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.

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Sad but true

I picked up two exceptionally well-spoken ladies, who had enjoyed an excellent play at the theatre.

We discussed the play, driving and traffic, satnavs, and the perils of being a pedestrian, amongst other things.

One lady asked me where I live. I told her, and mentioned how much my partner and I had enjoyed seeing a deer in our neighbour’s garden. I also mentioned that I had seen an otter while driving home, two weeks earlier.

“An OTTER!” the lady exclaimed joyfully, in her cut-glass accent. “How lovely! Oh, I love otters!”

“They are beautiful creatures,” I agreed. “It was a treat to see one.”

The lady continued, “When I was a little girl, my father was Master of the local Otter Hunt. It was great sport!”

“Oh, really?” I asked, feeling dismayed.

“Yes!” the lady continued. “I loved it when they found one! Such lovely creatures!”

“What happened to the otters once they had been found?” I asked, wondering if I was missing something.

“Oh, well, they would be taken to the vets, and… well, you know!” the lady explained. “They were considered terrible nuisances back then. Of course, these days, they are an endangered species.”

Funny, that.

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!!”