Ain’t nobody round these parts…

Hello there, I’ve moved house years ago and I forgot all about this lovely and lonely wordpress blog stuck in the cupboard. If you want me I’ll be either at:

http://www.tonyshoey.com/

or

http://anthonyschumacher.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Assuming of course…. anybody actually cares!

Much love

Tony

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Downhill Fast

I would have thought, what with the amount of snow we have had this year, that there may have been a bit more interest in the Winter Olympics displayed in the car. Normally any major sporting event is seized upon as a temporary topic of conversation to while away our moments together.

For instance, I’ll never forget the irony of discussing Jenson Button with an old lady who was clutching an old Lidl bag full of cat food as we sat in a traffic jam on West Derby Rd,

“I’m made up for the lad, he deserves it after what he has been through”

She sad this as she counted out, in five pence pieces, the fare. A sudden image of Jenson Button, toiling against the odds, spiralling fuel prices, a traffic planning department organised by a council that digs more holes than a mole that has lost his keys sprung into my mind… “poor old Jenson” I thought ” it must be murder when someone throws up in the back of your Ferrari on a Saturday night.”

But, as a night worker with easy access to a radio I am normally excited by the prospect of any event that will fill the small hours and drag me away from local radio . Even if it features sports that quite frankly, verge on the insane.

So I tuned in the first night of Radio Five Lives coverage, the normally excellent Monday to Thursdays “Up All Night” programme promised to flit back and forth to Vancouver with coverage of all the key moments… what could go wrong?

Initially I was a little confused, as all the commentators seemed to talk about was that there was a lack of snow,

“They should have held it in Bootle last week” one passenger muttered

And then, I wondered, who was this mysterious “Team GB” they spoke of? Over and over I heard “Team GB are really looking forward to this event” or “Hopes are high for Team GB”

When did we start putting words in the wrong order? I don’t order a “Pizza to Out Take”, or a “Curry Indian”. Woe betide the first person who declares that they support “Team Everton” in my cab… they are out, and I’m not stopping whilst they go!

But leaving that aside, I was impressed as the BBC told me they had sent a team (Team BBC?) of over seventy to cover the event… I was impressed until I had a look at the Team GB (its catching) Winter Olympics website where it told me, and I quote

” approximately 50 athletes across six sports” would be attending… erm, “approximately”? Shouldn’t someone check exactly how many are going? I mean any loser could bunk in. All you need to do is get an old shell suit, a posh name and jump on the plane… although judging by the medal table that appears to be what has happened!

We are standing (or maybe that should be lolling), as I type, in joint twenty fourth! (makes you proud doesn’t it!) only seven places behind Australia! Now leaving aside the facts that the table only goes up to twenty four and Australia doesn’t have any snow it makes me proud to be from Country GB! Sorry I mean Great Britain. Although, thinking about it, maybe we should have asked the BBC to represent us, seeing as there were more of them than there was athletes. Good to know my licence fee is being well spent.

Our sole medal winner is Amy Williams, she won Gold in something called the skeleton… which, and I am only guessing, involves sliding down a hill on something. Apparently, according to the Olympics website, Amy’s friends call her Curly Wurly, her father is a Dr of Chemistry and she attends Bath University studying Sports Science (although in view of her event I would have thought Medicine or Archaeology might be more apt).

I’m pleased for Amy, it must be great to work towards something for years and then to be told you are the best in the world for it, I’m really pleased for her. Although… and I don’t want to sound a bit churlish, it made me wonder exactly how many people do the “Skeleton”? I’ll wager there are thousands around the country who would love to have a go of it (whatever it is, I could look on Google but I’m not sure I want to, for all I know it involves a spade and a grave yard or even worse… Tony Robinson).

You see maybe that’s what is wrong with the Winter Olympics, if you aren’t middle class or above, you’ve no chance of ever taking part. A quick audit of Team GB’s (aaaaarrrggghhh) website reveals host of names that wouldn’t sound out of place in a St Trinians film, Chemmy, Lorna, Eleanor and Elise aren’t likely to  be seen dead buying a pasty from Sayers, and the blokes? Well Kristan, Benjamin and Edward wouldn’t be caught dead climbing over the gates at Creamfields either.

