I often view life as a cab driver as a series of skirmishes in life’s great battle. Cut up by a bus here, abused by a white van man there; but make sure you give as good as you get. Someone nearly drives into your precious cab? I’m not just going to sail on serenely into the sunset, I’m going to let them know what I think of them. Pedestrians crossing in the wrong place? Feel the wrath of my horn…….you’re getting the picture, yes?
So there I was, minding my own business near the end of the (informal) rank that was snaking up Harewood Avenue, off the back of the main rank at Marylebone Station. Maybe because of all the G20 stuff, it was proving to be a challenging day for cab drivers. Having spent the first hour & a half of my shift just trying to find any rank to park on, with not even a sniff of a street job, I was just pleased to have done a couple of jobs and found space on a rank, albeit on a rank that was vastly oversubscribed. To be on the end of that rank means a bit of double parking until you can get outside the BNP Paribas building and then onto the rank itself. Outside the Paribas building is a crossing, not a zebra crossing or anything like that but just an island in the middle of the road. A middle aged lady looks to cross the road with a kid, I wave her across in front of me as I can see there are no cars coming down the road. Rather than thank me for this minor act of kindness, she then proceeds to tell me off for blocking the ramp (the what?) and that “you cabs” shouldn’t be blocking the road (we don’t). Somewhat taken a back, I try to smile serenely but something knaws away at me and I can’t help but say something. “Just trying to get some work, you know, do my job” is the best I can come up with. She still isn’t happy and lectures me about blocking the ramp and what if someone in a wheelchair wanted to cross the road, blah, blah, blah….. Oh for god’s sake woman if someone did, and I was in the way, I would move wouldn’t I? You, you weird looking Greenham Common reject and all round cretin. And, as I’m not doing much else apart from TRYING TO GET SOME BUSINESS, I might get off my lazy backside and help them across the road. Don’t make assumptions about me, just because you think cab drivers are morons (we aren’t) and why did you feel the need to say anything in the first place? Clearly, parts of this converstion were all in my head as she had waddled off in the general direction of Lisson Grove. And it was only then that it dawned on me who she was. Fucking Carole from Big Brother 8. She had the nerve to tell me off? Fucking cheeky cow.