Had some ups and downs last week.
Taxi business is slow enough these days but I decided not to worry about it anymore as I can't do anything about it and as my aul fella always use to say 'there's always somebody worse off than yourself'. Generally just sick of hearing about the recession and wish people who have jobs would just count their lucky stars and get out there and get on with it. Enough said.
Had a few funny people in the car last Thursday. Got a fare of 3 people from the Bleeding Horse out to Lucan. I know some drivers don't like long fares but I prefer them to the short hops around the place. The chap beside me spotted my iPod and asked could he have a look, I obliged and next he was choosing our 'drive' playlist. Fast forward 5 minutes and we're cruising down the Chapelizod bypass listening to 'Go West' by the Pet Shop Boys at full volume. Wouldn't be a particular favourite of mine but it was fun none the less. This chap knew and liked his 80's music, previous choice wouldn't be much evidence of this, and was digging up some old classics and some I hadn't heard before. We were approaching the Superquinn in Lucan and the chap in the front decided that his friend in the back was probably better going home instead of having more to drink in his house. Next thing we're driving all the way back towards the Foxhunter end of Lucan via the housing estates/Esker, drop the friend off and then back towards the Superquinn end of Lucan to drop off the chap in the front and his girlfriend. Meter reads c. €42 at this stage! Customer generously gives me €45 and said he was delighted with the use of the iPod. He's about to get out and just then a girl gets in who has left his party because she's just too tired. Happy days, it's only a local run but he gives me back the €5 note and tells me to bring her home. Get to her house and the meter is at €5.25, I wish her a good night and a nice weekend, she gives me a €3 tip on top of his fiver. €53 for a run from town to Lucan, that put me in good spirits. Cue Pet Shop Boys to accompany me back into the city centre. Se a vida é.... that's the way life is.
Friday night was a little different, plodding along slowly all night waiting for the rush hour of drunks. Collected two lads from Tesco Rathmines taxi rank, heading up to Templeogue Road. All going well then just after Terenure village one of the lads in the back of the car starts waving the fare card in front of my face. I give him the dirty looks and tell him to give me the fare card and stop messing. His friend who was on the phone took great offence to this and starts aggressively mouthing off at me, 'what's your problem?' , 'he was doing no harm'. I told him I was being cautious and for all I knew his mate was going to hit me in the face with the fare card. He then starts shouting 'Ah, this country has rared nothing but faggots, you taxi drivers are all moany bastards and all pussies', he then says 'should we just get out here?'. I said 'yeah, I think so' and pull into the side of the road. He says 'and I suppose you think I'm paying you for bringing me halfway home'. 'You bet ya mate, €7.85 please or we'll be doing a u-turn back to Terenure cop shop and we'll take it up with them'. He replies, 'ah fuck the guards, fuck you and fuck everyone'. While all this is going on he was pulling at the passenger seat and making swipes for me with the original instigator of this whole thing holding him back. His mate offers to pay up and get out of the taxi there, I think this is the case so I don't get to see exactly where in his estate he lives. The two lads get out with the aggressive one still looking to let off some steam, shouting and calling at me for a fight. I tell him that I think he should calm down and I get the schoolboy response of 'What are you going to do about it?'. I tell him I have no interest in fighting him and just to get out of my taxi. The two of them walk on up Templeogue road towards their housing estate, the aggressive one looking back towards me every couple of steps with his friend ushering him on. If I hade made any flinch or movement he would have been straight over like Cujo. I did a u-turn and headed back for town suspecting that my aggressive encounter might have been fueled by something other than alcohol. My blood was pumping, adrenaline flying around my body as I'm not an aggressive person, I think I was 12 the last time I had a row! When all is stereotypically said and done about taxi drivers being moany, holding the public to ransom and making a fortune(!!!) I don't think anybody deserves that nonsense when they go out to try and earn money to keep the family going.
Se a vida é.... that's the way life is.