I have just returned from my daily dog walk.  I can confirm that, currently, the fields of Hertfordshire are not too muddy and fairly pleasant for an hour or so strolling.

The last part of my daily “chore” is about a three quarter of a mile walk along a road back to chez Mavis.

There I was, dog lead in hand, swinging a bag of dog poo gently in the other, when a car pulled up next to me heading in the same direction.  I turned to look, expecting to see the usual parent-lost-on-way-to-childrens-sporting-endeavour four wheel drive that has stopped me countless times over the last five and a half years.

What I didn’t expect to see was a taxi.

“Hello mate, I’m trying to get to Dunstable”, said a bright, friendly, bearded face.

“Um. OK”. I said, shrugging.

“I need to get to Dunstable”. Less of a smile this time.

Me, smiling wonkily, “Right?”

“…Dunstable?” Hopeful.

At this point I’m thinking “but you’re a taxi driver”, or “where’s Jeremy Beadle?” (I know, I know).

“Well go on then”, I said.

“Is it close then?”

“No. It’s about ten or fifteen miles in that direction”, I said, gesturing roughly. “It’s miles away”, I confirmed helpfully, laughing a touch.

“So I just go down the road and go right, yeah?” More hope.

“Er, no.  You, it’s. No. You’re miles away”.

I wasn’t prepared to start going into ‘end of road, go left, bottom of hill go right…’ etc etc with him.  He was a fucking taxi driver.  A TAXI DRIVER. Surely he can find a town.  Struggling to find an out of the way country house, or a flat or abode in a daftly numbered estate or some such thing; fine. But a whole entire town? Really? Ludicrous.

“Just head towards Whipsnade Zoo”. I said, most helpfully.

“Okay!” He said.  He seemed happy again and drove off.

Am I being unreasonable? Is this idiotic? Why couldn’t he buy a map? Didn’t he have a satnav? Or a phone? What is going on?

This isn’t the most idiotic taxi-based story I know.  The other involves an Australian friend, a stag do in Scotland and a taxi home, but alas is not my story to tell.

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