I recently went out for dinner to celebrate my birthday. My mum, my oldest friend and her mum, drove two hours north to spend it with me. I thought, rather than sit on a cold bus (which usually smells like wee) to the restaurant, let’s get a taxi! I’d recently memorized the number of a local cab company, so I called up and booked in advance.

Then the vomit taxi pulled up.

Why do I call it the vomit taxi? Well because the second I sat down, that was the stench that assaulted my nostrils, full force. I actually exclaimed “UGH it smells like sick in here”, loud enough for the driver to hear, before he’d even pulled away. I’ve never been one to hold back on what I think, or engage my brain before speaking aloud.

“Yeah that’s what we thought”, said my friends and family, who’d got in a few minutes before me. The driver had been telling them about a drunk guy who’d puked in my seat the night before. But it was okay, because he’d had the seats cleaned!

REALLY???

It stank pretty ripe to me. I couldn’t smell even a hint of cleaning chemicals.

The ten minute journey became a fifteen minute journey, when the driver decided to ignore:
A) His Sat-nav
B) ALL his passengers
C) The signpost directly in front of him

Because despite us being less than a minute from our destination, he insisted a five minute detour would be quicker. We spent most of that five minutes listening to his sat-nav screaming at him to do a U-turn, whilst trying not to puke ourselves at the unholy smell permeating into our clothes.

When we got out, like good customers, we paid. But I really wish we hadn’t. The vomit taxi drove away… But the smell did not.

“DO I SMELL LIKE SOMEONE ELSES DAY-OLD PUKE?” I asked?

My friend rubbed her hands down the back of my legs, sniffed her hands and heaved. The look on her face said it all. My jumpsuit smelt like a strangers vomit. My clothes were actually wet, from where I’d been sitting in the vomit taxi.

I made a quick phone call to the taxi firm and made a complaint. They offered us a free taxi home and an apology, but I was still livid that we’d paid for the vomit taxi in the first place. I wasn’t going to let it ruin my birthday though.

We walked into the restaurant, where my lovely blogging friend Sarah was waiting for us. After filling her in on the vomit taxi scenario, she worriedly told me she could smell it on me. That was it. Kerry marched me into the ladies loos, where I stripped down to my underwear and washed my hands and legs, from heels to bum. Meanwhile, Kerry fully handwashed my entire outfit with hand soap, rinsed it and dried it under the hand dryer.

I was pretty peeved that my birthday had to start out this way, just so some cabby could save the cost of a valet (which he’d charged the manky passenger £100 for anyway). But being with such good friends, meant we spent most of our time laughing about it, rather than dwelling on it.

We had a lovely meal and a few drinks, before our much-improved taxi home. In the new taxi, the driver told us he has waterproof, fully removable and machine washable seat covers on all his seats. Well why the heck don’t they all have those then???!!!

Thank you very much vomit cabs, for a birthday to remember. Next time I want to go to town, I think I’ll take the bus, because frankly, I’d rather smell of wee than vomit!

My 29th birthday

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