Great Junctions
Saturday March 20th 2010, 3:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


Dyke Road Drive

Before this I have only documented one other road junction anomaly
And that was Seven Dials
I suppose that most cities have a few creative road sections
I have lived in Hull Brighton Oxford and Paris
Of which Brighton and Paris stand out the most
Here is another one
At the top of Dyke Road Drive
Is a junction high above the railway
dyke-road-drive
To me it looks like it was invented by a child
Though if I was that child
Maybe I would have drawn in a fourth set of give way lines
Thus creating a no-go area
Effectively a bureaucratic dead end made out of thin air
As it is nobody truly understands
How the right of way works at this point in space
There have been a few occasions
Where I have been flanked
By catatonic drivers
Waiting for someone to make a decision

If anyone in cyberspace can apply a correct ruling here
Please do



The Failing Ship
Wednesday March 17th 2010, 3:34 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


My cab is now falling apart
It is going through a relentless repair routine
Every day off is bookended by visits to the garage

The odd thing is
It all seemed to slip
The day that the owner told me he had just finished the payments on it
He appeared to almost sigh in relief
And his eyes were away… waltzing with profit
From a free taxi cab

But there must be some extra-dimensional taxi law
That states…no taxi is ever free
You can turn and turn
But you cannot stand and reap

One of the most frustrating aspects for me
As the person who drives it
Is the gross incompetence and slackness
That pervades right through the services around taxi driving
The coachbuilders
They are on a different planet
It must be a much larger one
That revolves longer and slower
It is rare that they answer the phone
So you have to leave a message

I left several messages about the jammed step on the nearside
It was jammed in for three weeks
Then it popped out
And was jammed out for nearly a week
The cab was at a standstill
Until their roving repairman turned up
He lives in Dorset
And is the only man in the south of England
Who can fix these steps
He had to detach the step and take it away
That was at the end of december
Haven’t heard from him since

I won’t list all things that have gone wrong
It would be boring
But during a recent run of poor form
I told the owner
That we really needed to replace it with a new one
I had heard from my previous handler
That he had got £10,000 for his high mileage VW
And the dealers didn’t even look at it
Considering that ours has a most dubious gearbox
Now would be a good time to take advantage

After a brief evening chat
I convinced him to go down the road of a new vehicle
It was all looking hopeful for a few days
Then it took a turn
One afternoon the starter motor fell apart for the third time
Three starters in five months
Runs to over £1500
It was being caused by the failing clutch
And now the ball was rolling back the other way
The clutch was replaced
The gearbox examined
Blaa dee blaa dee fuckin bla
The new vehicle idea evaporates

I now feel that the cab itself is controlling events
I am still bookended by visits to the garage
With a new spectre on the horizon
The turbo
Suddenly one day I was struggling to get up hills
As far as I could fathom
The Turbo was not working
But stuff common sense
They have a computer to plug in
This will tell us what the problem is
So Hal 9000 the motor mechanic was telling us all
That the sensor on the intercooler thought the outside temperature was 170 degrees C
What we needed was a new sensor
But hold on
You can’t just buy the sensor
You have to buy the whole intercooler
Round about £600 fitted
Then a big clue appeared
The supplier couldn’t recall ever having to replace this
So it took nearly a week to get it
But with no other ideas we had to go ahead

On the four days running up to the job
The van behaved impeccably
No power loss…turbo accelerating fine
When the job was finished
The van behaved impeccably
So… I thought success may have been successful
Then on day 3
Power loss
Common sense told me it was the turbo
The garage said it couldn’t be
And plugged in Hal 9000 the mechanic
Hal couldn’t find anything at all this time
So everybody shrugged
£600 pissed into the ether
And me and the owner had to go back to thinking caps

The problem is this
Motor vehicles these days are way too complicated
And the amount of complication
With the added weight of the expense
Does not balance out with enough benefits
The traditional mechanic
Who could listen to your car and poke and prod a few things
Before unlocking the combination of the fault
Has virtually disappeared
I know from experience
That a result of relying on these new mechanical clowns is that
You can follow a trail of investigation
That can cost hundreds even thousands of pounds
Only to find the actual fault costs £50

