I picked up three students: two female friends returning home together from a night out, and one of those random drunk lads that hangs around kebab shops after the clubs shut, to try and cadge a free lift home with fellow students.
He was trying hard to impress the girls. The girls were obviously underwhelmed by him and his transparent antics. After a few failed attempts, he gave up trying to persuade the girls to let him accompany them to their flat, and asked to be dropped off en route.
During the journey, the cabcrasher and one of the girls discovered that they were both from Essex. She was from Braintree. He announced that he was from Colchester.
The other girl remarked, “I got a train that went through Colchester once. So many freaks got off in Colchester, it was unreal.”
As I smiled to myself, they began to debate which place was the biggest sh*thole: Braintree or Colchester.
The girl from Braintree declared emphatically, “Colchester is the biggest sh*thole. By far. Everybody in Colchester has been stabbed. Everybody.”
The lad in the back protested, “I’m from Colchester, and I’ve never been stabbed.”
Undeterred, Miss Braintree continued: “Yes, you HAVE been stabbed. You’re just too stupid to have noticed.”
A short while later, Mr Colchester got out of the taxi, without offering to contribute anything towards the fare. The girls were surprised and indignant. I was not.