2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,300 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 38 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Christmas Evil

Recent customers were a young couple, who were talking about suitable Christmas films for their four year old boy.

“The Snowman” was my suggestion.

“Ooh, no!” said the man. “No way. It scared me when I was little.”

“It scared you?!” I exclaimed, incredulously.

“Yes,” he replied. “That bit when they are flying through the air, and that creepy song is playing.”

“What, that creepy song sung by the young choir boy, Aled Jones?” I enquired.

“That’s the one,” said the man. “And don’t be fooled by his age. Evil comes in all shapes and sizes. Whoever sang that was the spawn of Satan.”

There you have it. What I thought was a beautiful story full of Christmas magic actually features a song by the son of Satan. Who knew?!

Gallantry

I just picked up an elderly couple who had enjoyed a few sherries at a friend’s house. We talked about Christmas, and also the holidays abroad that they had enjoyed through the year.

As we arrived at their home, the man bade me a “Merry Christmas” and got out of the car, while the lady paid. He appeared at her car door, and gallantly opened it for her.

“Oooh,” she exclaimed. “He never does that! He must be after something.”

The old man grimaced. “Well if I am, it’s not what you think. I’ve got a headache!”

He winked at me, she beamed, and they walked off together happily, leaving me smiling in my car.

Essex

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.

Reinforcements

I took a £10 hit on a fare to help a homeless man get his medication from a late night pharmacy. Good deed done. Karmically, I’m not sure what went wrong… later in the night I had to evict 4 obnoxious students from my cab, having already warned them once about their behaviour. I returned to the UEA and someone spat on my driver side window. Already riled from the obnoxious lads, it was indeed fortuitous that I didn’t see who did it.

I returned to the city to witness the aftermath of a mass brawl, and my subsequent passengers embedded chewing gum into my back seat. This was spotted by my next passenger, a lovely gay man, who asked me how my night had been, and was most sympathetic as I recounted the events.

“It’s so nice to have a taxi driver who isn’t moody,” he said. “You’re clearly a positive person, because even after all that, you’re not moody.”

This was true. We carried on chatting.

“It could be worse,” he continued. “I’m wearing a pair of £60 jeans, and I decided to do a slut drop on the dance floor. I must have put on some weight, because when I did it, the crotch seam split open. My Mum had already sewed them up once, but hadn’t reinforced them. How do you tell your Mum that you need the crotch reinforced in case you decide to do a slut drop?”

It’s passengers like him who help revive a flagging evening.