Sunday, May 03, 2009

To serve and protect

I flagged him down on Suffolk Street. "Take me home," I said. "To Cabra."

I got an unfair whack of booze as soon as I sat in. He barely spoke but anything he said came with a slur. No identification on the dashboard, a drunken chancer.

I'd been here before, only weeks earlier when I accused another of driving while drunk. Ugly scenes, he said he'd call the guards and perform a breathalyser, so this time around I figured I'd keep my counsel.

He veered awkwardly towards Blessington Street, the Mater, up the North Circular and on to my road.

I paid him a tenner and got out of the car. He was belching and glassy.

I took note of his licence number.

When I got inside I looked up the number of the taxi regulator.

"If you want to make an official complaint, print out the form from the website and we'll look into it upon receipt of..."

"But that'll take days. He's clearly been drinking. He's out there now."

Their hands were tied.

So I rang the guards.

"What is your complaint?" he asked in his finest Templemore.

"Well, I've just been dropped off by a taxi driver who's clearly drunk. I'm worried that he'll crash and kill himself, or others, or himself and others."

"Have you had a few yourself?"

"I'm sorry?"

"Have you been drinking yourself?"

"Well, I don't see how that's relevant but no. I haven't. I've just come from work. I have his plate number. Do you have a pen to hand."

"No."

"Would you like me to hold while you get one?"

"I suppose so, for all the good it'll do."

Jesus.

I quoted the number to him and waited for him to tell me he'd alert, well, whoever he might alert in this case. Instead...

"And where was he going once he dropped you off?"

I put down the phone and poured myself a whiskey.

17 comments:

Meadow said...

Ah, here. I need a whiskey just after reading that.

But I did have to laugh.

Susan said...

It's soooo true. Very sad, and so true. Nobody wants to get involved over anything, even the people who should be getting involved.

The "taxi" driver maybe woke up in the morning with pockets full of cash and thought WTF? ...hoping it didn't earn it the hard way this time.

Radge said...

Meadow - Clink.

Susan - I couldn't believe the lacksadaisical response

laughykate said...

Scary. Last week I got picked up by a cab to go to the airport, he was late as had gone to wrong address. He got out, and looked eighty in the shade. I thought, 'He looks eighty in the shade.' I got in the cab, he pulled out....straight into a truck travelling at 50 kilometres an hour.

First thing I thought was, 'I thoughts cabs aren't supposed to crash!' Which was swiftly followed up with, 'Feck my head hurts.'

Radge said...

AchyKate - Could you see his ID through the sheet of red? Before the passing out and the nee-naws? Before the drips and the stitches and the restorative facial surgeries and the morphine?

Because I'd complain.

NaRocRoc said...

You should've asked Bogger Boy for his Garda badge number, that gets them going. They start to take you seriously fairly sharpish. Plus as far as I know he's obliged to tell you.

adogwoof said...

Jim McDaid TD (TD in this case = terrible drunk driver?): he got elected again by the Donegal people after driving down a motorway in the wrong lane pissed out of his brains. No wonder the Garda wasn't motivated. No further comment.

Maxi Cane said...

I've honestly wondered how much money I could make between 1 and 4 am on the streets of Dublin form people who just want to get home.

Annie said...

jesus

that is all I can say

whilst shaking my head in disbelief

hope said...

Amazing in a bad way.

As a former state police radio dispatcher, I can assure you we took every call like that seriously. So seriously in fact I use to wonder if my troopers were in a contest on Saturday nights to see who could lock up the most intoxicated.

Only one "alcohol incident" stands out: one of my most "macho" officers caught a very intoxicated Chippendale's dancer. {If you're not sure, that's a male stripper}. Mr. Rippling Muscles Officer was most aghast when Stripper Boy made a pass at him. :)

Terence McDanger said...

My neighbour saw some junkie dipping in someone's handbag in Stephens Green (apostrophe? meh) a few months ago, told a nearby Guard he'd seen it and offered to testify etc. and was told to go on his way, "there was nothing could be done."

It's a fucking grand little country this.

Radge said...

Ugh...

That's even more depressing than my story.

Red Leeroy said...

that is insane, hell in a handbasket comes to mind. Radge, I think it is time you got yourself some motorised transpora, all these cab rides are slowly killing you.

Red Leeroy said...

'transpora' was an accident, but for some reason I kind of like it.

Radge said...

Red - I like it too. I didn't even read it as a typo. Happily, the incident described took place about two years ago. Not recent.

Coco said...

I was working on in spa and a lady rang up to say that her bag had been stolen along with her €100 voucher. I took the voucher number and stuck it on the till. No less than five minutes later, a young wan rang asking if she could make an appointment with a voucher. I took her name, telephone number, asked to confirm the voucher number and then calmly told her that I would be passing her details onto the gardai. Then, feeling incredibly pleased with my sleuthiness, I rang the good auld boys down in Pearse St. "Mneh" was all I got.

Radge said...

Coco - Another groan for good measure.