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Taxi driver left red faced after unknowingly cheering on naked pedestrian

Image credit: Pixabay/Nissan Dynamo remixed

Friends, family, even passengers, often want to know if you’ve had any particularly memorable trips you will never forget. I’ve been a London taxi driver for nearly ten years and have a few stories to tell, some good, some bad and some downright funny.

I thought why not share one of those with you today, during a period when there’s not been much to laugh about. So here it is…

Now this happened around five years ago during a blistering hot summer’s day. As most big city cab drivers would know, the traffic can become relentless and unbearable at the best of times, let alone when the sun is baking and the air-con isn’t working.

So there I am sitting in bumper to bumper traffic with a fare onboard. Window down, working on my cab-driver tan on one arm, when I look to the right and see a man enjoying a beer or two plonked up at the bottom of a small clock tower around the corner from Angel Islington Station – London cabbies will know it.

Now unfortunately for this man it was clear that he had a very serious drinking problem, but nevertheless he was still enjoying the sun, relaxing back with his top off.

Looking over at me, we caught eyes and he raised his can at me “cheers”. As the polite cabbie I am, I raised my Red Bull (sugar free) back at him – we had a moment (whatever that means).

It was then that a member of the public approached the heavily intoxicated sunbather and started shouting at him, “what do you think you are doing? Who do you think you are sitting here like this?” I have to say it left me pretty shocked.

Another man, this one pushing a young child in a buggy also approached and teamed up against the man, calling him “shameful and a disgrace”.

I had to poke my nose in, not literally, and ask the two men to back-off, “why you guys having such a go at the man? He’s just sitting there bothering no one, enjoying himself”. To say these two men shot me a look of utter disbelief is an understatement.

The two men continued moaning, but this time also at me. This had fast become a two vs. two battle tag team style, one of London’s finest and a drunk against two guys from North London. It was on!

The arguing went back and forward, and the drunk and myself even raised our cans again to one another mid argument.

One of the men then took things to what I considered a little too far, and called the police.

Shaking my head in disbelief, at that moment in time I felt disappointed with my fellow man. Calling the police on a man who’s just relaxing, was a no-go zone – and I let him know.

As the traffic began to slowly move, I called out to the man one last time “you carry on enjoying yourself, no harm done” while raising my can for a final “cheers”.

It was only then, as the cab was rolling forward, that I realised that one of those green telecommunication boxes was between me and the clock tower, obscuring my view. You know one of those boxes you see a technician fiddling with wires whilst exposing his ‘builder’s bum’? Yeah, one of those.

And like a scene from blind date, the true horror of what was behind the screen became clearer inch by inch.

It was now that it was ALL revealed to me… The drunk who I had argued on the side of, the man I had said was just enjoying himself, the man I stuck up for with all my passion… was butt naked.

Yes, that’s correct. Absolutely naked. Legs akimbo with every single thing on show. He was getting an all-over suntan and I was encouraging him.

I wanted the earth to suck me up. I took one look in my rear-view mirror to catch my passenger sitting there gobsmacked. He was probably taking his first ever taxi, being driven by someone who openly encouraged butt naked drinking in the middle of one of the busiest junctions in one of the busiest cities in the world.

And that my friends, is one taxi trip that I will never forget.


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