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Surviving 5 minutes of toxic babble.

cartoon man vents green mist and flies at driver behind a glass bubble helmetHe settled himself into the front seat for the short five minute journey. His mind was busy, busy, busy and the contents of it flowed freely out into the world, courtesy of there being no re-process department…. and no working on/off valves…. between it…. and his gob.
“f…ing foreigners…. f…ing kids are ‘tarded…. those ‘tarded ones….” He continued spewing and it swiftly became clear that he wasn’t talking about an actual situation, he just had the ability for relentless flow of toxic babble, with out-of-date, ill-informed and completely un-evolved judgements about other people in the wider world. The only relief being that this person is content with monologue, meaning no engagement required from me.


He babbled on…. I glazed over…. and quietly tuned my own mind, to amuse with the physics of driving…. as you do.
Applying a suitable vector (a speed with a direction) to carry a comfortable angular momentum smoothly through the approaching corner. Selecting appropriate gear to provide a force, allowjng for an exponential acceleration to our new speed, judged as suitable for the next bit of main road ahead… lalala.


Shields down. I un-glazed.
…. toxic babble splattered straight into my left ear…. “… I’m not a f…ing raciest, but….”
Umm, shields up. Glaze re-established.
…. yeh, simple physics…. speed, concentration…. and two near death experiences:


Concentration is primary at the wheel…. Everyone harps on that speed kills…. It does not…. Everything that moves has a speed…. in physics, speed is distance x the time taken to cover that distance.

A snail on the move has a speed. Every car on the road that is moving has a speed. As every moving car is not killing someone…. it means a speed in itself, is not a killer.

Being a twat behind the wheel of a moving car, however, has no such defence through physics and no justification on our roads.

Too much speed for the situation ahead is dangerous in itself, but not concentrating sufficiently (drink, drug, tired, texting, in-car-distractions, etc) on the road ahead is dangerous to all and everything, at anytime…. no matter what the speed.


I can recall two near-death situations.
Both of them occuring at very low speeds. Between just 5 and 10 mph.


Cars parked on left and right and space in between was just too narrow for two driven cars to pass by each other. The oncoming car here was waiting and so I progressed slowly up through.

The bad situation came from the pedestrian walking towards me on the nearside pavement. I could only see her head bobbing along, behind the parked cars, but noticed as she walked she was eyeing up a gap in them.
Sure enough she turned between them and just kept stepping forward….. would she just continue and step out, into the wing of my car? 

Something more sinister suddenly entered into mind and the brakes were slammed in earnest. At 8 or 9 mph, the car jolted violently but it got the car zeroed to stationary.

The front surged downwards under heavy suspension loading and I got my first look…. at a child in a pushchair…. sticking out in the road flow, whilst the wicked witch of the west remained inside the edge of the parked estate car.

I worked out after that the bodywork of cars only revealed her head and neck as she walked, but as she turned there was a subtle wider sweep and a tilt of her neck…. The reaction to brake had been from picking up on that tiny snippet of physical body movement…. which was ahead of any actual conscious visual info…. very wierd feeling.

It took a few seconds to get my heart back to its place. The evil grown-up and the innocent infant with-no-imprint-of-my-car-as-a-face, just continued across the road.

I looked ahead at the driver in the waiting car, up ahead. She kept repeatedly bringing her hand up to cover her mouth.
Easing up along side, I asked if she was alright. She took a moment, then wound the window down and although clearly shocked, she uttered some words that summed it up well….
“Some people just don’t think… They just don’t seem to think and care.”


The cats were spatting on the pavement as we were arriving. Then they chased each other straight under the rolling front wheels.
“Oooooooooooooher” she screetched from the front passenger seat. I’d seen the vector (direction and speed) of the cat and it looked a near hit and so dabbed the breaks on.

At 5 mph the front of the car dibbed down, our heads nodded forward…. and then it happened….

The car boinged back up, our heads boinged back up…. and up ‘boinged’ the cat…. It hadn’t got struck, but it did get a tad frightened, then just lept into the air…

It shot vertically up in front of the car, straight in front of us, facing us and just hung there, seemingly freeze-framed in mid-air.

This was not just any cat, this was now an M&S cat…. It had all legs fully out-stretched. It’s fur was pointing straight out, all over, like a cartoon being electrocuted… and the expression on its huge face… really wide mouth, stuck with a frozen mmrrreeeeOW…. and wide eyes, popping out, straight at us.

As quick as it had appeared, it suddenly dropped out of sight. Then it was all over.
“Its face” she said, in between fits of laughter.
“Eyes on stalks” I replied.
She paused in amongst the giggles. “So relieved you didn’t run it over.”
“Yeh, me too…. ruins the tyres.”


The five minute journey has smoothly completed and we are at the destination. I un-glaze and re-tune, back into the here-and-now and as expected, he is still ranting on monologue. “….. and they f…king overcharge.”
He’s been on about foreign taxi drivers. He says the same unfounded rant, each time I pick him up.

The car stops and the fare is quietly announced.
“That’ll be two hundred and twenty pounds, please.”
“What the f???????” Then on seeing me just short of hiding a mischief smile, he clicks.
“Oh Drives, you’re a laughs. It’s usually just a fiver, Drives.”
“Yep. Fiver it is.”
“Drives, you near, hads me go-ins.”

Out the car he gets and struts off into the backyard. The toxins from the monologue leave with him.
I open all the car windows, not sure why, but for some reason, treat it as would a car full of bad smell.
All vented… ok, next customer….

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5 Responses to "Surviving 5 minutes of toxic babble."

  1. admin says:

    Use the tabs under the post – ‘Previous Post’ ‘Following Post’ – First Post’ ‘Latest Post’ – to move along the stories of Left Ear Driver… in order of writing.
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  2. Dave Trent says:

    You said unevolved. That’s brilliant. So true and yet still polite. Maybe you drive in a tiny isolated village where insulation inhibits these peoples civil notions.

    Funny on M&S cat. You drew a strong picture in my mind with your words. Ha!

    Outrageous with child shoved out into cars. Seen it a few times. Heart in mouth time, yes.

  3. Tamsin says:

    Like the picture! Like the story and the way you place two other stories within it. Very readable and interesting for a taxi story that isn’t just about confessions and smutty stuff !!


    1. Left Ear Driver says:

      Yeh, pics are neat. They (some) are created at Cave Wall Media. If don’t have one and need one to suit, CWM can help.

      Thanks for note on story. It is work in progress. I am tweeking and honing a style I suppose. Don’t know if it is proper style or best style….. but it’s now at the style that I have a comfort with…. and that allows a start.

  4. Brenda P Jones says:

    I enjoyed the story. It allowed me to imagine the two of you sat in the front (I ‘was’ in the back!!)

    The swearing, fitted the scene, indeed set the scene. Then for you to ‘glaze over’, was hilarious.
    To then put physics of driving in it was heavy but very novel, so interesting. The two stories of child and cat were also good thought to place inside main story theme.

    The ending came over a quick dry humour and I pictured him bustling off in his own world after the journey.
    I was somehow pleased you opened the windows at the end, as well!

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