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Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The taxi drivers handbook...

 This originally appeared in my column at HastingsObserver.co.uk




I’d like to take you through the Taxi drivers hand book provided by the illustrious and benevolent council who's rules I am forced to work under.


You can tell the depth of experience and knowledge that went into the “Taxi Bible” a document that defines, educates and confuses the average common Cab driver.  Until now it has been hidden from the public only ever to have its sacred pages thumbed by Hackney Carriage Masters of the craft.

So for the first time ever, may I present to you this sacred text…
 


1. When your customers comb-over has flopped over don't offer to comb it back for him and lick down the straggly bit...

2. If you unfortunately break down, tie your passengers to your waist and do a walking taxi to their destination...

3. When asked do you do “A set fare?” explain that you had loads of them earlier on, but have now sold out...

4. When you tell off a gay guy for his bad language, behaviour and bad shoes, don't put your hand on your hip, as you will look like your having a row with your boyfriend.

5. When a drunk falls asleep on your shoulder, and you want to avoid the possibility that he might hurt himself, please don't hang him from the mirror with his scarf to keep him upright, the police don't like it.

5.5 When asked if Lidles sell hair dye and upon arriving it has just shut, offer your black marker pen as an alternative...

6. When your customer "feeder" fattens you regularly with chocolates, start dropping hints for other stuff like pot roasts.

7. Don’t try to cheer up a landlady who's pub is on fire...

8. When drunken people want to go to the airport and they wont shut up, quieten them with the 1hr version of the trip instead of the usual legal 2hr version.

9. When asked can you take his bitch home, don't automatically assume he means his girlfriend, especially if he has a dog on a lead at the time.

10. If your passenger breaks wind in the cab, DON'T wind the window down! Because that's a clear admission of guilt...

11. The Cab is a device that locates and transports drunken Muppets in the dark, if you lose 'em we will find them. Always have the A-team theme music playing while driving them home...

12. When your customer is on the phone organising botox injections for herself, resist the urge to talk about formaldehyde...

there isn't a 13. When you throw out a foreign student because he wants you to find his banana, remember it could be his bandana he has lost down the side of the seat...

14. When someone shoots you with their finger gun, unleash your surface to air middle finger back at them...

15. When doctors, teachers and councillors HAVE to tell you what they do for a living, remember that they suffer from a form of tourette syndrome…

16. Don't let anyone in the cab with an Axe, unless its Halloween, and then only if it’s plastic and held by a little fat bloke...

17. When prostitutes ask you to hold something make sure its been cleaned first...

18. Don’t take home near naked wrestlers that have been plying their trade in a pool filled with jelly in a pub…

19. Refrain from taking cuttings from customers gardens If you have turned up ten minutes too early.

20. When your local MP is also an investment banker and venture capitalist, do bring your investment portfolio with you to her next surgery.

21. Do not to let a trendy person see you crying with laughter when he's just dropped his iphone down the drain outside a bar.


That’s all the elders would allow me to show you, maybe in time, perhaps in another thousand years, a photocopy of the next page can be cut and pasted for your discerning perusal.





What makes a Taxi driver?

This originally appeared in my column at HastingsObserver.co.uk

Hello Observer sufferers …Erm…I mean surfers.


On Twitter, I read that apparently in a recent study, scientists have found a new nucleic compound in a DNA sample found at the retreat for wayward taxi drivers and rehab centre for kebab deliverers…


This new compound is called Uravinalaff a neo peptide sequence often found in bees brains, as they seem to get to where they are going, and are prone to the odd double back and zigzag across town…


Another further two complex compounds common in Kitkats and soup are urnotgetinthatin and mibootmatey, these are exclusive to the English local council compliant, extortionate fee and council tax paying hackney carriage licence holder…


So, to recap, Uravinalaff, Urnotgetinthatin, Mebootmatey are all exclusive to taxi drivers DNA, As well as an exclusively enlarged part of the brain called, the…um...Hippycamp… Hypocrit… Hippocamp…Oh! never mind…It’s located up there between the eyes somewhere…


Come on over to my Twitter.com/mr_taxi_man site where I talk mostly rubbish there too, but on an almost hourly basis.


Apart from a collection of complex DNA strings and various other convenient ironmongery, below, are something’s we also are…(Yes! I know! that’s terrible English isn’t it?)