With all this shambling going on around me
I myself started to become a shambles
Financial requirements of late
Have prompted me to run faster in the hamster wheel
And my neck shoulder and back have begun to suffer
One day off per four is not enough to recover
So I am compounding it
But I cannot stop
Then my feet started to protest at being entombed
With a bout of Athletes
Yesterday at one point I was driving one handed in bare feet
Trying to keep my feet dry in the warm blowing air

I got up this morning
And started up my clumsy vehicle
There was a job on the screen
The address was half way across town
So I took it to get me started
When I arrived the woman was half in the road
Waving at me
Not a good sign
She got in…and she was angry
The cab had been booked the day before
And was 20 minutes late
It was a long round trip with four pick ups
After the second pick-up
I misheard the street name and took a wrong turn
Of course they played hell
I pleaded that I had only just got in the cab
First thing in the morning
And I am immediately involved in a Wacky Races session

I was relieved when it stopped
Some 20 minutes later
I sat there taking in the relief and quiet
Then there was a thumping bang to my left
A van had just passed
And cleaned off my wing mirror
I got out
The driver had stopped
He came up and apologised
Then told me to take it to a garage on the docks

This garage on the docks
Was dealt to me
By the twisted hand of fate
It was full of used Transits
All the mechanics were dirty rugrats
They knew Transits better than anyone in town
I opened a dialogue about the power plague
They had some good ideas
So I left it there



Vamps & Tramps
Wednesday March 03rd 2010, 2:34 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


Driving around the city constantly
One can become like an alien craft
Sent to observe the world
The relentless flow of public
Are only unconsciously aware of your presence

So I was sitting there
In my glass observation dome
Watching the flow
Whilst picking my nose
There was some new material
Right in the awkward front section
And it was well bedded in
The front section can only by tackled by thumb
Or by turning the palm away from the face
Once I had gained a thumbnailhold
It all started to come away
There was a tiny cracking sensation
As I thought
As I looked down upon the bogie
The crack was nasal hair
Still attached
I entered that wooze of satisfaction
As I squashed…rolled…and flicked
And with the lights still on red
Went back to check the front face of the bogie mine
I became aware of something going on to my right
A sensation that made me look down
Oh no…
There was a family of people in the car next to me
They were all picking their noses..and laughing
I gave a big Gallic shrug and started to drive off
Despite the shrug
That was a tad embarrassing

There are some things that I just don’t get
Everybody I know picks their nose
But our society abhors the sticking of a finger in a human hole
Maybe it would be better
If everyone just got on with it in an honest fashion
I scanned the passing crowd
And imagined for a moment half of them picking their noses
As they ambled along the pavement
……………………………..actually
No….
I decided society was right in this instance
Outright public hole preening would look disgusting
It must be our conditioning
I will be more careful in future

Rank posturing is the next subject
That is when one arrives at the rank
Which slot do you sit in?
Most drivers are careful not to park so that the cabs are side by side
Unless you know them
Then you do
But sometimes you don’t feel like talking
Because it’s often just wingeing
You can only take so much wingeing in one week
Then there is the odd one who will park alongside and drop his window
And you think “who might this be?…what could he want?”
And he just sits there
Emitting microscopic small talk
I have no idea who he is
Replying with the odd droning response
I will stare out the window during the long pauses
Hoping something will happen soon
So you see
Another area to be careful in
Something else to mull through the great mull box

