07 November 2009

RIP Betsy

I returned home from the USA on Sunday morning, ready to drive my first night cabbie shift on Monday evening, rightly assuming I’d be tired and not wanting to drive.
That was the night the owner crashed our lovely new cab.
And now the car is written off.
We only drove it for a month, enjoying every moment. While I was away my day driver felt so emotionally attached, he gave our silver cab a name: Betsy.
Heavens to Betsy, but she was the cab they drive in Paradise. so much to love about her. Automatic windscreen wipers, for example. They worked off a sensor, so you never had to fiddle with intermittent settings, or even turn it on. They were always on, and the more rain you got, the faster they went.
Just remember to turn them off before going through the car wash!
So many lovable little features. She had an auxiliary input, so we could plug our iPhones straight into the sound system.
Built-in Bluetooth. Auto up/down on the driver’s window. Clever lighting under the doors to reveal puddles before you stepped into them. Fog lights.
She was a delight to drive. I’d finish a thirteen hour shift, get out and stroke her silver flanks with real affection.
I never found her limits on the road, either. She always had more to give if I needed to overtake, or to grab that last half second of amber light. I felt in control, sure of myself and my place on the road.
And she was new. Well, a couple of years old, but for a cab, that’s new. The previous owners had looked after her, and my co-driver and I were taking good car
The only drawbacks were small ones, such as the fact that the drivers seat had no memory function, or that the A pillars were wide, creating a blind spot that could obscure oncoming traffic.
Passengers would get in, look around admiringly, and say something like, “This is the cleanest cab I’ve ever been in!”
Music to a cabbie’s soul!
She was beautiful, and now she’s gone. Saturday night the owner drives the best shift of the week. He was crossing Jerrabomberra Avenue, four lanes of traffic with a service road each side, paused to let two cars past, and then floored it in the cabbie way. Unfortunately, there was a third car, coming up from the left in the blind spot on that side, and he collected it in the middle.
No injuries, which is the main thing, but poor old Betsy had her front crumpled right in, headlights and bumper dangling. After a short period of hope, she was written off by the assessor.
So now we’re driving replacement cabs and wondering what we’ll get next as a permanent mount.