Bunter Macintosh explores a new career Aided by Sylvia Satnav


“Bunter gets the job done” I’ve always said that to myself so, apart from being very pleased to acquire a position as relief taxi driver with the Matterly Taxi services, I thought of it as a good chance to see a bit of London. My sense of direction is not among my noted abilities, but who cares about that when Sylvia Satnav is there to guide you.

The motor, a Vauxhall Expresso two litre with overhead cams and enough room in the boot to accommodate an elephant and was more than up to the job. By good fortune, through pressure of work or whatever, they didn’t ask to see the actual motor but just the name, model and age, which suited me because, honesty begs me tell you, the old girl does not look her best in daylight, and Victoria, my other half, normally sits in the front passenger seat and may have imparted a certain “ parfum de chien” to the car’s interior, but then a wise man never comments on a ladies perfume other than to praise it.

All thoughts and anxieties were laid to rest, and with Victoria safely at home watching Wimbledon, I drove towards the airport to collect my first fare. They were a Mr and Mrs Crouch, and I had a small board with their names on it so they would know I was their ride. They were an American couple apparently, and I was to take them to some place in Ruislip which is over there if you know what I mean, and drop them off at their hotel.

Everything went smoothly if you ignore the raised eyebrow s at the state of the car. Luggage revelling in the generous trunk I believe they call it, I got them seated in the back of the car, got the post code off them and entered it into Sylvia Satnav’s keyboard. I watched as the screen flickered briefly and then it went blank, in that permanent way which says, “Thank you for a nice life but I am now retiring.”

In a crisis, stay utterly calm; that’s my advice; that is the Mackintosh way, so I drove out of the airport as if I knew where I was going in a roughly southerly direction or it may have been westerly. I’m not a geography guru so all this north, south stuff is a bit over my head but I was sure the fates would throw up some sign saying “Ruislip” and guide me and my fares safely toward their destination.

After about twenty minutes, an American accent located somewhere in the rear of the car asked me if I was sure this was the way to Ruislip so to settle him I said “All roads lead to Rome, and Ruislip as well, I’ll be bound” which met with no response. About ten minutes later, he asked again, “Where are we” and the voice was clearly a bit edgier. “Time will tell old boy, time will tell” I told him, and I examined all road signs with vigorous concentration looking for the magic word “Ruislip.”

It did not appear, “Hammersmith Bridge” Yes…. “Earls Court” certainly, “Hyde Park Corner” without a doubt, and a central landmark which I am sure my clients would enjoy the chance to observe at no extra cost, and an excellent place to get your bearings I understand.

“Stop the car, let us out now” said the American voice, and it seems Hyde Park Corner had failed to entrance our visitors, despite its famous arch and a decent dose of London’s green parkland. “Let us out,” the voice lacked friendliness but was clear and direct. I stopped the car and they were outside it before I could move to open their door. My American chum seemed to be on the phone to my company and was saying, “Who is this idiot you’ve sent to collect us from the airport. We are at Hyde Park Corner”

There was a pause and the American said, “Your boss wants to talk to you” He placed the phone to my ear just in time for me to hear my boss say “Your fired” and then the line went dead. My clients, is that the term, removed the luggage from the boot and were hailing a black cab at the side of the road. I walked up to them and said, as one must do in the circumstances, “No charge of course. No charge at all”

“Get lost” said my American chum. “That may not be difficult” I replied.

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About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, Fiction, humour, Peter Wells, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Bunter Macintosh explores a new career Aided by Sylvia Satnav

  1. This is an hilarious tale, and good to see that old Bunter is well and approaching life in his usual blissfully casual manner! What next, I wonder?

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  2. Al says:

    What a great laugh to start off the week. Bunter seems all heart and I know he would like to redeem himself. When we get to London next year, I will ring him up for a ride. I’ll have my own GPS so Sylvia may stay retired,…a vocation to which she seems well suited.

