The Ageing Taxi Driver

Taxi drivers come in many shapes and sizes; medium, large and damn obese. It would be fair to say that the majority of taxi drivers could easily fit the part of Tweedledee or Tweedledum.

I have talked previously about several breeds of taxi drivers. It is now time to put the record straight regarding the over sixty variety. In a society where many law abiding (and several non law abiding) citizens find themselves unemployed long before they are expected to kick the bucket, it is only fair for our democracies to find them work. Unfortunately this never happens.

Yesterday they were lawyers, computer programmers, politicians and bank robbers. Now only one course is open to them. I'm talking, of course, about the ever growing population of ageing taxi drivers.

Ageing taxi drivers are easy to recognize. First of all they arrive twenty minutes after you call the taxi rank because they are unable to read the street signs and haven't the faintest idea what to do with a GPS.

Once inside the taxi, before stating your destination loudly and clearly, please assure the driver is awake. If you state your destination slowly and clearly there is at least a 30 per cent chance that your driver will actually comprehend and attempt to take you there. Please don't distract the driver while in motion - rather while the car is in motion - as it is hard enough for him to concentrate on one thing at a time as it is.

The only time you should actually attempt to converse with the driver, during a ride, is when you fear that he has died on you. The most obvious sign of this is if your taxi has driven off the end of a pier or attempted to climb a 20 meter electrical pole. In all other cases, your driver is probably not dead. He’s probably just dozing, which often happens when stopping at traffic lights.

So back to the journey itself.

After the driver has successfully halted the ca,r before running over the nice pregnant lady with the red and yellow baby carriage for the third time, please help out by refolding the safety airbag which is now obscuring the right view mirror and most of your head and upper torso. Now, before you proceed, please repeat your destination as your driver has most surely forgotten it in all the excitement.

Yes it is a good idea to wake him up first if he has popped off yet again.

This might be a good time to ring your boss and inform him you'll be a little late for the meeting. If he is of British birth he will fully appreciate what you mean by little and will start the meeting without you. If you have the unfortunate luck to be working for a Japanese company this is definitely a good time to go job hunting.

If worst comes to worst, I know a taxi rank nearby who needs someone for the night shift.


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