I have to admit that I’ve got a thing about old ladies.
Not in the sexual way, I have to add, more in the mothering sense.
Just show me a snowy haired old lady, especially one with a walking stick, and the protective juices start running like the Murray River.
And what a sense of humour they all seem to have. Take one of my regulars for example, calls herself a ‘twearly’,.
Why a ‘twearly’?, I innocently asked once.
“Cos when us old age pensioners get on the bus before ten o’clock and show our passes the drivers always say ‘sorry, love, you’ll have to pay, you’re too early”, she told me.
Mind you, they’re not all sugar and spice, not all of them.
Take the one I picked up outside Miranda Fair recently.
There she was standing at the rank, snowy white hair walking stick et all, with two huge shopping bags by her side, you know the ones you see Philipino cleaners carrying all the time, and not a taxi in sight.
Well I was on my way home for a meal break and didn’t have my light on but what can you do?
“Which way you going, luv?”, I asked.
“Back home to Surrey Hills”, she replied, “just been shopping with my daughter, she took the last cab, had to get home to feed the baby.”
Well, there was no resisting that, was there. So out I jumped, picked up the two bags, and were they heavy, and put them in the boot.
Well, she wasn’t the most talkative of people, I suppose she had a lot on her mind what with a daughter and a grand kiddie, but she seemed nice enough.
“Driver, could you do me a big favour and go via the flats in Condamine St, I’ve got to pop some money into my sister; my daughter’s just paid me back the money she owes me and I owe my sister, you know what families are like.” “Sure”, I said, “no problem at all.”
Now I have to admit that usually when people get out of my cab without paying I make them leave something just in case they do a runner. Even snowy haired old ladies. But as I already had the old girl’s two bags of shopping in the boot I didn’t give it a second thought.
Well, as the saying should say, there’s no fool like a middle aged fool.
Having sat and gazed at my navel for about ten minutes, I began to think that something might be amiss.
But I wasn’t too worried. The bags were in the boot, the clock was on waiting time and you know what sisters are like in their seventies.
After fifteen minutes though I began to feel a bit silly. What if she had done a runner, or in her case a slow, hobbling walk? Naaa, the bags were in the boot, she wouldn’t leave her shopping.
After twenty minutes and a good few hoots of the horn, to the boot I went.
I’ve got to admire her. I’ve got admit she had had me right over. Two bags stuffed with newspapers, must have been heavy reading that’s all I can say.
Still, you have to put it down to experience, don’t you? She was a twearly, I was a fuckwit.