As we got into the taxi the driver was already speaking. "Phil and Babs were down this weekend for the BBQ, we had a lovely time", he said. He had a glint in his eye, as if expecting us to relish that juicy tit-bit of information. "Riiiight", I said in my favourite sarcastic tone, wearing my favourite "feigned interest" expression, and rolling my eyes in a way that would have made Jerry Seinfeld proud.
Phil and Babs, whoever they are, had been down for the BBQ. Apparently they brought their own crate of Carling, and Phil refused to take any money for it, which was remarkably nice and hospitable and much to the delight of our taxi driver.
"Most people just come and take take take", he said, "but Phil is a decent bloke". Without leaving us room to reply, or even to think, he continued with his irrelevant drivel for the entire journey. All we could do was grit our teeth and hope that we survived.
There is the other extreme, the type of silent, cold, emotionless taxi driver that scares the hell out of you. The type that makes you speculate that he is a serial killer in his day job. We got a taxi home from a wedding recently and the driver was one of these. The whole journey was an awkward silence. He was clearly not in the mood for talking, so we kept quiet. Every couple of minutes he would make a rhetorical comment, always in a cold emotionless voice. "Lovely day", he would say, before disappearing back into the void.
I experienced another taxi driver that was completely silent for the journey, with the exception of a few seconds during a song played on the radio. It was that terrible song Beautiful Girl by Sean Kingston with the refrain "suicidal, suicidal". This chap hadn't uttered a word, and then when the chorus played he sang along "suicidal, suicidal", before shutting up for the rest of the journey.
And then there was the door slamming incident. After getting into a taxi's passenger seat and shutting the door, the driver got out the car in a huff. He stormed round, opened my door and then slammed it shut. When I got out at my destination I made sure to slam the door shut. I certainly didn't want a repeat of the earlier incident.
"Oi!", he exclaimed, cursing violently, "Don't slam my door."
Crazy I tell you, they're all crazy.