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  3. Scarlet says:

    And this is why I never became a taxi driver…
    Sx

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  4. Carrie Rubin says:

    What a fun read. Thanks for the Monday morning smile. And shame on those tourists for not enjoying such a thorough ride. 😉

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  5. Shonnie says:

    Your writing makes me want to sit down and chat with you for the afternoon over a nice hot cup of coffee or tea. Since I love them both equally! Hope your life has been treating you grand!

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  6. This is so very funny, and I actually had an incident like this one time…only it was when someone was trying to get me to Heathrow….I am sure he must have worked for the same company as Bunter:) Thank you, Peter…as always your writing is wonderful. Janet.

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    • ShimonZ says:

      Thanks so much to you, my dear Janet, for recommending this fine blog. I have also started reading the book, and will tell you what I think of it after completing the read.

      Like

  7. Which is exactly why I don’t drive a cab. Even with all these new fangled GPS devices, I’ve often found myself in situations like these when they don’t seem to be compatible with my phone and leave me more lost than I ever would have been to begin with!

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  8. I’d take Bunter’s joyride over any other any day!

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  9. Gahaha! Loved Bunter’s adventure with the cranky Yanks. Poor dude… how was he to know Sylvia was such a fickle mistress? Frankly, my son and husband can’t find their way to the kitchen from the bathroom without satnav, much to my eternal consternation. Not that my house is big – but because they are absolutely LOUSY at direction… poor Bunter…

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  10. gotham girl says:

    Always enjoyable here! Thank you! I kinda like Bunter and his ride!

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  11. tmezpoetry says:

    hehe… I like this space of yours when I need some of this fresh air in your wit, roaming and colorful details.

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  12. Peter, you have a way of making me happy when I am having a bad day. I’m sure I’ve told you this before, so I must just say thank you :). This was hilarious.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. ksbeth says:

    so funny, he’s quite a free-spirited character –

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  14. Wildfire8470 says:

    What a fun ride! Thanks for the lift!

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  15. jbuliesblog says:

    Wonderful writing and story. I’m surprised that the American hadn’t brought his own navigator which is custom these days. Where has their spirit of adventure gone? They could have really enjoyed the drive had they any sense at all. Thanks for the smile.
    Julie

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  16. Fabulous and that last line by Bunter is a corker! You carry on getting better when I think it’s not possible! 😄

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  17. Poor Bunter, though he kept his sense of humor. I have to say, I probably would have abandoned him also!

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  18. Alas, most Americans have no sense of adventure. And we always seem to be in a hurry–even on vacation. What’s up with that? I, being quite an unusual American, would have enjoyed a ride through the English landscape in search of Ruislip…as long as there was something a vegan could eat when she got there!

    I laughed most generously at that last line, Peter! 🙂 A very nice Welcome Back for me, indeed! Thanks! 🙂 ❤

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  19. Loved it! Your interview is up in wingofdreams, will you check it out and see if you like it!

    love and best wishes!
    wingofdreams.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/peter-wells/

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  20. John says:

    I have to say, I really did enjoy it. As an American, I could relate to the unease of Mr. and Mrs. Crouch. Where is this crazy man taking us?

    Like

  21. olganm says:

    Fabulous. I must confess to also having set off hoping I’d find the right direction by celestial inspiration, but never as a taxi service…:)

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  22. restlessjo says:

    I smiled sympathetically as well as having a quiet chortle, Peter. God didn’t gift me with a sense of direction either. 🙂

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  23. nelle says:

    He should’ve called it a tour and charged accordingly. Ungrateful for a fine journey, sheesh.

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  24. When I was in Seoul some years ago, a man whom I knew to be quite poor with directions had bought a new satnav device just to be able to show me around. Sadly, the machine had not yet been calibrated properly after being bolted to the dash. It was technically installed but not operational. He promptly ignored its wayward instructions and drove in an equally confused maze run. Electronic instruments have a way of retiring at the most inconvenient moment. But then again, they cannot start properly just as often.
    I wish I could project such a lovely voice as yours.

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