Deer students

On a night when I was feeling rough, full of the symptoms of the onset of a horrible cold, I got a job to pick up some students, to take them to the LCR. I wasn’t exactly feeling party-tastic, but I decided to make the effort and put on Chase and Status to help keep them feeling lively on their way to their Student Union.

The four girls were (predictably) garbed in fancy dress costumes, and kept me waiting nearly 10 minutes, which, when you’re a taxi driver, is exasperating at the best of times. Finally, we set off.

As I approached a side road, I spotted a mother Muntjac deer with her young, hesitating in the road. I stopped to make sure they didn’t panic and run into the road, and the girls in my car squealed in astonishment.

“Look, a deer!” one exclaimed.
“I’ve never seen one before!” said another.
“Are you sure it’s not a fox?” asked the third girl.

Stoic at the best of times in the face of unbelievable student f***wittery, as an Honours Zoology graduate I was simply unable to contain my feelings.

“Oh, dear GOD!” I exclaimed, and smote my forehead with my palm, in despair.

They didn’t notice, all too busy caught up in their own little drama of having annoyed their poor neighbours with their noisy pre-drinks.

We got to UEA. The fare was more than they had anticipated, with the charge for waiting time. Hah. The girl in the front paid the £6.50 fare with a ten pound note, and then insisted that the three girls in the back gave her £2 each.

“But that comes to £8,” protested one of the others, working out the total sum if each passenger contributed the same amount.

“No,” said the girl in the front, who was evidently far from popular with the other girls. “Because two times three is 6.”

Despair reigned.

Advertisements

As if…

I picked up four lads who were on a stag do in rural Norfolk. They were staying on a boat on the Broads, but wanted to go into Norwich for the last few hours of drinking. Rather than going the long way round via the main roads, I chose instead to take the back roads to our fine city.

As we travelled through the winding lanes in the pitch black countryside, one of the lads looked up, and surveyed the landscape with confusion.

“Where the @&£% are we?” he exclaimed. “I have no @&£%ing idea where we are.”

Before I could answer, he eyed me with suspicion. “You’re not taking us dogging, are you?”

Leery

I picked up a very drunk older man, who was Very Pleased Indeed that he had a female driver. He made a number of (almost) complimentary remarks about me, and made it very apparent exactly how attractive he found me. He looked like he could be the lovechild of Benny Hill and Les Dawson, and had an expressively mobile face. He asked my name. I told him, and enquired as to his own name.

“Sexy Bobby!” he leered.

I don’t think that my shout of laughter was quite the response that he expected. Bless.

What Zoologists do…

I just had a very lively carful of three young lads and a girl, talking about job opportunities and their plans for work and holidays.
The lad in the middle decided to include me in the conversation.
“Have you lived here all of your life?” he asked.
“No,” I replied. “I lived in Manchester for 8 years.”
“Manchester?!” he exclaimed. “What did you do there?”
“I studied Zoology at Manchester University,” I told him.
“You did ZOOLOGY?! Oh my God, that’s so cool.”
He turned to his friends, “She can revive ZEBRAS!!”

Speechless

was recently rendered speechless by a mother of teenage children, who was a customer in my taxi. We were talking about young people and their drinking exploits.


“Alcohol is weird,” she said. “It’s almost like they put something in it to make you drunk. Like a drug, or something. But it’s only a liquid.”

I was, and remain, utterly dumbfounded.

Halloween Highlights 2013

had an appropriately bizarre series of customers last night… to the point that the occasional customer who WASN’T in Halloween costume looked frankly weird.


Highlights of the festivities included:


* being reassured by an earnest and eloquent Frankenstein that his caped friend wouldn’t be sick… turned out that the cape was in fact a blanket from a volunteer paramedic, and the friend had left most of his evening expenditure in a bucket in the ambulance…


* two older witches with their partner wizards, walking up the drive of a private house… suddenly joined by a silent mass of fellow witches and wizards who were making their way up from the bus stop…


* a witch in a very short dress being boosted over a church wall… turned out that she didn’t have any knickers on :-&


* Fred Flintstone and a delightfully curvaceous Wilma, who I dropped off in fine fooling, and collected a few hours later… poor Wilma had overindulged and was feeling a bit queasy, while Fred patted her shoulder reassuringly…


* having my taxi chased by a blood-spattered man in a leather apron, much to the delight of his friends, all of whom turned out to be my customers. He then sat right behind me, and genuinely creeped me out without doing a thing…


* Seeing random lone zombies stumbling home, drunk enough to give a convincing impression that the city was being invaded by the undead…


* and finally… I pulled up at one club to discover that my customer was in a Nazi costume, complete with Swastika. The distaste on my face was evident. “Do I really have to pick YOU up?” I asked.


“You shouldn’t discriminate against people just because of how they look,” came the wonderful reply.


It transpired that he was quite a decent lad who abhorred everything that the Nazis stood for, and has chosen his costume as it represented, in his words, “the evil of all evils.”


We had a good chat about racism (which he had experienced) and gay rights, and about his costume. It turned out that he had hired the basic costume from a local shop, but that the Nazi embellishments had been made by his Mum. Really.


As I dropped him off and drove away, I was witness to the bizarre spectacle of a Second World War Nazi soldier bending down to tickle a little cat under the chin.


Happy Halloween!

Baiyo

One night, I was listening to one of my favourite CDs by Seckou Keita. For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure, Seckou Keita is an award-winning Senegalese virtuoso of the kora and djembe.  (And if you haven’t yet had the pleasure, look up his music online!)  I play these wonderful world music CDs for two specific types of passenger: the cultured, and the highly intoxicated / potentially volatile.

The former have generally enjoyed an evening of refined revelry, and the beauty of the music enchants their appreciative ears.  A rich and stimulating discussion typically ensues, or we just savour the magic in companionable silence.   As for the latter, well, the music is simply perfect for pacifying drunks.  Many a belligerent sot has been melodically soothed into a blissful stupor, allowing  the rising tension in the taxi to dissipate, and, at the conclusion of the journey, they simply pay and melt out of the car, all antagonism forgotten.

I digress.  I was listening to one of Seckou’s CDs named “Mali”, while discussing the delights of Indian food with an inebriated (but agreeable) passenger.  The passenger slurred, “I see you’re into Indian music, too”.  I was bemused until he pointed at the CD player screen, which listed the track “Baiyo”. He was so pissed, he thought it said “Bhaji”.