As referred to in the ‘Taxi’ series, the characters who jumped in and out of the black and white I was driving for the father in law, were a jumbled mixture of extreme loveliness, quirkiness and occasionally, volatile individuals.
I recall parking in the centre of town every Friday and Saturday night, sat waiting for a customer whilst people watching intently. The sights of the people mixed with the muffled sounds of the music booming out from various pubs gave it an edge, possibly similar to the night life in ibiza (Although I’ve never been there)
I remember two ladies in particular who I picked up after being flagged down and dropped them off in the middle of the beehive. When I saw them in the distance I, and everybody else, could see they had very little covering their bits n bobs. (No imagination was required) One of them got into the back seat, the other one got in beside me. As soon as they started talking to me and too each other, I knew what their aim was for the evening!
The one sat beside me actually said to her friend that she thought her skirt wasn’t short enough! She asked me for ‘Unbiased’ confirmation and I replied “You have a skirt on”?!! She and her friend laughed and gave me a nice tip as the car came to a growling rest in the town centre. The one in the back shouted “Let’s go and get some ” as they both slid out of the taxi, shamelessly not even attempting to adjust their lack of clothes. They both walked past the front of the car and waved farewell to me as a group of guys clocked them and started whistling and shouting. Unbelievably, the women crossed the road and lifted what little skirts they had on to reveal they had ‘forgotten’ to put underwear on, for the benefit of anyone watching (Which added up to quite a few) I couldn’t believe my eyes and forced myself to take another look! Anyway, the group of men about turned and followed them, walking in front of moving taxis to keep up with the women.
Working through the winter was strange because the people who jumped into the taxi were either exited or depressed, especially around Christmas and new year, but nearly all of them were pissed or on their way into town to get pissed. One youngish couple flagged me down during the wee small hours of the morning and told me where they wanted to go (Actually, the woman demanded I take them home!) whilst he sat quietly beside me. As I drove off from the starting position she pointed at the metre and virtually screamed into my left ear “What the f$#%ng hell is that price?! You’re ripping us off”!!! He asked her to calm down before I tried to explain it was a standard charge set by the council and had nothing to do with me. She was having non of it. If she had been a cartoon character, steam would have been visible, escaping from both ears with her head turning a darker shade of purple.
What made it comical was she was slurring every word, which caused an unwanted half smile to attach itself to my face. When I pulled up outside of their house her partner apologetically paid the fare whilst she was still ranting! She looked at the side of the taxi and proclaimed for the whole sleeping street to hear “I’m writing your number down, I’m reporting you for ripping us off”!!!
I actually tried to explain to her, with a calm and quiet voice, that the number on the taxi was obsolete, but she could ring the new number if she wanted to complain”. (Which was the truth) But she carried on trying to write the number down whilst calling me a lying bastard!! Her poor suffering partner apologised and ushered her in the direction of their house.
Thank Christ people with her particular character were few and far between and the majority were lovely people.
So many other things happened during my time as a taxi driver, maybe one day I’ll write more about it.