By Lauren Fetherston
Last time I told you about a driver that, while crazy, was over all a funny man that didn’t make me fear for my life. This time I am not so sure.
It was a couple of months ago and I was in town with a friend of mine. We had gone for drinks in Temple bar and were merry, to say the least, by the time we crawled into this car. We were chatting away about the events of the night when the driver turned around all of a sudden and said six words I have been warned about since I was a child. “Do you want a chocolate bar?”.
I am no longer a child and my parents no longer worry about strange men trying to lure me into their car with chocolate . But maybe they should?
We responded as anyone in our position would, with bewilderment and borderline fear. He noticed our reactions and began to laugh. “Maybe I shouldn’t be offering young ladies chocolate in this climate”, he said. “Yeah you’re better off not accepting them, they are laced with a lot of bad stuff” he continued.
Feeling uncomfortable about the situation, I made the decision to play along joking about how offering people sweets “may be picked up wrong”. He laughed and fell silent. That was that, I hoped. Nope!
After what felt like a lifetime, he turned around and said “well if you pick that up wrong I’d hate to see how you’d react to the shovel in my boot”.
Cue my nervous laughter.
Again witty Lauren comes out of the woodwork trying to make sense of the situation. “Ah sorry pal, but I don’t think we have time for any gardening”.
I was dropping my friend off first in Cabra and hanging on by myself til Finglas. At this point, we had almost reached her house but she was gripping my arm “Lauren I don’t want to leave you alone in this taxi” she whispered. Of course our taxi driver, with his super sonic hearing picked this up, “ah is your friend worried? Don’t tell me, she doesn’t want to leave you in the taxi alone? Don’t worry hun I’ll make sure she gets to the Wicklow mountains nice and safe. Once she’s there though? Well, I can’t guarantee her safety”.
Bit of an odd joke, right?
At this point I was debating whether or not to stay in the taxi myself. But I was only a bit away from my house and we had made it this far.
I mean, if he really wanted to bring me to the Wicklow mountains surely he wouldn’t say it out loud. Plus wouldn’t it be better to take the two of us?
I convinced myself that it was fine and just hung on. And actually, it was fine. This man turned out to be quite lovely.
He told me about his daughter that was in psych ward after multiple suicide attempts. He spoke of how she liked colouring books of angels and how he spends a lot of his free time up there colouring with her.
We chatted about this for a few minutes and it turned out the taxi driver was just your average caring father with a darker than usual sense of humour!
In a typical father fashion though, he wouldn’t drop me off without bestowing some of his weird and random facts on to me. He explained in vivid detail where the two finger “F**ck you” gesture originated from.
For anyone who’s curious it was back in the time of the English Longbowman who fought the French during the Hundred Years War (1337 – 1453). The French hated the English archers who were skilled in archery and as a mean of punishment when captured the French would cut of the English archers index finger and middle finger. These was so they could no longer use a bow and arrow. Because of this behaviour, it became common for English archers to point their index and middle finger in the direction of the French soldiers on the battlefield as to say “ha, you haven’t cut off my fingers”. This translates today to what’s more commonly known as “well f**ck you then”.
So I suppose it’s safe to say that what started out as a rather horrifying taxi journey turned into a friendly chat and a lesson from Horrible Histories! Plus I got to keep the Club Milk bar so all in all it wasn’t the worst taxi journey of my life!