Cab drivers are also Dieticians…


-We can advise on most foods that are barely consumable, and dispense advice such as, not eating kebabs and burgers with chips in the cab, and we don’t care if you’re willing to share it either! Also boiling pots of potatoes aren’t well received even if you have done them for your mum…


Cab drivers are fairly broad minded…


-Speaking personally I’m prone to worry a bit, when the two guys in the back are going on about this hot brunette they’ve seen and then I begin to realise they are talking about me…


Cab drivers often have to refrain…


-Refrain from speaking to certain types of women, especially when they look all reflectful and start sighing and say things like, " Oh! I wish I could think like a man" and all I'm thinking is; hurry up, pay me, get out...


Cab drivers have a keen eye for detail like…


-When you have just seen a cat and a dog followed by a hopping one legged seagull, running down the road, you immediately begin to wonder if Disney are doing one of those “Quest across the vast expanses to find their long lost owner” movie remakes,, and you also start to wonder where the hidden cameras are…


Cab drivers are known expert Fashionistas, (Next time you are in a cab look how well dressed he or she is! )


-It upset me and my sense of fashion when I saw this chap wearing skinny jeans which were clearly made for skinny people, combined with his extremely white belly that was hanging over his big belt made of bullets that were sadly…dummies!


-His mate by contrast is the opposite, a skinny bloke wearing baggy jeans that are obviously designed for bigger people, the jeans hang halfway down his boney thin thighs. The fact that he has no eyebrows and wearing a red Beanie hat, only made him look like a swan vesta matchstick!


I think it is your DUTY to phone the local fashion police if you see this couple near your Prada shoes and bag, as it will devalue your investment in your fineries…The emergency number is Gok one, Gok one, Gok one, if you ever see a fashion accident about to happen by the way…

More twitterings…


-Bare midriffs are good thing...normally! This ones tummy swallowed her belly button jewellery AND my elbow when she got in....



Cab drivers overhear things like…


-When I'm outside a late night bar in Hastings, and five guys are sharing the same cigarette and the same pint, and are discussing whether to go to school or not tomorrow...


Cab drivers are discreet and say nothing…


-He’s bit her chin, I think he was aiming elsewhere, potholes eh?...


-I say Edna when this taxi driver puts his flipping foot down, we can both enjoy a nice cup of tea.


A cab driver and his cab are instant, cheap, emergency removal lorries…


-You are NOT putting a half ton bouncy castle on my roof, I don’t care if you don’t get it back in time you will lose your deposit…


-Some students when moving abodes, think they are the first to come up with the brainwave idea of getting a cab to move them the 300 yards to the new flat that’s £1.20 a week cheaper than the one they are in! They stand on the pavement with 75 full black plastic bags. I sometimes drive past laughing so hard I hurt myself…




As you can see, the common Taxi driver is a wonder of nature, a divine movement of swift grace and change, (in all denominations except two pence’s), a thoughtful human of moderate girth, full of mirth, seen a few births and slapped a few Smurfs, (we get Muppets too, but mostly on Fridays.)


Right! I’m off to wash my Dior dungarees in the sink, because my washing machine is full of my Burberry twin sets and the Day-Glo beanie hats I got from the local fashion police auction.


Until next time!

In the style of Twitter...

 This originally appeared in my column at HastingsObserver.co.uk

Hello Observers!


Yet again in the true vein and style of Twitter, I have for you some more experiences written originally as tweets (a short form sentence of up to 140 characters) and expanded for more clarity.


I have been asked why I don’t comment about local issues and topical stories in and around our lovely area. In a way I feel I do, what people say and think and act is a reflection of our local culture at the ground level.


I’ll leave the serious debates to the big boys of the Observer and the comments pages!

So, here are more stories about our residents!


Would you like some facts about me? you would! Blimey! I so happen to have some facts about my person, facts like…


-I sold shoes to the Harlem globetrotters…


-I keep a hoop and stick in the back of the Cab in case I break down…


-I can sew, and do a mean cushion…


Be careful what you wish for…


-Last year, Feeling Hungry, a dead seagull fell out of the sky by my Cab…my immediate thought was, next time, I must think of HOT food...


Things happen to me like…


-Either someone is throwing eggs at me from the building I’m next to, or a passing seagull has prematurely given birth mid flight…


-I hate having to “join in”, forced by hen night lovelies to wear a pink wig and it’s SO not a good look for me…


Oh! the things I’ve seen, I wish I hadn’t…


-Rather large woman passed me on a bike and um… couldn’t see the seat, I’m SURE it had a seat, but it wasn’t erm… visible!