So maybe that’s why nobody in the cab has cared about the Winter Olympics, its not that Vancouver is too far away, its maybe the chances of  competing in them is a world away.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hello world!

Finally… I get a blog just as everyone else buggers off to twitter (I’ve got twitter as well, not that anyone is bothered!)

I should maybe explain what this is all about and who I am, so I’ll start at the beginning… I’m a forty two year old single bloke, who lives with his dog. All the neighbours think I am weird (which I may well be, I’m not sure you know if you are weird when its you who is weird!) I live with my dog Boo and I often find myself wandering country lanes with him wondering why my life is less than productive (it might be something to do with the fact that I am always walking the dog when I should be working).

So… on the advice of a friend, I’ve started a blog. its not going to be about my infrequent ventures in stand up, writing or acting, although hopefully they will pop up occasionally.

This is going to be about what happens in my cab when I am working of a night, which tends to be a lot more interesting than the rest of my life… hopefully!

For instance, take Friday night, a ten minute soap opera played out en route to Aintree (you can keep your live editions of eastenders… this blew that out of the water!)

I picked up at a social club in Childwall. An attractive forty something lady came to the car, well spoken, slightly drunk and apologising in advance for her husband who was, as she so delicately put it, “pissed”.

Husband showed up and to be honest, he was drunk, but not too bad. A bit loud but he seemed in good spirits and also apologised for being a bit tipsy (I’m guessing drunk people will feature frequently in these stories!)

Off we set, initially they seemed happy, wife up front with me and him sprawled on the back seat. They did the usual, which is slag off the other people who had been at the party (apparently it was a wedding and Aunty Marie had made a “show of herself”) but very quickly, and I don’t know why, the mood became very dark between them.

Husband asked why wife had sat up front with me. Now this is always a worry as a cabby, some women like to have a flirt, and this can be awkward when a drunken husband is sitting less than three feet away! But I honestly didn’t feel that this lady was flirting with me, I just think she didn’t want to sit next to her drunken husband! I often am quite chatty with passengers, but I’d made a decision to let these two keep the conversation to themselves and I was sitting firmly on the sidelines as the storm clouds grew. I’d noticed that wife was scrolling through messages on a mobile phone she was holding. I’d assumed it was hers and she’d called the cab on it. Hubby suddenly asked “where’s me phone?” wife replied “here”

At this husband suddenly burst into life, he jumped forward and frantically started to grab the phone off his wife, who wasn’t going to hand it over, no matter what he tried!

“Give it here! Give it here! I only gave it to you to ring the cab!”

“No! I’m looking at it, whats your problem? Why don’t you want me to look at it?”

This went on for a moment with husband reaching across, in the end I had to tell him to “sit the f**k down or I’ll have to stop and you’ll get out”

He apologised and they sat in silence, wife put the phone back into her handbag and an awkward truce developed, or that’s what I thought,

“why are you pushing the back of my seat?” said wife

“I’m not” said husband

I glanced at husband who nodded to me in a “its okay mate I’ll not cause any problems” kind of way.

By now I was thinking “I’m going to end up fighting here” and getting that flight or fight feeling but the moment seemed to pass and the car quietened down.  We arrived at their home address and the lady reached across and squeezed my knee before getting out ( doesn’t happen often and gave me a bit of a start!). Husband got out and quickly caught up to her and whispered in her ear, she ignored him and went into the house as he returned to the car to pay me.

“Sorry mate” he said “she was taking the piss”

“I’m not sure mate, its fourteen quid”

“there is nothing on my phone” (a little to forcibly)

“whatever mate, nothing to do with me, fourteen quid please”

“she just wanted to wind me up”

“fourteen please”

“thinks i’m having an affair”

silence

“How much was that?”

And he paid me and I watched him walk back into the house. I’m guessing they had a real ding dong domestic that night, about the phone, the journey, the “affair” and possibly even the cab driver, maybe even Aunty Marie.

As I drove away, I couldn’t help wondering, how a nice night out had turned so quickly into a full blown fight, how a couple who are probably quite nice people would wash their dirty laundry in front of a total stranger and, more importantly, how thick the walls where in their house… because I’m guessing the neighbours had to listen to an awful lot of shouting before dawn!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment