23
Aug
11

The Excite Taxi Driver Who Lost His Mind

Excite-taxiInitially I thought it would be best if I didn’t write this post because it’s a very sensitive issue and it could potentially get Excite Taxis into a lot of trouble, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to forget what happened to us on Friday night and I think my readers have a right to know that there’s an Excite Taxis driver out there who is a very sad and fucked up person.

Around 8.30pm on Friday night, J-Rab, Jennyjen and myself called Excite Taxis to be collected from our flat in Vredehoek and climbed into a taxi shortly thereafter with a guy who, right from the get go, I got a very weird feeling about.

We went through the usual routine of telling him where to take us after which Jennyjen asked the guy if we could put on the radio, to which he abruptly replied, “No.”

We’d had a few glasses of wine at the flat (hence the reason why we weren’t driving) and so, on hearing that there was no music we broke out in spontaneous song and belted out what I felt was a rousing version of “Karma Chameleon”.

 

 

The taxi driver didn’t seem to share this opinion however, and I watched out the corner of my eye as his knuckles slowly turned whiter and whiter while he gripped the steering wheel, his eyes trained like crosshairs on the street in front of him.

We were driving to Long Street, a trip that probably takes about 10 minutes with traffic so it’s hardly as if we were droning on in this poor guy’s ear for 30 minutes. In fact, all we managed were two songs really, before things turned nasty.

This guy had a pasta salad on his dashboard which started sliding all over the place as he drove faster and faster, eventually almost klapping 100km/h as he came around Buitensingel to the tuneful accompaniment of the Bowie classic “Ground Control To Major Tom”.

It was at this time that the pasta salad slid right off the dashboard and almost into the guy’s lap, but he managed to grab it at the last  minute and throw it with all the force he could muster out his driver’s side window where it hit the road in a shower of elbow macaroni and mayonnaise.

 

 

Our singing had provoked what can only be described as a murderous rage in our taxi driver and the whole scene very quickly turned nasty.

He ran straight through a red light at the Buitensingel / Long street intersection and then shortly after that, grabbed his two-way radio and shouted, “Control I can’t hear what you’re saying until these people get out the car!”

“Excuse me!” J-Rab replied, indignant, “but if you want us to stop singing you can just ask us instead of driving like a maniac!”

“You people are bloody inconsiderate!” he shouted back at us.

“We’re just enjoying ourselves, there’s no need to behave like that! You could just have asked us to please be quiet!” J-Rab said, starting to get angry.

“You are inconsiderate! You have no respect!” he repeated, before dropping the bomb that blew everything out of proportion, “We forgave you for what you did!”

“WHAT?!” Jennyjen replied, shocked, “DON’T YOU DARE BRING RACE INTO THIS! RACE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS!”

“YES IT DOES!” he shouted back at us, “WE FORGAVE YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID AND NOW YOU THINK YOU CAN CARRY ON LIKE THIS!”

“WE’RE IN OUR FUCKING 20s! WE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS COUNTRY, WE WERE CHILDREN WHEN THAT WAS ALL GOING ON!” J-Rab replied.

“YOU’RE STILL CHILDREN!” he shouted, “YOU THINK YOU CAN TREAT US HOWEVER YOU WANT!”

“Oh my God, stop this taxi, I want to get out,” J-Rab replied.

“No, this isn’t where we want to be. I’m not paying for him to just drop us anywhere,” Jennyjen said.

And so we turned back up onto Loop street so we could go another lap, much to my delight.

 

 

“If we were upsetting you, you should have just asked us to please be quiet and we would have,” Jennyjen said.

“No you wouldn’t!” he replied, still fuming.

“Yes, we would have,” I said, trying to placate the situation, “and you also just threw a perfectly good pasta salad out the window man, what the hell was that all about?!”

“You all think you can just behave any way you want, but you’ll see, you’ll see,” he said, darkly.

“Why? Are you planning some kind of rebellion or riot or something?” Jennyjen asked pragmatically.

“You’ll see,” he repeated mysteriously.

A few seconds later we all piled out, the girls adamant that they weren’t going to pay him a cent. Of course I paid the man his money in full.

I felt sorry for him. I just got the idea that he’s been through and seen some horrible, horrible things in his life that have left him extremely bitter and furious at the world and from what I could gather, white South Africans in particular.

Which begs the question, why be a taxi driver in the first place? He must have picked up another 10 car loads of young white people that night 50 times more inebriated than we were, how did he handle them? By speeding around the streets maniacally, hurling pasta salad bombs out his window like Molotov Cocktails whilst making vague threats alluding to some form of catastrophic retribution he wants to inflict on taxi-singers throughout the country?

 

 

I’m not saying we weren’t to blame for what went down. We were behaving like idiots because we were happy, not because we were deliberately trying to piss the guy off, but his reaction was just so ugly and nasty and uncalled for.

Sure, tell us to shut the fuck up, not everyone’s a Bowie fan, I’m fine with that, but don’t turn the whole thing into a race issue, that’s not what it was at all.

I guess what shocked me the most is the fact that my generation (mostly) is so sheltered from racism like that, it’s actually really shocking watching it rear it’s ugly head like some fucking creature from the bottom of the black lagoon.

Despite all the awesome taxi rides I’ve taken with drivers of all races in this city who I’ve chatted to, laughed with and swapped stories with, from now on I’m riding in silence.

It’s just not worth the risk of ending up with one that jumps red lights instead of simply asking you to pipe down and treats a perfectly good pasta salad with such irrational contempt.

That just ain’t right man.

It just ain’t right.

