As I say, I can't drive.
The worst of these three methods of public transport, by an over-priced country mile, has to be the taxi driver.
Ah, where would we be without the taxi driver?
Well, probably on the phone asking where the fuck he is, only to be told he's five minutes away by a woman whose suicidal voice can barely conceal the fact that she has to talk to these chuntering fucktards on an all-too regular basis.
It's no coincidence that Martin Scorsese's most terrifyingly bleak and psychotic creation isn't one of the tiny gangsters he is famed for, but instead is a sleep deprived cabbie. There is more unadulterated shit spews forth from the mouth of the average late night cabbie than a malfunctioning industrial muckspreader.
There are a lot of good cab drivers.
I just don't seem to get them. In fact, I've got so many tales of nutzoid cab drivers I think I get woozy when I meet a competent one. For instance, there was the one who tried to kidnap me and run me over on Kirkstall Road because I accused him of overcharging me.
The minicab driver in London who, after a cursory check to see if I was a policeman, opened the armrest of his car to reveal cocaine, canabis, speed or bottled miniatures.
Then there was the Manchester cabbie who drove me to the bottom of the recently riot-torn Cheetham Street in Salford, stopped, opened the door and said 'That's as far as I go. Good luck..!".
Oh and there was the driver who had heard me earlier on the radio saying that I'd had no tea and tried to push a half eaten fish butty through the slot in the plexi-glass where you pay while urging me to "Eat! Eat!".
There was the overly cheery chap who turned up at 5am to take me to work who informed me he hadn't beeped his horn "because I could see you in the shower.." (Cue awkward 10 min ride to work).
Or what about the one who told me that he 'doesn't pick up blacks because they..' then promptly fell asleep, no doubt bored by his own cliched racism, whilst still driving, causing me to attempt to get control of the car as we veered into oncoming traffic, only for him to wake up just in time and tell me not to touch his wheel?
However, when I have to boil it down I think there are just three types of taxi driver - the Over Familiar, The Beligerent Expert and The Thousand Yard Stare. Of these three, I do prefer The Thousand Yard Stare. He'll let me relax, drive me to where I want to go in absolute silence while his unblinking eyes pierce the rain and the darkness. He may have seen things that would freeze a man's soul, he may have even killed as recently as that day, but he won't bang on about it and he'll get you home quickly. So he can kill again. Probably.
The Over Familiar is a bit more frightening. I once got a cab to my mate Steve's and had a long chat with a cabbie because I was a bit drunk. FOUR YEARS LATER he recounted every word of that conversation, the names of my friends, their partners, where we worked.. in fact, I don't recall telling him where I wanted to go....
I was reminded of this last night when the cab driver booked to take me home from Producing the Late Show started our journey with the words 'What happened to the beard?'
I haven't had a beard since Christmas 2008.
He then went on to ask me about my work with such specific examples that I can only think he has been rooting around in my bins ahead of the urban foxes.
But the most prevelant of the cab driving sub-groups is The Beligerent Expert. His theories are based on Late Night Talk Radio, what he's heard at The Rank, his hatred of unlicensed cabs, the more vitriolic of the columnists in The Sun or The Mail, and is fuelled by a diet of Red Bull and Pringles.
It's because of The Beligerent Expert that I've had to learn the phrase 'Well, there's no club loyalty these days.. they all get paid too much...", no matter how drunk I am.
It's because of The Beligernet Expert that I have had to agree that a former colleague has a chinese wife ("I've picked him up. Bald bloke? Asian? Dead posh? He's got a chinese wife. You ask him.").
And it's because of The Beligerent Expert that I almost got a punch in the mouth when I was 18. He'd told me that 'This was a nice area before the sooties moved in..' To which I asked 'What? The puppet?'
Crazy bastard nearly took us both out at a roundabout while shouting that it was because of smartarses like me that the country was going to the dogs. Thankfully I made it home in one-piece, but was a bit narked that I'd been bollocked by a bigot and then had to pay him!
Most recently, this week in fact, I was told by my Beligerent Expert that "What I'm saying, right, is that your girlfriend might be clever, right, but women in general are stupid because their brains are too small to hold intelligence.." When asked where he'd heard this he said "It's what I've been brought up to believe". Well, I was brought up to believe in Santa Claus and The Tooth Fairy but I bloody-well grew out of it.
Women's brains are too small to hold intelligence? Like the human brain is a bucket that we have to top-up with liquid intelligence! And that men keep their superior intelligence in a bigger bucket while women try to keep theirs from spilling out of a dainty egg cup!
If that were the case then all people with tiny heads should be locked away while Jeff Wode would be the fucking President.
I wondered what his mum or sisters do for a living, cos I'll fucking bet my eyes that it's not ferrying drunks and sarcastic bloggers around at 1am in the morning while brushing Ginster crumbs off their crotches.
But perhaps I'm wrong. Maybe women do have littler brains and therefore cannot 'hold intelligence'? In fact, wasn't it Sir Stephen Hawking who said "WOMEN ARE IDIOTS WHO CAN ONLY DO COOKING AND HAVE BABIES" (don't judge me, that's how he talks) in his book A Brief History Of Shite? You know, just before that chapter on how all Polish people drug their babies to keep them quiet in the Dole Office and his top-tips for the best way to get cider and black vomit out of the upholstery of a Vauxhall Vectra? Wasn't that him?
You're a fucking idiot.
And you're the reason that, twenty-two years after they were initially booked for me, I'm going to have to start taking my driving lessons.
Or, worst-case scenario, the Late Bus....
THIS RANT LOOKS PRETTIER WHEN WORDLED...