Today though I pulled up next to Jack
He is more of a general chat guy

Spence: Alright Jack
Jack: Alright Spence how’s it going?
Spence: Ohh… bit quiet today…bout you
Jack: Ah I dunno…I’m just getting back into it…I went skiing last week
Spence: Oh aye where to?
Jack: South of France…it was fucking freezing though…-23 half way up the slope
Spence: Wow…I don’t think I’ve experienced it that cold…wern’t you movin around though?
Jack: Yeah but it would get you on the ski lift
Spence: Oh yeah…didn’t think of that
Jack: By the time I got to the bottom I was still cold and I had to get back on the lift and re freeze myself
Spence: So you could get your moneysworth?
Jack: I was there 3 days before I got a call from my wife to tell me that the mother-in-law had died
Spence: Oh dear…did you have to come back?
Jack: Well I expected to…but then she just said during the phone call that I didn’t have to come back…there was nothing that I could do
Spence: That’s a bit of a result…you could stay and keep getting your moneysworth
Jack: Yeah

(Spencer looks over to the drunks in the rank shelter)

Spence: I wonder how cold it’s got to get before them lot fuck off?
Jack: I just don’t know how they can drink lager at this temperature…It would just be coming straight out of me knob
Spence: Ha ha…yeah…like a cartoon bullet hole
Jack: Ha ha…

Pause

Spence: It’s funny…whenever I’ve thought about a skiing holiday…I never really think about it being cold
Jack: Did you watch that programme on telly last night about Monaco?
Spence: No…I don’t really watch the telly
Jack: Christ the property there…I’d be lucky if I could swap my house for a parking space in Monaco
Spence: Have yer been there?
Jack: No
Spence: Pfff…it’s an astonishing place…it’s like driving through Trumpton…like a great big animated model…perfect pavements and tarmac roads…every blade of grass is the same length

Pause

Spence: I got thrown out of Monaco in 1990…in fact I was only in Monaco for about 20 minutes
Jack: Whatdya get thrown out for?
Spence: I was in a travellin busking band…we were really scruffy and in an even scruffier VW camper van…We stopped the van and I’d barely stretched my legs when a copper appeared and said we had to leave immediately
Jack: So you just left?
Spence: They escorted us to the border and told us not to come back
Jack: Ha ha ha

(Two fares walk up together and they both leave)

After dropping the fare not far from home
A tempting tingling fondness for an afternoon coffee sprouted
And I decided to nip home
I called to get the kettle on but there was no answer
Then the data unit sent me a job
It was for someone directly opposite my house
Result
However it was no good
They were standing outside waiting
Bugger
I couldn’t really drive past them
Go in my house for 5 minutes
And then wave them over
I had to shelve the coffee

The three men waiting were old Brighton Queens
Gay men who don’t sound gay
Just posh
Kim Philby styley
We tickled along a back route due to the traffic
Before coming to a sudden halt
The car in front had made a rash stop for an ambulance
In the back… two of them yelped halfway out of their seats
It was followed by a great deal of jockeying and laughing
I told them that many people had been on the floor of this cab
If your not paying attention
And not belted up
Your relaxed body will just launch out of the seat
“And end up in the front with you” Said the old queen sat behind me
“Ho ho…wouldn’t be such a bad thing” He continued
Oh wouldn’t it I thought
I could slam the brakes on again
And the old queen somehow flies through that seemingly impossible gap
Landing on the passenger seat to my left
He grabs for my cock
My eyes expand in shock
Before I know it’s out and he’s licking it
Oh my god
In the middle of town
Now he’s sucking away
Why can’t I stop him?
It’s fucking revolting
He seems to be thriving on my revulsion…sucking harder
Why can’t I stop him?
My boundaries are collapsing
I can see the other two greedily watching over the back of the seats
Get off me you dirty bastard
But my left arm is numb
Mam…Help…I want my boundaries back
No!.. fuck the boundaries
Lets all go to Black Rock
Yes yes yes
I could run around in the dirty dirty bushes
Wearing just a t-shirt
Like a little feral communard
I’m turning gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy……………..
I pull up at the rank
Sigh
I am getting pretty bored
A bored tired frustrated cocktail
Everything that I really want to do in life
Is carried out with twilight energy
I need a bankroll
Some breathing space
To indulge myself
Away from mainstream human beings
Away from mainstream human beings
Away from mainstream