On a Route to Nowhere

I was in a taxi the other day. The taxi driver was obsessed with his Satnav. You might think (if you remember
my blog post on the subject of my Satnav)
that me and this driver would have consequently formed a special bond, talking non-stop about distance, altitude and other Satnav related trivia. This was not the case. The taxi driver wasn’t particularly enthused by the fact that his Satnav could give him instructions about how to get from a to b; to him, this was merely an ancillary point. The man was more interested in the array of additional voices he had bought for his device.

He was very excited about the fact that he’d
fribbled away his weekend downloading novelty and celebrity voices for his Satnav. He treated me to a litany of these voices on our journey:
John Cleese,
arnold schwarzenegger,
Bart Simpson,
Steven Hawking
(which is a bit of a rip off really, considering Steven Hawking’s voice is a synthesiser. Surely that should lower the cost somewhat). The driver’s particular favourite was
Ozzy Osbourne.
The taxi driver was keen to show me how Ozzy berated him if he took a wrong turning. He demonstrated this by turning left when Ozzy instructed him to turn right.
“You fucking cunt!” Ozzy screamed. A bit harsh I thought, but the taxi driver seemed delighted. He laughed most heartily, causing the car to swerve. What a way to die: crashing into a wall at high impact with Ozzy Ozborn screaming “you fucking cunt!” as we drew our final breath. The taxi driver would no doubt have died a happy man, but this wouldn’t have been my ideal choice of death. No naked beautiful women, palm trees, or harp music; just a fat taxi driver and a foul-mouthed Satnav.

He proceeded to go through more voices and demonstrated the various rebukes whenever he (deliberately) made a wrong turning. This was significantly increasing our journey time. The taxi driver didn’t ask me whether I wanted this long demonstration, nor did he enquire as to whether I actually needed to be at my destination for a specific time and whether his wrong turnings would make me late.

Eventually the Satnav voices demo came to an end and we reached our destination for the second time; the first time courtesy of Ozzy Osbourne and the second with John Cleese. As John Cleese’s over-the-top announcement sounded, the driver came to a halt, laughing merrily. “Well, it’s been fun” he said. “That’ll be £8 then”. Hang on! £8? It’s normally £6,50. Surely he’s not charging me for the extra time and milage his unrequested Satnav demonstration had taken. He’s essentially charging me for something I didn’t ask for. Not only that, but he’s charging me extra for making me late. I should have argued, but I’m too much of a coward, so I begrudgingly handed over the money.

I’m writing this blog post while in the car with
the Young’uns.
Mike’s Satnav’s voice is
Billy Connoly.
It’s been Billy Connoly for the last two years. His jokes have not updated; he’s been doing the same routine all that time. “turn around when possible. It is advisable to turn your whole car around; do not just turn yourself around inside your car.” I dread to think how many road accidents have been caused by drivers helplessly careering into walls due to uncontrollable laughter caused by Billy Connoly’s Satnav based quips.

Currently, Billy is telling us – for the 8th time – that we have reached our destination. “Remember that none of this would have been possible without me; you would have been hopelessly lost”. The irony is that we are hopelessly lost. Mike has asked Billy to take him to the fuel station. Billy has taken us to a random bush in a remote part of town. Unless, Billy knows of a certain type of bush with special properties that can fuel a car, Billy has completely miscalculated the whereabouts of the fuel station, and Billy should really stop being so smug about his navigational abilities and concentrate more on correctly guiding us to a fuel station rather than wasting our time with cheep, outdated wisecracks. Mike is currently shouting obscenities at Billy, saying similar things to what you might expect Ozzy Osbourne to say. Billy is responding by repeating the same joke for the third time which is doing nothing to temper Mike’s exasperation.

O dear! I better go and be a mediator between Billy Connoly and Michael Hughes before this gets out-of-hand.

The 107th Young’uns Podcast is coming soon.

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