Celebrity cabs

Half of them don’t believe you, of course.  Just think you’re mad so they smile politely, younger girls in groups on buses might titter, giggle like. Bored blokes in pubs raise their eyebrows like they couldn’t care less. 

Thing is, I think it’s interesting.  Didn’t much at the time, but now, looking back, it’s one of the things which stands out in my life, my time spent doing that.  It’s the kind of thing I reckon people are likely to have their attention caught by, turn to me, give me a second chance, reassess their judgement about my appearance or whatever.  When I tell them that, then they’ll change. 

Course it don’t happen like that.  Hardly ever, in fact.  They giggle or turn away, or are offended by the fact I’ve tried chatting to them.  Or they just look bored  Whatever.  Jog on, grandad.  Maybe I don’t sell it in a convincing enough way, or it just doesn’t sound believable.  Not when I slur it or mumble, or don’t speak it clearly enough.

What?  Well, loads of stuff, since you ask.  Drove the taxi away in The Apprentice, didn’t I?  Every booted out candidate for three series, right from the start.  You never saw me, but I was always there in that cab.  With the crew and whatever sorry git had been fired by Sir Alan that week.  Sometimes they’d be crying, couldn’t quite believe it, or like they suddenly recognised their own weaknesses like.  Others would be angry – they were the funnier ones: convinced Sugar had made a mistake which he’d pay for. Like he gives a stuff. 

Never actually watched it.  Can’t have realised how popular it was at the time or I’d have blown my trumpet about it more then.  The cameras and what-not ‘d pile in first, facing the opposite direction.  Then whoever it was would follow, looking a bit shellshocked by it all, trying to look proud and together, like they didn’t really mind all that much.  Just a game.  I knew them for what they were though. 

When the cameras piled out and it was just me and them.  I could look in my rear view mirror, see into their eyes – which avoided mine; the hurt.  Before I dropped them off somewhere central, one of the big stations, then watched for a moment as they pulled their suitcases off, alone. 

Like I tell them, if they’ll listen, it wasn’t the best one anyway.  Not much compared to those speedboats, hoiking the losers off them tropical islands.  There were several different series for that, never kept track.  One was Love something; gobby tossers.  Others were for kids, much younger, but still like, “young adults” or whatever they call em.  Hardly like they looked innocent, most of em.  Time in the sun, driving speedboats between tropical islands a few weeks of the year.  Yeah, that was the life.

Always think perhaps somebody might recognise me from those few summers spending Friday nights standing outside the front door where we’re going.  Of course, most attention’s on the baboon who’s being evicted – no offence like – when they launch themselves swaggering and slobbering into the press and fans, and Davina.  She’s lovely.  Just down to earth, like, y’ know?  I just stood there, made sure the doors opened and whoever it was had enough brain-cells to walk through the door and down the steps.  Some of them even said hello, good bye or whatever: the few with self awareness that they were still a person who could relate to the likes of me.  Still, I was on the telly a bit in that one.  Nobody recognises me now, from this seat.  They’re all looking at you.  I prefer it that way.

Cowell’s minder on the X-Factor Pop thingy for a few series too.  Yeah, that was fun: always guaranteed a handul of total headcases there.  And I played a bit in the Strictly Come Dancing band.  The odd bit of percussion when they had a drop-out.  Didn’t matter that we rarely got the recognition.  The dancing was the point of it, wasn’t it?  The whole spectacle.  Lovely.

So yeah, you might say I’ve been exposed a few times to the limelight.  Just in the background, but there or thereabouts.  Enough to get a sense of it.  I’ll tell you what, I think you’re best off out of it altogether, to be fair. 

But you know, good luck anyway.  -Oh, there you go.  Sorry love, it’s open now.  Knock em dead.


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