Unsavoury Conversations With Taxi-Drivers Part 2
Twelve years later and I’m not late for work but I have just completed a long train journey.
I work in the North-East of England, it’s not a good job, I don’t do well and I live in a terraced house I can barely afford – small back yard, tiny garden, shitty kitchen, all that – and I’m penniless soon after I’m paid.
I grab a taxi outside the station. I’ve just travelled several hundred miles to the South-West and I’m not keen on the fifteen-minute walk to my lodgings.
Random Taxi Driver: FUCK ME! BEEN A WHILE. WHERE YOU OFF TO?
He’s one of those over-familiar sorts who pretend to know everyone. Brilliant.
Me: I’ve forgotten the street name. If you go to Name Pub, take a left up the hill and that’s it.
RTD: THAT’S IT, PAL – IF YOU KNOW WHERE IT IS, I’LL FUCKING GET YOU THERE!
That’s now two ‘fuck’s in as many minutes, it’s all a bit unsavoury and I’ve had a long day already.
RTD: STILL AT THE PAPER ARE YOU, CHIEF?
How does he know where I worked twelve years ago? And why is he speaking in Caps Lock?
I stare at the side of his face. It’s only bloody John The Taxi, isn’t it?
I try and figure-out the chances of this. It’s a small town in the South-West so I suppose it is quite likely.
Me: No, I left a few years ago. Moved away as well.
John The Taxi: FUCK ME. THOUGHT IT HAD BEEN A WHILE. HOW LONG, YOU RECKON?
Me: About twelve years I think.
JTT: [Briefly hitting the brakes] TWELVE FUCKING YEARS? USED TO LIVE IN THAT BIG HOUSE, YEAH? WITH THE FUCKING PRIVATE CARPARK, YEAH? WHERE YOU MOVED TO THEN?
Me: Christ could you just watch- Erm. Back up North.
JTT: WHAT YOU BACK HERE FOR, THEN?
Me: Well, I have a son and a daughter now. They live here. Me and their mother didn’t make it, she moved back here, so, you know….
JTT: [Briefly hitting the brakes] HOLD ON! WHERE YOU STAYING? NOT FUCKING WITH HER FOR FUCK’S SAKE?
Me: Really, could you just watch before you do that? The road, I mean. Behind us…I just want to get there in one piece.
JTT: YOU AIN’T FUCKING STAYING WITH HER THOUGH?
Me: Ah, no.
JTT: THANK FUCK FOR THAT. YOU DON’T WANT TO GO DOWN THAT FUCKING ROAD, CHIEF. TAKE IT FROM ME. FUCK.
Me: Ok, then.
I don’t ask him to elaborate. This is, after all, a man who prefers a bowel movement to actual sexual intercourse. God only knows what stories he has to tell.
JTT: FUCK. ANYWAY, HERE WE ARE THEN.
Me: Yeah, ah, thanks.
JTT: TWELVE FUCKING YEARS!
It’s like that scene in Grosse Point Blank but without the inherent likeability of all involved.
Me: Ah. Yes. Eight quid? It’s been five minutes. That's gone up.
JTT: Everything changes.