Taxis

Until teleportation, they’re still… holy shit, that’s it. Let’s just call this blog ‘Teleportation Ode’ and leave it at that. We can all go home, go back to our normal lives and forget about this mad dream of spontaneously reviewing things.

THE STARS:

I’ve had some perfectly lovely taxi trips in my time. Of course, the majority of successful taxi rides consist of being so non-eventful that they slip from your mind like an upside-down pear cake on the back of a greasy Bactrian camel. Mmm. Pear cake. It turns out that with taxis, we ignore the government propaganda pounded into our nubile brains during the HSC and forget the ‘journey’. Notable exceptions include the driver who gave us a bunch of chocolate bars for some reason, and the one who genuinely seemed to like my shoes.

LACK OF STARS:

If there was ever a metaphor that embodies the boring to the terrifying aspects of human experience, the taxi-cab is one that you can get into the back seat of and smell deeply. Now, I don’t want to simply complain about the funky human car-sauna stench, or the casual racism, or the GTA style driving – it’s all a little bit bad stand-up night in early 90s New York. What’s the deal with airplane food? I dunno, what’s the deal with how pointless your life is? You just can’t explain some things.

“What’s the deal with how much my leg is on fire?”

 But in the manner of experiences everywhere, sometimes your fare-paying experience in these maverick cars-for-hire are extraordinary. I could go on in depth about the terrifying Vietnam taxi which took us into a shanty-town and shook us down for more money, realised we didn’t have anymore, and then politely dropped us off at our destination. Or the driver who took me and my girlfriend from last years work Christmas party, roaringly drunk, to another Christmas party and decided to ask us riddles. Yes, riddles, like a poorly paid road sphinx. And furthermore, they were riddles where the answers were shallowly hidden morality tales with a patriarchal fundamentalist Christian message.

“While a fish is a good answer, it is not correct.
The answer is marry your girlfriend and stop living in sin, you heathen.”

But at this time of year I get quite a few taxis from work after 1am, due to Western Australia being firmly entrenched in the past. It’s a thing, and it would all be fixed by a quick secession. At that point in the evening after many hours of work, I find it difficult to enact even the most basic of human interactions. So, you can imagine my relief when I get into a taxi last night, to discover a scrupulously clean, new car scented taxi with a polite driver listening to gentle classical music. Classical is really not my thing, and usually just reminds me of Fantasia, but at this point in time I sat back and thought of dancing Pegasi and the like. Until, like a lot of classical music is fond of doing, it stopped being all light and frolicsome, and became dark and brooding like a storm or a cloud of deep voiced bees. And with the added depth, came increased volume. That’s when my driver started whistling along to the Wagner-esque tune. (OR IT COULD HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN WAGNER) And not even with any degree of proficiency – I’m talking the kind of tuneless, atonal drone of a serial killer washing his stabbing knives. As we drive past the Landsdowne Hotel, I look out the window to try and quell my rising panic, and briefly glimpse a couple in the alley. While I’m 97% sure the gentleman was just kissing this ladies neck, with the aural horror happening around me, it was clearly vampire/zombie/sex offender.
I decide to look ahead again, when I notice that we have significantly picked up speed, in relation to the increased pace of both the music and the toneless whistling of the driver. And that’s when we start running red lights. I mean sure, it’s very late at night and there’s about two other cars on the road. But isn’t that vaguely illegal?

As with most of my stories, there’s no real payoff. I didn’t get stabbed by the driver, and I didn’t come back from the dead to blog about it.

Or did I?

THE SCORE:

2/5 stars.

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5 thoughts on “Taxis

  1. I've had some corkers. Oh my yes. The usual sexual harrassment and attempts to cajole payment in sexal favours. And the racism, the getting lost, the body odour. There was the taxi driver who stared very fixedly ahead and then crossed himself several times while driving my latex-clad friend and I to the Hellfire club. And the taxi driver who participated in my girlfriend and I's drunken attempts to convince a wholly platonic friend of ours to have sex with us. This was on the way home from hellfire. Perhaps it has something to do with taxi's to and from Hellfire.But there are lovely taxi drivers too. I've had a lot of those. One was a very handsome African man with intricate tribal scarification on his face who told me very beatufiul stories about his culture and his homeland. I have never forgot that guy…

  2. My usual problem with taxis is that I feel the need to tell them extravagant stories about the life I could have had if I was someone different. If the taxi drivers in Wollongong ever got together to have a meeting about me they would find conflicting reports. Was I a jilleroo in the Northern Territory for four years before coming to uni to do a medicine degree? Or did I run away from home when I was 15 to live a bleak life of crime and drugs, only to be rescued by a charitable jehovah's witness who I now help run youth camps for? You just can't be sure.

  3. the cartoon about the fish is good…it's the Target loading dock for you with three kids and a wife who is a bitch…or you could end up homeless…or to make matters even more simple just quit now and KILL yourself….

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