Waiting at Wigan train station in the early hours one morning, and watched as my ‘fare’ approached. She staggered along muttering drunken gibberish and attempting to eat a rather large and greasy burger.
“Are you for me?” she slurred.
“Yes, get in and put that burger back in its wrapper until you get out. Please do not eat it in here.” I replied.
Good enough, she then managed to put it back into its polystyrene container and closed the lid.
The journey began, and about a mile into it I asked if she minded me stopping at the petrol station as I was quite low on fuel. She muttered something that I assumed to mean that it was ok with her. I stopped in the garage and began to re-fuel my car, and as I did I glanced inside the car and seen my ‘fare’ had decided to attempt to eat the burger after all. Extremely, erm, well vexed, I opened the driver’s door, reached in and snatched the messy burger out of her hand and dropped it in the bin by the petrol pump. I then closed the door again and finished fuelling, paid, and returned to my car.
My ‘fare’ was by now more than vexed, she was in fact extremely angry and made no bones about letting me know this. She shouted, swore, called me unimaginable names and seemed to be getting angrier with each word and louder and louder.
“You seriously need to calm down, and you seriously need to stop calling me such vile names!” I told her sternly.
“WHY? WHY SHOULD I? WHAT IF I DON’T STOP EH? She yelled.
“Simple,” I said, “If you don’t stop, you get out of my car and you walk!”
“WHAT? YOU WOULD THROW ME OUT? GO ON THEN, DO IT! THROW ME OUT THEN!!!!!!!!!!” she screamed.
“Right then, if that’s what you want fine,” I said, and slammed the brakes on hard.
The car screeched to a halt, I opened my door, walked around to the other side and pulled open the passenger door.
“OUT!” I shouted.
She stared at me and paused and thought. Then, after she had clearly realized that I was absolutely serious, she climbed out of the car and staggered away.
I watched as she headed off in the total opposite direction, and just then, it began to rain.
I drove away. As we were on an industrial estate I decided to do a lap of the estate and then pick her up again, because I thought the wind and rain may have sobered her up enough to have calmed her down. However, she was nowhere to be seen. I searched for some time then abandoned the industrial estate and decided to go and make sure she had got home safely.
I drove to where she lived, put my key into her door and opened it, walked up the stairs to her room and popped my head inside. There she was, fast asleep in her bed, my daughter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Philip Parry 2012