June 05, 2007

sticky tape taxi or how I saved an alsation's life

Sitting in the back of a run-down cab. A rare luxury on a Saturday night. Party is in a location either 3 metro lines away, or 2 crawl-lurch-brake hard for no reason and throw the passengers around-lurch-crawl-lurch buses away. So, the cab isn't supposed to be run-down. It is supposed to be a rare luxury, but fate has other plans.

Cab-driver is a bit odd. Wearing very (and by very, I mean decidedly) old-fashioned glasses with invisible sticky tape holding the arms to the frame. Invisible because although I can't see any actual tape, I could swear there should have been some.
I mention sticky tape (or 'du scotch' in France, sellotape in England, adhesive tape in the US) because there is an abundance of the stuff in this particular taxi. At each red light the aforementioned driver pulls more tape off his roll to tape a page-dropping green notebook back together. It is the most irritating thing! Rrrrrrrrrratchchchch as the tape comes off the roll....fumble, flap, fiddle with the green almost ex-notebook... miss the first 5 seconds of the green light, only to be caught by the next red light and continue this sticky saga. ARGHGHGHG - tape me to the backseat before I do something anti-social and illegal!

You know how in this day and age most taxis have a nifty GPS system with a colour display and voice of your choice? Uh, not here, mate. In a car where one refuses to let a deserving soft cover notebook be Recycled In Peace, the closest thing to a GPS you will find is a massive road map taped onto a massive piece of cardboard, lit by a battery operated neon light that has been tied to the headrest of the passenger seat. Oh, the neon light is also encased in some very attractive cardboard, so that the light doesn't spill over the edges. And the massive road map taped to the massive piece of cardboard has every major road highlighted in orange. So they all jump out at you at once and jumble your vision. Ah, well - whatever works for the odd man in the driver's seat, I guess.

We're waiting at a red light on a pedestrian crossing. The man we pay to DRIVE us to the party is taping up his hopeless notebook, as one does. The light changes and in the time it takes him to put his tape and notebook back on the passenger's seat, I notice a security guard and his Alsatian running across the pedestrian crossing from the opposite side of the road and realise that just when Mr Duct will be ready to hit the accelerator, the front of our taxi will connect with the side of the poor dog's head. "ATTENTION", I cry out! The driver, startled, hits the brakes and mumbles incomprehensibilities, as the guard and his loyal companion jog past our wide eyes and dropped jaws. "Well spotted", says my backseat partner. "All in a day's work", say I.

1 comment:

Nic said...

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