I went out with the girls I don’t see very often last night (yes, real, actual women; not the other type of ‘girls’ that I’m prone to hanging out with) – and what a joy it was too! One of the gaggle couldn’t make it (and was duly sadly missed); the rest of us – well, we did what girls do best: gossiped, giggled, and generally looked gorgeous. When it came to home time, I went to get a cab at the taxi rank by the Abbey.
The driver was monosyllabic, but that suited me fine – I’d done my fair share of yakking. When we stopped outside my house, the fare on the meter read £4.70. “That’ll be £5.30”, mumbled the driver, suddenly finding his voice. “£5.30?”, I queried. “It’s gone midnight”, he replied. It hadn’t. The clock on his dashboard read 11.52pm. “That clock is slow”, he said, anticipating my next question; “either pay the fare or I’ll drive you to the police station”. Charming! But what did I do? Wimped out, and handed £5.50 over. “Thanks for the tip”, he said. “I’m not giving you a tip”, I said. “I’m not scrabbling around in the dark for 20p”, he replied. Yuk!
So off I ran, like the frightened little girl that I’m most definitely not, mumbling something in my own head about karma etc (his: bad; mine: good) and thinking, oh for goodness sake, if he’s so desperate for an extra 90p, let him have it. But I climbed the stairs to my flat thinking, why oh why oh why do so many men so casually abuse their status, thinking to themselves, “here’s a woman on her own who I can bully into giving me what I want”? In this case – thank God – all he wanted was money that he’d neither earned or deserved. Let’s hope for everybody’s sake that that’s as far as his desperation ever gets him.
Me fella went mildly ballistic when I told him the story, pointing out that he’d offered to drive into town and pick me up (which he had), and begging me to report the cab driver to the relevant authorities. But I didn’t report anybody to anyone – except myself, to bed – fully confident that karma thing would work against the cab driver. And guess what happened next…
I was listening to local radio this morning – not something I usually do, ever, but the radio remote control was covered in toffee sauce (don’t ask!) and the station was stuck on Bath FM. Apparently, a taxi driver turned out of (insert name of my road here) and onto the Wellsway last night (the road that leads down the hill into town), slid on a patch of black ice and crashed headlong into the bus stop. The driver wasn’t badly hurt, but the car was mashed. It happened around midnight. Some clocks keep time perfectly.