Thursday, November 17, 2005

Taking The Piss

I’m always up for a break from the mundane everyday what not, so when the opportunity arose to take a bag containing all the frozen urine and saliva samples from my mentalists across town to a lab tucked away in Docklands I was more than happy to take an hour off from the usual grind.

"What’s in the bag?" Mahmud asked suspiciously having clocked the name of our destination, and eyeing up my heat-sealed - but worryingly not moisture-sealed - frozen wee-wee carrying bag which sat on the rear leather upholstery seats of his cab.
"Samples," I told him.
"Samples?" he asked.
"Samples," I nodded.
Mahmud didn’t look to happy about this, and I felt I owed him a little more honesty. So I lied.
"Yeah, um, like er, skin and um… fingernail samples?" I offered, being uncomfortably aware just a little too late that this made me sound weirder than the truth probably would have.
"Fingernails?" he repeated, looking at the space-aged looking bag.
I pretended to be struggling with my seat belt.

I love being driven through London. I don’t mind doing the driving either, but then you have to spend most of the time keeping an eye on everybody else whilst trying to make sense of the appalling street signs or wondering which lane you should be in. So being a passenger is better. Of course on the bus, you’ve got a better vantage point, but you also have to put up with the starting and the stopping, and of course the general public. There’s also the fact buses stick to those prescribed same routes. Bus routes, I believe they are called. Being in a car allows you to escape this, and being driven by a cab driver means you get to see all the unknown rat runs that allow you to dive down countless unseen streets before suddenly emerging slap bang in the middle of somewhere you recognise and letting out a triumphant cry of "Aha! So that’s where this comes out!"

Unless, of course, Mahmud is driving you. After a rather diverting lap or so of Covent Garden (at first I thought it was a super super shortcut) we eventually found our way down to the river, and presently I was admiring the glamorous sights of Wapping and Shadwell. Then Mahmud, having seen a signpost, let out an indignant squawk.
"Limehouse Tunnel is closed!" he told me.
"Mmm Hmm," I said serenely.
"Limehouse Tunnel. It is closed," he said rather more urgently.
I began to realise he wasn’t so much mentioning this, but telling me so as to ask for advice.
"So, the tunnel. It is closed," he continued, looking at me for answers. I despaired.
"Look, I’m in charge of the piss delivering: you do the driving and the finding," I didn’t tell him. Instead, I shrugged and offered "Well, just try and keep heading for the skyscrapers I suppose. If they keep getting bigger we're doing okay."
This seemed to strike Mahmud as a most cunning ploy and, satisfied, we returned to our separate duties.

Soon afterwards, having got the hapless Mahmud to drop me off at a nearby business estate, I was padding through the windswept plazas of Canary Wharf, a bit conspicuous amongst all the suits with briefcases, some of who were clearly eyeing up my insulated silver sack, perhaps thinking it contained a lunchtime delivery of the latest trendy gourmet delights. It was at this moment I had one of those chance random encounter moments, bumping into an old University friend who was emerging from the door at the bottom of the Wanker Banker Tower. After clocking each other he marched over and gave me a we’re-bloody-blokes handshake of the sort he’d never used to have given me in his pre-suit and money bags days.
"So," he rah-rahed at me, "what the bloody hell are you doing here?"
"What do you mean what I am doing here?" I said a little too defensively. "I could be here if I wanted. We don’t all want to be suit nobbers you know,"
"Yes, some of us want to be piss and spit couriers," I stopped myself from adding.
He glanced down at my special bag.
"Ah, delivering are you?" he asked.
"Hmm. Yes, actually." I told him.
"Speaking of which, I need to get some lunch myself," he called, leaping into the back of a taxi.
"What? Hey! Wait a minute!" I called at the retreating back of the taxi. "I’m not a pizza delivery boy you know! Oi!"
I haarumphed to myself, and shouldered my bag of piss. What do these bloody hotshots know anyhow?


Ivy the Goober said...

Aw Huw, I think if I were carrying a bag of pee-pee I would tell everyone what was in it. And walk toward them and say "Wanna see" as I pretend to open the bag ;)
But, then - that's me !! ha ha

How's kitty Huw?

Curly said...

It's reassuring that all taxi drivers know the way to their destinations isn't it?

It never ceases to amaze me when a taxi drive askes "Which way to we go from here", and it's even entertaining when they don't speak English.

AnonymousCoworker said...

A biology teacher once told me a story of when he worked in a hospital.

He was transporting matter from breast reductions to be disposed of, and on the way he got in an elevator with the cola delivery man. The cola man said, "What's in the buckets?"

My teacher paused while trying to think of the least disgusting thing to say, and finally just opted for "Tits."

Dancinfairy said...

There is only one thing more irritating than bumping into a friend that is all rah rah money and that is bumping into an old friend that is rah rah money and thinks they are so bloody important that you possibly couldn't be as important as them.

Not that this has ever happened to me or that I am bitter about it!!!! Ha!

Rob West said...


Since you didn't ask, I was a pizza delivery boy for two years in college, in the humble villa of Cary, NC, right outside Raleigh (about 350 miles NE of Atlanta for you across-the-ponders) and founf it to be a highly underrated experience. You get to drive around listening to music, which is all I really do when I'm not working, only every few minutes you stop and hand someone a pizza and get paid for it.

Beats the hell out of what I'm doing now.

Tammy said...

Once when I first opened my business I had to take a second job at a deli department in one of those huge grocery stores to make ends meet. When I'd see people I knew I would hide in the back because I was embarrassed to be doing such medial work. Now, with the stresses of my work and dealing with people in my own business, I long for my highschool and university days when I worked meaningless jobs with absolutely no stress! (short-order cook, veterinary helper, grocery cashier, etc.)

Next time, Huw, just tell the arrogant bastard that you won the lotto, but got bored of only meeting rich, arrogant bastards with nothing better to do than brag about themselves, so you took a delivery job so you could socialize with "real" people.

Me Over Here said...

People like that make me glad I'm not rich, although I doubt I would act in such a condescending manner even if I were loaded.

I would have done something inappropriate to him with the samples. But that's how you and I are different. You're mature...I have yet to reach that exact point.

Ready for a really bad pun? I would have been pissed off. (yes, I know, that wasn't even remotely funny. It's late.)

I'd be proud of you even if you WERE a pizza delivery boy. Just so you know.

y-vonne said...

I think I might prefer pizza delivery to urine delivery. At least there would be tips.

deanne said...

I used to work in Canary Wharf - hated every moment of it! It's so plastic.