|Way to BOF's heart, |
in case you're interested
After a slightly unlikely night out a couple of days ago, a friend and I at last decided to head back to the Pad for tea and sleep. [Poor old BOF almost tried to pretend he hadn't been woken up at 4 by my confused babbling, but this was an unconvincing politeness too far. Gifts of blueberries followed - Countryside gold dust - and concerned readers should note that Pad sleep patterns have now been restored.]
As Tactful Friend and I made to leave (she, fleeing hordes of eager suitors), some Heroic young gent (Hyg) asked where we were headed. By astonishing coincidence he too was on his way back to Pimlico, though he seemed uncertain about exactly where. We grabbed a cab.
I still get embarrassingly excited about travelling through the city at night, so I spent the journey observing every landmark, leaving TF to fend off Hyg's banking soliloquy. Eventually I noticed that we were following a route I recognised. To mark this groundbreaking geographical triumph, I pointed something out to the others (Buckingham Palace probably: marvel at my intricate knowledge of London…). Hyg looked scandalised.
'What the hell are we doing in central London?' He demanded, loudly enough for Our Kindly Taxi Driver to hear.
(OKTD) 'Well, Victoria sort of is in central London mate.'
(Hyg) 'Yeah but this isn't the bloody route to take is it? When we get cars from the Bank they never take us through the centre.'
Tactful Friend and I swapped glances. 'Mmm,' she contributed, noncommittally. 'Oh well. So, you were saying about derivatives…'
|Obligatory 'greedy banker' image|
Oblivious to her attempts to steer him back to the straight and narrow, Hyg blundered on with his thoughts about OKTD's crummy knowledge of London. He seemed convinced that this was a route contrived to do us out of money. Slightly dodgy ground from an investment banker this, as even old Bobby Diamond might have spotted.
OKTD was no longer watching the road by now, which struck me as bad news. Instead he stared at our friend with a murderous glint in his eye.
Keen to live, I attempted diplomacy. Badly. My tactic - calling the taxi driver 'sir' and shouting over Hyg's commentary - had no noticeable effect, except to make TF even more uncomfortable and Hyg even more shouty. With relief, I spot the Pad looming a couple of streets away.
KitC: 'Here we are!'
TF (surprised): 'What? Oh yes, yes this is us… Thanks!'
Grabbing the door handle, we leg it, flinging an array of small change at our friend. Since he's the sort of chap who bins ten pence pieces because he finds them annoying, he looked particularly galled.
As we slammed the door shut, we felt a little guilty. But Hyg's a man who can look after himself. Definitely.