I learnt a lot on a late-night taxi ride last week.
The UCG – United Cabbies Group – has a protected Twitter feed through which they share tips on hot-spots for good fares in London.
When a big venue turns out, the words goes out: ‘Albert Hall on the burst’ = lots of fares suddenly available.
There is also a taxi driver dialect derived from Cockney rhyming slang:
- Septics – Yanks – Americans (septic tanks)
- Sweaties – Jocks – Scots (jock straps)
- Leatherarses – cabbies who do a huge number of hours
- Butterboys – newbies who work all hours when they realise the more they work, the more they earn
Taxi drivers are not required by law to wear a seatbelt. They may urinate in the street if shielded by the cape of a member of the Metropolitan police force. And until 2005, there was a theoretical 6-mile limit on all journeys – the distance that could be expected of a horse after eating one bale of hay.
I read something by Caitlin Moran in which she wrote this to her daughter:
Even if you’re [sat] next to a man who collects pre-Seventies screws and bolts, you will probably never have another opportunity to find out so much about pre-Seventies screws and bolts.
Everyone is an expert in something.
Cheers ~ Todd