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?
5 weeks ago