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.

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Nice tips

One night in October 2013, I was having a quiet night at work. So quiet, in fact, that I unwrapped the little packet of Love Hearts that were left in my car (along with a lollipop) by a customer who happened to be a recently released armed robber.

Nom nom nom. My kind of tip.

 

(Other tips that I have been gifted include a packet of truly delicious bacon; a CD of a local group, donated by said local group; a CD of a young female rapper, donated by herself; a Magnum (as in the ice cream, not the weapon), and a truly splendid Christmas jumper, donated by one of Gary Newman’s road crew!)

Until The Cavalry Come

“Until The Cavalry Come” (MTV)


I recently met the man who composed and sings this song, when he jumped in the back of my taxi, with a battered guitar. He was on his way to play a local gig. He told me about this video, and I looked it up on YouTube. Intriguing video, beautiful voice, and lovely melody.


I loved it, and told him so when I picked him up again. He was touched, and asked if he could play it for me. Then and there, in the back of my taxi. Just him and that battered guitar.


It was one of the most unexpected, and one of the most astoundingly beautiful musical experiences of my life. The emotion in his voice brought tears to my eyes, and stillness to my soul. Incredible.

Surely Not…

I took home a wonderful, and endearingly inebriated lady doctor, who worked as a locum gynaecologist. She had just been visiting with colleagues from her university days, and they had enjoyed a fantastic night together, drinking, catching up, and swapping clinical stories. Obviously, this was too good an opportunity to miss, so I asked her if she would share her most memorable clinical incident to date.

She had been working a family planning clinic, in a rural area, when she was asked to attend to a patient in some distress. The patient was female, mortified, and reluctant to disclose her troubles. Eventually, with careful and sensitive questioning, the locum deduced that the patient had… erm… experienced an unusual accident, while alone in the privacy of her own home, which had led to an Unexpected Item becoming lodged firmly in an Unmentionable Place. The item was the lid from a roll-on deodorant bottle. The place remains unmentionable.

The poor patient was deeply embarrassed, and refused to go to the local hospital. The locum gynaecologist examined her carefully, and confirmed that indeed, the Unexpected Item was resolutely wedged in the Unmentionable Place. The locum assessed the situation with an appropriately grave demeanour.

The most appropriate course of action would be to transport the lady to the local hospital, and have the Item removed from the Place under anaesthetic. However, this was not an option for our increasingly mortified patient. The locum took pity on her. “I will get this out for you,” she vowed.

Indeed, the locum tried. She tried a whole variety of methods, involving forceps and other dastardly medical implements, manual dexterity, and exceedingly careful manipulation, but to no avail. The Unexpected Item remained securely located within the Unmentionable Place. The locum’s eyes travelled around the room, and lit upon the Mother of all Speculums. (Uninformed men, google “speculum” as an image, and let your minds contemplate the full horrors. Women, stop wincing. Men: we women all know precisely what that this undoubtably male-invented tool of torture does.)

Armed with a considerable amount of lubricant, the locum seized the contraption, and advanced upon the helpless but desperate patient. With great skill, and a spectacular turn of phrase, the locum, in her own words (which made me shout aloud with laughter as she related the tale),

“Jacked her wide open and Got It Out!”

Success!!! We celebrated together the locum’s cunning, persistence, and determination to spare the lady a trip to the local hospital, while I wiped tears of laughter (and sympathy) from my eyes. Brilliant.

Back at Base, I related this tale to my colleagues.

“A deodorant lid? Are you Sure?” quipped a driver. “Why would anyone do that?!”

“Perhaps she acted on Impulse” said our lovely telephonist.

“Poor woman,” I said. “You can see why she would want to keep Mum.”

The Fog

14th March 2014 saw terrible weather conditions.  I  had a very full-on night at work, negotiating my taxi safely through the fog. Normally, most of my work would be within the suburbs of Norwich, however tonight, with horrendously poor visibility, I got not one, but THREE “county” jobs.


The first was taking Tyrion, a lovely young male ferret, and his delightful media student owner, to Downham Market, where he is to be debollocked in just a few hours time. The fog wasn’t too bad.


Next, I took a very drunk doorman, who had obviously had a cracking night off, to Lowestoft. By now it was horrible visibility, with some major road closures, owing to the evening’s tragic helicopter accident, which very sadly left four people dead. My doorman customer was, however, in good fooling, and entertained me all the way to his house.


Much of the time he was difficult to understand, owing to the combination of spectacular slurring, and a full twenty minutes of hiccuping. He was very concerned that I had to return to Norwich in the fog, bless him.


I made it safely back to Norwich, only to pick up a group of four offshore workers, who had been due to fly in to Norwich Airport, but had been diverted to Birmingham, due to the weather, and had endured a lengthy coach ride to Norwich. I collected them from the airport, to take them to Lowestoft and Beccles.


Again, our journey was hampered by the road closures, but a team effort got us to where they needed to go. The fog was, by now, almost impenetrable in places, and I was considering staying overnight in Lowestoft, for safety reasons.


The men were very sweet, and the last chap was concerned that I had to try to make it back to Norwich. He was so appreciative of my efforts to get them all home safely, after their looooong coach journey, that he actually tipped me nearly £60!!!
I am glad to be home, safe and sound. My thoughts are with those affected by the weather conditions, and in particular our emergency services, who will have to carry in regardless. And my heart goes out to those poor families who lost loved ones tonight.

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”.

The Origin of the Sensual Taxi

Three men got in my taxi. They were delighted to have a female taxi driver, and were exceedingly complimentary. Apparently, my cab smelled lovely, I, too, was both lovely and friendly, and they liked my driving style. According to one, I was “really hot” and had a very sexy voice.

“You’ve clearly been drinking tonight,” I observed.

Actually, no, he was the only one who hadn’t. And then followed one of the most bizarre comments that I have heard in my cab to date:

“Wow, this is such a sensual* taxi!”

???!!

As a result of the amusement generated by this remark, I have succumbed to popular opinion, and the Sensual Taxi blog has begun. Please enjoy 🙂

(* In actual fact, the customer used the word “sexual” rather than “sensual”, to describe my taxi.

HOWEVER, I have no intention of having the blog title, “Tales from a Sexual Taxi.” Yes, that title might garner considerably more hits for my blog, but not necessarily the kind of traffic (no pun intended) that I would welcome. In the interests of perv-dodging, which is an essential part of the skill set for us female cabbies, the Sensual Taxi prevails.)