with a baby held between them.The baby of no more than twelve or thirteen months old was thrust on the lap of the semi-conscious girl. The girl was that far gone she could not speak or even keep her eyes open and so when we got to the address I was given, I took the baby off her and knocked on the door fully expecting someone sober waiting there to look after the both of them. After knocking for a while with no response, the girl roused herself enough to stagger to the door, open it and fall in. She then tried to take the baby from me, but looking at the state of her I was not so sure that was such a good idea. I had a look around the house in case someone else was about but found nobody at all. I then tried knocking on the neighbour’s door to see if they could help, but they simply didn’t want to know. 
 Very reluctantly I put the baby down and left, I suppose I was guilty of not wanting to get involved. But of course, my mind wouldn’t settle, I kept thinking about what could happen, but then I kept reminding myself that the child would probably be taken into care if the authorities found out. I radioed into the office and had a talk to the lady operator she didn’t hesitate “phone the police you’ll never forgive yourself if anything happens to that child” she said. I drove around aimlessly for a bit longer but the more I struggled with it the more I realised that something just had to be done. The phone call was made and I never did find out what happened over it. I just sincerely hope I did the right thing, but who knows what's for the best. did I make the right call I wonder?

Wednesday, December 2

Prison Review

I always like to listen to people's regional accents and then try to guess exactly whereabouts they are from. Today I guessed correctly that my fare was from the Salford area straight after him saying where he was going to. He was that much impressed that I had said Salford and not the rival nearby Manchester that he strangely decided to give me the full low down on all the many prisons he had been in up and down the country.
 It was like an insider's guide with all the good and bad points of Her Majesty’s accommodation from all over the country. Apparently Armley jail in Leeds is best avoided" the screws don’t like you if you aren’t a tyke". But our local jail Haverigg "is just a holiday camp" compared to most. I just wish I had could have written it all down now, you never know when it may have come in useful eh!

Tuesday, November 24

Little Freinds

A mother and her daughter who would have been about seven or eight got in the taxi today at one of our local supermarkets. As it was mid afternoon and after the standard "been busy, and the weather's crap" conversation I said "no school today then" nodding towards the lass in the back who was sat there looking bored and scratching her head.
 "No, she came home with some little friends yesterday," the mother said scratching and shaking her very long head of hair. I didn't know what she meant by this, but she must have noticed my blank baffled expression and so she went on to say "aye it only takes one kid whose parent doesn't treat them and the full class has them" Again I looked at her blankly for a few seconds and then noticed that both mother and daughter were scratching their heads in unison. Then the mite-sized truth dawned on me and the irresistible urge to scratch my own head started to torture me. Being the polite type, I resisted the urge to scrat for the long long two miles till I got them home and out of the taxi. I spent the rest of the afternoon itching my head after that, just like you are trying to stop yourself doing now!

Thursday, November 19

Numbers Game

Why oh why do people make the single biggest investment of their life’s investing tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds in bricks and mortar and then fail to furnish it with a simple £2.00 house number. How the heck they expect people to find them when I regularly find whole sides of a street with only one or two houses numbers between them I don't know. It’s bad enough in broad daylight but how on earth can they expect the emergency services to reach them in a crisis at night, or even worse the pizza delivery guy!
 Come on folks you can even get self-adhesive numbers buy one for your house now; it may save your life one day.
 Maybe there is a business or fund-raising idea here apparently it’s been tried successfully in other countries so why not here.
And maybe we should ban those pretentious house names and numbers in those silly illegible scripts.
 Whilst on the subject I know of at least one house on a street here in Barrow numbered 12/a instead of 13 and another which doesn’t have a number thirteen at all, superstitious lot ain't we!

Tuesday, November 10

Reluctant Fare

I went to pick up a guy from a house party this Sunday morning and when I arrived outside the house he came staggering out and gave me the fare and sent me away. This was the second time he had done this strange thing that morning.
He explained drunkenly that he had not yet had enough beer to go home and face the almighty rage of his wife "she’ll rip my face off and feed it to the dog" he said." Can you send me another taxi in half an hour, I'll have a few more beers" he said. How many more taxis he paid and sent away after that I don’t know perhaps I should have parked around the corner and kept going back for the money every twenty minutes.

