A fare by fare break down of last night's shift in the taxi. I was driving 1016, the new station wagon.
1. To Monaghan's corner, an Eagles fan, the less said the better. $20
2. From Boyle to the Ship Hotel, young guy. Saw a car crash enroute, a little old lady pulled out onto the highway, straight into the side of a newish purple ute. The young guy driving did NOT look happy. $15.70
3. Dotterill to Bussell Hwy, two young girls, very quiet. During this trip the odometer clocked 155555 kms. $15.80
4. Albie's to the Esplanade (the Nade), hardly worth the effort it's such a short ride. "I could have walked" said the customer. I agree. $5.90 (Flagfall is $4.60)
5. Albie's to Carter St. Bloke. $9.30
6. Wattlebird to the Jetty, young couple, going fishing, rods and gear in the back. $13.70
7. Lindsay to the Vasse Cafe. Couple going out for dinner, very long driveway. Good tip. $11.30
8. Carey to Bayside. Grandmother and Grandson, regulars, very good tip. $10.70
9. Harris to the Nade, short trip, couple, "She didn't want to walk". A tip was vaguely hinted at by the woman but I didn't push it, just gave back the change. As they left the cab he said, "He didn't want to take it, he's a Christian." Curious comment as nothing on this subject had come up in conversation. $7.80
10. Clover to the rank in Queen St. Young woman. Geoff (the controller) was looking for one of the drivers with increasing fervour, "John, got a copy?" "John, do you copy?" "Johnny, are you there? Johnny G____? Johnny G_____?" all met with stoney silence except for the customer and I who both laughed. $9.70
11.Bus terminus to Hester, old lady off bus from Perth. "Locky booked the taxi for me" $9.40
12. Carey St to Bayside, the rest of the family, complete with wine cask. Very big customer, had trouble getting seat belt done up. Upon arrival two police cars parked in street, girl being taken away, no relation. Tip. $10.70
Grabbed some food in between fares from my favourite eatery, the Noodle Bar. Couldn't het out of the cab so beckoned one of the staff to come out and take my order, Seafood Mee Goreng, Mmmmm! Food was delivered with chopsticks, not suitable for in-taxi dining. Asked kid walking past to get me a fork. He said yeah then disappeared. Did a U-Turn and asked couple with teenage daughter crossing the street if they'd mind getting me a fork. No problem, brought a serviette too, very thoughtful.
The gentleman then asked me if I knew of any where to stay, their motel booking had been cancelled on them and they had been unable to find a place to stay. I offered to have them stay at our place. He was surprised but grateful and said he'd ask his family and call me. (I gave him my card and number). He, Phil, rang back to thank me for my offer but said they had decided to drive home to Perth. I commented that in light of the season it was very disappointing there was no room at the inn, he laughed.
13. Town to Gleneagles, Irish couple, lived here 34 years, "Best town in the world in the best country in the world". Good PR person! $11.60
14. Geo Bay Rd to The Ship. Aunt and nephew. Going partying. $10.60
15. Albies Bar to Ringtail. Bloke, first innebriated customer of the night. "How ya going Cobber?" Similar stories re our Christmas Day's, ie. BBQ Brunch, one person had to work(his wife as a nurse, me as a cabbie) finished at friend's places. $11.20
16. Clydebank to Busselton Villas. Older couple and adult daughter, English, flying home to England tomorrow after three weeks in WA, family in Busselton. Used to live in Victoria. With permission stopped enroute to get a Vanilla Diet Coke. Got confused and took them to wrong address, Busselton Holiday Village (an easy mistake to make!) Felt bad and embarrassed. Restarted the meter. Got them to the right destination without further incident. $10.60
17. Derek to Ford. Very quiet girl. $13.80
18. The Nade to Comfort Glen via Cloisters. 3 women, merry, one in particular talking about her "prospects" at the pub, the others adamant they'd rescued her just in time. Upon arrival at first drop-off, customer offered to do her magpie call for me!! Much laughter, even more when she actually did it, very entertaining. Remaining two customers social work students, discussed our day jobs. Told them about the blog, gave them card. (If you're reading this ladies leave me a comment!) $20.90
19. Pub to Captain Gilbraith. Two young guys. Crude conversation. Good tip! (Felt guilty accepting it!) $16.10
20. To Dunsborough for pick-up. (Yeah!) (20km-$30+ fare) Young bloke down staying with family. 3 other blokes asked to share cab for short trip to Commanage, "We'll throw in $20" ok. Dropped them off then continued on to Busseltonl. $32.20 confusion over payment, may have given me $20 too much but I couldn't work it out for sure!