-ST


12 Responses to “The Excite Taxi Driver Who Lost His Mind”


  1. 1 Guitar Jon
    August 23, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Anyone who takes my own life into their hands is not going to be happy with the results.

    I’ve seen people trash entire restaurants in a fit of ‘race rage’ because they had become overly loud and obnoxious, and the manager asked them politely to lower their voices.
    “Who the Fuck do you think you are!!!!” Smash goes another wine glass whilst patrons look on in disbelief. It was funny, but not that funny. It was sad that people harbour that resentment, and it all comes apart when they get shitfaced. The world must owe them something. You must owe them something. Then they make a scene and discredit themselves, and wake up the next morning with anger and more resentment.

    But you drive me through a red light and i will loose it completely.
    I don’t give a fuck what your reason is.
    Don’t try and take my life away from me.

    Thats my little bombshell, building up inside of me.
    Every day i look around me to see if anyone is going to kill me.
    Maybe not intentionally, maybe by mistake, maybe cause they weren’t concentrating.
    But i get more and more fearful every day.
    I get angry that i get scared. And that anger builds up every day.

    Plus, i gave up smoking the other day, and i’m on an even shorter fuse…

    Woossaaa.

    • August 23, 2011 at 4:58 pm

      You gave up smoking?!? Dude, congrats! It’s a fucking difficult monkey to get off your back, but once you do, for God’s sake don’t let it climb on again. You’re too pretty to smoke. I always said that.
      Thanks for the comment though homes, I feel your frustration, it’s a symptom of living in a country where the most amazing thing about our history (and it is pretty amazing when you think about it) is that we didn’t all annihilate one another 20 years ago.
      -ST

  2. 3 Megs
    August 23, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Slick,

    Im so sorry to hear of your fucking awful experience, but my god you made me laugh. Pasta bombs , ‘you’ll see , you’ll see” . too funny!!

    Keep it up buddy and maybe next time try a different taxi co. Maybe Good Fellas but come to think of it they have some seriously dodge drivers too.

    Peace and love from the Italian Coast

    • August 23, 2011 at 4:45 pm

      Megs! The original SlickTiger groupie, good to hear from ya!
      Yep, a different taxi co. is definitely the way forward. If we get that same guy I think his head will instantly explode the second he sees us.
      Italian coast eh? VERY fucking cool, I’m jealous as hell!
      Keep on truckin’ and look after your bad self 😉
      -ST

  3. 5 Frank
    August 23, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    I too found myself in an Excite Taxi from Vredehoek to Town on Friday night. I’m a bit humiliated to say that time and time again drives have had to put up with my shit after a few beers. They just have never turn hostile on me. That might be because I’m 6’6, 125kgs and usually accompanied by a pack of drunk jocks.

    One of my mates favorite taxi activity is to get his hands on the walkie-talkie. Hearing “Bravo Bravo, Foxtrot…..” and waiting for a response is always a good laugh, until you wake up in a pool of shame the following morning. Ahhh, “shame” a binge drinkers best friend.

    Our stubborn, drunk, lets have fun attitude on Friday may have pushed a Taxi Driver over the edge and made him hostile towards you guys. I’m sorry if that’s the case.

    Racist? No! Disrespectful? Yes – I guess. But then again, if a paying client came into my office and started doing some stupid shit. I would smile, entertain them entertaining me. Get paid! and then no doubt get paid again in the future.

    Will I change? No-ways, a fun taxi trip is a prerequisite to a good night out.

    • August 23, 2011 at 4:42 pm

      Truth be told, in my line of work (whisky) I’ve had to deal with more than one drunken tit at events, etc. but I’ve always handled the situation calmly and had a good chuckle at the person’s expense where I could have taken a totally different route like the douche whose sense of humour failure could have got us wrapped around a lamp post.

      Thanks for the comment, really puts things into perspective and yeah, a fun taxi trip is a prerequisite to a good night out, damn straight dude! Forget the silence, ground control will be hearing from Major Tom just as soon as he’s done popping his protein pills 😉

      -ST

  4. 7 Sam
    August 24, 2011 at 11:31 am

    I love the fact that if you want a really concise overview of what happened here, you just have to look at the tags. Almost as funny as the story itself!

    Great bumping into you on Saturday. Anon!

    • September 1, 2011 at 12:45 pm

      Hahahaha! Yeah, the tags on this site are actually my secret weapon. I pack my posts full of em and Google LOVES it 😉
      Great to see you too homes, must do it again some time, rope in ol’ JaxyMon…
      -ST

  5. 9 Taxi fan
    September 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Murderous? Really?

    Get a grip.

  6. September 2, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    On behalf of Excite Taxis a HUGE apology. Our clients are allowed to be happy in our taxis and express themselves accordingly. Singing is allowed in our cabs and next times bring a loud instrument along? If the driver makes any negative comment about your singing or noise you do not have to pay for the taxi. Please call me on 021 4470755 or my cell number that is at the back of every Excite Taxi business card if you have any problem with an Excite driver.

    Will you please be so kind to assist me with a description or taxi number of the “Pasta Driver”?

    Many Thanks
    Himmy (Owner)
    excitetaxis@absamail.co.za

    • September 5, 2011 at 8:54 am

      Thanks so much for the comment Himmy, I really appreciate you addressing this issue and your suggestion about the loud instrument is brilliant! Next time it’s harmonica jams all the way 😉

      I’ll chat with the girls, I think Jennyjen might have taken his license plate no. down. If I manage to find it I’ll send a mail your way.

      But thanks again for being a stand-up guy. My faith in Excite Taxis is restored!

      -ST

  7. September 20, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Free taxi ride for the first twenty images loaded of an Excite Taxi taken by you and posted on Facebook.


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