Monday, November 2

Pie Eyed

I had two guys and one not so lovely lady in the cab this morning, one of the guys just happened to be gay.
 They had been out all night partying and were still totally steaming drunk. The over the top drunken lady all of a sudden comes out with the classic weird question “is your brother fat because you’re gay then”? 
There was a stunned silence for a minute or two and then the gay man said “no it’s because he eats too many pies” 
 Oh yes, she said," I eat pies too does that make me fat as well?” He just witheringly looked her up and down in scornful silence for a long moment and then they all started screaming and arguing at the top of their voices, luckily they had reached the destination and were getting out by then, boy was I glad to get rid of them.

Wednesday, October 28

Proportions

I was talking to a guy today about the rules of percentages and proportions and all sorts of interesting stuff. When I dropped him off  I thought of a few rules that seem to apply whilst working as a cabbie especially in certain areas of Barrow.
 Please don't take offence cos I'm only messing!

#The scruffier the house you pick up from the better the mobile phone they will have with them.

#The amount of rubbish in the front garden is proportional to the screen size of the giant T.V in the front room.

#The bigger the rottweiler the more outrageous the kids names, come on Porsche, Gypsy, Paris, Buster, Diesel gerrin the taxi)

#The complaints about lack of cash are directly proportional to the amount of times that they are picked up from the bingo hall or boozer.

#The slower they limp out of the house when they think somebody is watching the quicker they run into the off-licence (grog shop for our foreign readers) when you drop them off.

#The bigger and more pretentious the house the lesser the chance of a tip.

#The scruffier the house you pick up from the more blingy the jewellery worn by the fare.

#The more expensive the trainers the lesser the vocabulary usually limited to innit,nectar,latta,mingin,wotever,

Wednesday, October 21

There And Back


It has seemed really strange picking up the one- half left of an elderly couple who have been regular fares for a good few years now. When the lady was alive up till a month or two ago it was her who did all the talking, simply because the ould chap was very deaf and it was hard to have a conversation with both being in the back seats of the taxi. The first time that I picked him up when he was alone I made sure that he rode up front with me so that we could have a proper conversation.
 It was a seven-mile trip and so after offering condolences for his loss I started to ask him about his life and times past. It wasn't easy with me having to talk really loud and repeat myself a few times but wow it sure was worth the effort. Amongst other things, he told me the story of him being posted to Japan within months of the Japenese surrender. He shivered as he told me about the horrors he saw when passing through Hiroshima on the way to his first posting. Then he broke into a smile as he told me how he was the butt of a practical joke by his sergeant within the first week of his duties of transporting military vehicles between bases.  The sergeant made him memorize a phrase in Japanise,  which remarkably he could still clearly recite, this was to be used when he was stopped by the Japenese military police.  Laughing he said it seemed to work every time, but he found out later the reason they looked at him so confused was because he was actually saying in Japenese "There and back to see how far it is."    
I have had a good talk with him on the few times that I have picked him up since but couldn't help but notice the deterioration in him lately, he really is struggling. Today he was telling me about his health problems and then he told me how his doctors had given him a list of his ailments that he had to have on display prominently at home in case he collapsed.  I was left struggling for adequate words when he went on to calmly ask me what Alzheimer's meant because that was one of the ailments on his list.

Monday, October 19

Silly Sausage

This morning after four or five supermarket runs, I found that I had acquired a spare packet of sausages in the boot. I didn’t know exactly which fare had left them behind and so rather than waste them I handed them to my lucky next passenger with the words “there you go you’ve won the sausages every tenth fare gets a free half pound of sausages”.
I don’t know if she believed me, but she seemed very pleased with her sausages.

Opp North



Now that the Welsh have signs in Welsh and the Scots in Gaelic it seems that us northerners are about to follow the trend. We tend to drop our Hs and Ws so it has been realised that millions of pounds could be saved by spelling things as we say them for example otel, old folks ome, orse stables, wheelbarra, central eating, any more examples welcome remember it all started with this sign in Barrow--- __ops sorry Barra.