Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Taxi Driver Speaks Out

I caught a cab from the Barbican to Euston today, and oh what a mistake that was. I got the world's most talkative cabbie (probably a fireman at weekends picking up a government salary and pension while he sleeps) telling me how he hated being ripped off.

"This Valentine's Day Mularkey. It's terrible. There's a restaurant round my way charging double for a table on Valentine's Day."

"So they've let you know in plenty of time, then, rather than hitting you with the bill on the night?"

"Yeah Guv. What difference does that make?"

"Well, at least it gives you the opportunity to stay at home, cook your wife a lovely meal, and then take her out for half the price on February the 15th, and spend the difference on a nice gold necklace."

"But Guv, it's a bleedin' rip-off."

"No, it's just the market adjusting to higher demand. Maybe they charge you half price throughout the year, and the right price on special occasions?"

"You one of them Tories then?"

"Ok (reeling from the blow), what about Taxis charging more on Bank Holidays and after Midnight then?"

"Ah well Guv, that's just regulations that is."
At this point I gave up. And the bugger had managed to drive such a tortured route through the road humps of St. John's Wood that he'd managed to finesse the fare up to £10 quid (it's normally about £6 quid).

Blimey, I thought, as I jumped out in relief, £4 pounds lighter than I normally am, without leaving my usual tip; I really do hate being ripped off.

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