THE humble black taxi was at one stage, our only form of getting about.

Youngcarson has been getting in and out of them alone since she was knee high to a goat.

This one time when she was about 14, she was heading down the Falls Road towards the Royal Hospital to visit her granny. This is beginning to sound like a westie version of Little Red Riding Hood. It’s not.

T’was a lovely sunny day and all the windows were down. It was during the Novena and the road was busy. Passengers got in and some got out. The taxi had one free seat at the entrance door. A woman with a heavy carrier bag got in and sat down. She was one of the talking types. Youngcarson sitting facing her could sense it, so avoided eye contact.

Bag lady was wearing a pair of flouncy trousers – we called them parallels. Attached to her leg was a wasp.

The wasp took flight inside the black taxi and panic ensued.

Bag lady didn’t know she was the one that brought the wasp in and started screaming like a maniac at this stripy winged villain being inside the enclosed space. She accused her fellow passengers of knowing about the wasp and not telling her in advance.

Inside her bag was a very heavy book. It may have been a bible. Bag lady wound the excess of the carrier bag around her wrist until the bible became a weapon. 

Without even as much as an ‘excuse me’, she started swinging it at the wasp and cracked the middle passenger on the side of the head.

Youngcarson bit down on her knuckles and tried to laugh silently but it wasn’t happening. Everyone in the taxi, all strangers made eye contact with the concussed passenger and went into wrinkles.

The wasp evaded the first few swings and flew into the back window.

Bag lady leapt off her seat and into action. She cornered the wasp and started bashing the back window with her bible. The middle passenger this time went into the brace position burying his head in his knees. All the time, everyone was roaring and embarrassed at being caught up in this impromptu comedy show. Bag lady must have hit the back window about seven times with big hard whacks.

The taxi driver slammed the brakes on and shouted into the back ‘what the fucks going on in there?!’ Nobody could breathe for laughing.

Everytime Youngcarson gets into a black taxi, she remembers the occasion vividly. She needs to learn how to stop thinking about it because when she does, she starts laughing and strangers look at her like she’s a weirdo and avoid eye contact.

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