21. Kalgan to Clover. Brother and sister, Cade and Jessica, he recognised me first as former chaplain at Carine, she freaked out! "I used to baby-sit your kids!!" True, she did, when we lived at Hamersley. She used to live in Busso but has moved back to Perth, has a 3 1/2 year old daughter and has studied youthwork "because you inspired me!" Wow! "You were a real influence on me at school"! Wow! Great to see them and exchange stories. She in particular was really spun out seeing me. $10.40
22. Rank to Coates. 3 drunks, talking rubbish, massive overkill of the word "like" as is the modern way! $11.80
About 1.00am, the pubs were closing, start of rush hour.
23. The Nade to Quail. 2 guys 2 girls, whispers in the back "it's the chaplain" followed by query, "Were you the chaplain at Carine?" Twice in one night!!! Another ex-Carine kid, though I didn't know her so well. Blokes were from Melbourne, funny, stirring me about the "reunion". $12.00
24. The Nade to Kookaburra via Broadwater, ex Busso kid , with his brother and brother's girlfriend who tried very hard to convince him to stay the night at their place. He declined. Talked about volleyball on way to his place. $26.10
25. Hail from Bussell Hwy to the 24Hour Caltex garage, the only place to get "food" in Busselton after midnight. Two young guys. $8.80
26. The Nade to Cookworthy, two fares, very drunk. $19.20
27. The Nade to Belltonia, guy and girl. $16.30
28. 24 Hour to Alpha, 5 guys, with food. $ 10.90
Roundabout now Geoff signed off for the night leaving me, as the last to finish, to man the phone and manage the calls and 4 remaining drivers, Andy, Steve, Rob and I. My notes became even scarcer at this point.
29. Breeden to Alpha, can't remember who. $10.90
30. Town to Geo Bay Rd, bloke. $8.10
31. Somewhere to Knapton. $9.70
At this time, around 2.00am I got a lovely text from Phil to say that he and his family had arrived home safely back in Perth and thanking me again. Really wish they'd have stayed but I understand their decision. (Carolyn agreed when I told her about it this afternoon.)
32. Post Office to Adelaide (St), in the confusion of managing the calls I'd forgotten about this one but he called back and I was able to get hime home. $12.70
Andy knocked off around now, "Park it up thanks Andy".
33. William Carey to Dunsborough, two young blokes who watched the meter nervously then confessed they only had $20 between them. Dropped them at the first roundabout in Dunsborough, owing me about $7. They still had a bit of a walk but not as bad as if I'd dropped them off at the Broadwater when their 20 bucks ran out.
34. Alpha to Armstrong via Chapman Hill Rd to drop the girlfriend off. Long and expensive way to do it, ain't young love sweet? $29.90
Steve parked it up.
35. Yacht club to Fairbairn, 3 women who'd been at a school reunion for the class of 1975 at Busso High. $8.70
Rob parked it up at about 4.30am
36. Back to the yacht club to pick up 3 blokes, drunker and ruder than the ladies, to Duke via Dumbarton. $24.60
37. Huntress to Taylor, young bloke, going to visit a girl (!) $ 10.20
38. My final fare of the night, at about 5.10am, to Wattlebird, 3 young blokes, going home. $12.40
The last hour was spent sitting in the carpark at McDonalds reading tomorrow's paper, the headline being the imminent execution of Saddam Hussein.
5.55am Sean signed on for the morning shift and I called it a night.
I did 404 km in a 12 hour shift, grossed $493.80 and by the time I added the $1 call-out surcharges and tips, earned about $270 for the night, before tax, my best ever return, with the company's share being $271.60 for my night's work.
Parked it up at 6.00am, came home with the sun well and truly up, did my figures, wrote a note on the blog, checked a couple of blogs, Dad's and The Heir's, brushed my teeth, startled Jordan coming out of his room to go to the toilet, put my blindfold on and went to bed about 7.00am.