-I found the mechanics spanner, it was still attached to the nut that I’m sure he WAS going to do up...


I know better…


-Why do gay men think they know better? I SO wouldn’t have picked THAT top with THOSE shoes!


-…and no! You are NOT entitled to your opinion! And that’s my INFORMED opinion so there!


Some people I wish I could have helped…




-I picked out a small elderly lady in the dark outside my office, Scared and jostled by the drunk and boisterous, I smiled, took her hand, put her in the Cab and drove her home…


-She is crying next to me in the cab, her pram and dolls safely in the back, she is seriously disturbed and she now lives in a home yet they allow her out alone I worry for her... (7yrs ago, she has now passed away)


- It took an hour to soothe a soul that has clearly given up…won’t ever know if it worked...


-Lady lost her best friend to cancer today, sat with her as long as I could, she left the cab smiling. Hope I helped with my cheeky gob...


-I can’t really look after your dog for an hour, I have to work you see, and… oh! please don’t cry! oh dear! He is a vulnerable old man going to the doctors and hasn’t got a lead for his dog, so I bought him some string…


Laws of Nature unobserved…


-Physical laws decree that balancing a box of chips in garlic sauce on your knee whilst waving to your mates when I'm turning a corner, won’t work, good job I have cat like reflexes and can steer with one knee…


-When you throw a bottle at a Taxi Driver, make sure your aim is good, as it will hit my tyre at the correct velocity and speed for my tyre to kiss it and send back to the exact point of the launching…the bottle by the way didn’t break on contact with his face, but Ooo! I’m sure it left a mark…


That’s it for this week! And as I’m scribbling away on my pad in the town centre I’ve just seen Three Vikings chasing a giant bee, I bet he's been pollinating again! Tsk tsk! AND a chap in a hoody walking past me wearing quality shiny black shoes, he's either upgrading gradually or has been out mugging again…




Until next time!

cybermen and holidays...

 This originally appeared in my column for HastingsObserver.co.uk

Hello Observers of Hastings!


I’ve been on my Holidays! To Lake Garda, Limone to be precise, perhaps one of the most civilised places I’ve ever been to! An idyllic landscape and location. Had a few firsts for me whilst there like…
-I went in a cable car to the top of a 9000ft mountain, despite my fear of heights

-I went to a 98% German speaking Italian alpine village, where every road sign is in three languages Italian, German and Ladin ( A Celtic Roman-Latin language)

-I had a snowball thrown at me despite it being 38 Celsius at ground level

-I learned the value of oxygen, and how much less of it there is nearly two miles up!

-Had a ride in a Gondola and saw the tide coming up through the pavement outside St Marks Basilica in Venice!


-My wife had me screaming and like a girly, she chased me in the pool because of the underwater raspberry blowing belly incident...apparently women don’t like that…


Anyhoo! back on the ground now, and the redness from my slapped bottom is going down quite nicely. Did anything happen? Here then, are more sillies that have happened in the cab over the years and is featured unedited on my Twitter.com/Mr_Taxi_man page on the Interweb thingy!


Some things just happen…


-PLEASE! “Don’t take your clothes off in the cab” I tell a near naked woman, Oh! ok.. A surprise for your husband? I see! Erm… can you um… sit on this cloth then? Nah! Don’t want it back, you keep it.


-Four supermen in my cab, not one, four! and when you need one? They’re nowhere to be seen…


-I took a girl into town with long straight hair…when I took her home, it was short and curly! The power of a hot iron versus the power of rain eh?


-You've got dirt on your wedding dress? Well laying on my bonnet with your new husband didn’t help did it?


-One minute I’m putting a binge drinker in a hedge, the next, the road is blocked by a dozen dark horses just standing around in the dark!


-You like the idea of an alternative universe? Why? So you can annoy the other “me” in the other one as well?


-Outside the Frenches pub, A man dressed as Batman is arguing with Robin ’cos he forgot the fags, he tells Robin he's a big woman’s private bits, er…apparently.


Sometimes they are sort of famous…


-That Carol Mcgiffin, she was in my cab once, very drunk, thong pulled up her back, and fell out of the back door…


-I chased a lorry for Lenny Henry through the streets of London for ten minutes because he was expecting a sofa...but it was the wrong lorry!


-I took a Cyber man from Doctor Who to a photo shoot, I sat him in the front with me, with a seat belt on, I felt so sorry for that cyclist who crashed into that bus shelter…oops!


How was I supposed to know?


-How was I supposed to know that the bag I put my sandwiches in, was a sanitary bag? I thought the little lady on the bag was sort of cute!


-How was I supposed to know that her Henry, that had outlived his usefulness and was going to put in a skip was a vacuum cleaner? I thought she was talking about her dog or cat or possibly her Hubby!


The little devil in me…


I deliberately reversed slowly backwards, and the drunk couldn’t work out why he didn’t get any nearer! So he punched his legs and told them to hurry up!


No! I can’t drive as the crow flies! I have to use roads that are all sort of turny and twisty and uppy and downy and stoppy and starty…


That’s it from me for this week, I hope that what you read in this column cheers you up! It certainly gave me a chuckle at the time (or left me speechless) …which is hard really because I have so much to say and…Oh! never mind…


And remember, feel free to comment on my Twitter site (twitter.com/Mr_taxi_man) about anything you read here, I am happy to respond as I fully embrace change, in particular 10p and 20p pieces…


Until next time!

Hello I'm That Mr Taximan Fella

 This originally appeared in my column online for the HastingsObserver.co.uk.

Alright Alright!

You can uncuff me now and remove the blindfold, I’ll do this blog. I didn’t think the Observer would ACTUALLY send the boys around! (I’m sure they said do a blag- I told ‘em I don’t do that anymore and…um, ok moving on…)

Hello! My Name is Keith, I drive a Cab for my sins, I have for some time now, written about my experiences with my customers on http://twitter.com/Mr_taxi_man Its all about the good, bad, funny and sad and poignant tales that cross my path over the years.


For example, (Ooo! I sound like a salesman!)


Things I’d learnt.


-I’ve learnt that I’d wished I had kept the gold stars that Sister Mary gave me at school. that'd show Mr clever clogs I pick up on weds...


-I've learnt not to trip and fall on top of old people when they have JUST left hospital...


-I've learnt that the mushroom bags from Tesco’s make great sick bags...


-I've learnt that replacing the passenger airbag with a breeze block wasn't one of my best ideas..


-I've learnt that when a drunk falls asleep on your bonnet, and your good at reversing, you can use your cab just like a spatula..


-I've learnt when a woman inquires If she is attractive that I must remember its shabby chic and not chubby chick...


-I've learnt to give way to my right when a "large person" is unconscious in the road...


-I’ve learnt that you spend hours nervously writing a blog for a newspaper, then write something completely different…


That’s 260 words so far, 200 to go, “They” want 450 words a week, or the “boys” will be back! People (and myself included ) also say and do stupid things in and out of my cab, things like…


-Eventually I woke him and he fell out of the cab! fortunately the nettle bush he fell face first into saved him...


-A very drunk lady told me to get lost… I told her I couldn’t because I know where I'm going...


-My Macmillan nurse asked me if I had any weight loss... I Told her I've been consistently fat...


-What's the furthest you've gone? she asked, "down to my pants" I replied...then I realised she meant distance…


-Idiot just slammed my door into a post, needs a good beating now! the door, not the Idiot…Well...maybe both.


-Just saw a police woman texting on her phone and walk straight into a lamp post! Oh! how I laughed a little bit...


-Er..No! I don’t do cash back…This isn’t Tesco cabs…well not yet anyway.


Sad things also happen, things that ground me as a person, they makes me think and reflect on life and its frailties, things like…


-They are very much in love, drugs taken their toll, either can barely walk, there was a kind of wisdom in they're softly spoken words, humbling..


-Took south African woman home from hospital, moved here to get away from the violence she was encountering in her home country and tonight her husband died...


-Woman who lived in rural Eire with her husband for 35yrs has now been replaced with 20yr old Thai girl, now 73,she is alone and scared, I held her hand for a while…


Well! That’s a small taste of what I do, all of life is here in Hastings and St Leonard’s right under our noses! don’t expect me to talk down this great town we all live in.. all of the ups and downs of life, love and the quirky are here! And I will be watching…and spilling the beans every now and again..


For the Unedited raw tweets click http://twitter.com/mr_taxi_man go to favourites to access the near worthy scribblings and say hello! I’d love to hear your comments!


Well…see you soon then…Shh! the Observer “bad boys” tied me to a chair to write this! um…just saying.

Until next time!