Alcohol was always a necessary lubricant in the advertising business. Pubs were landmarks and everyone knew where the Mucky Duck was located. Turn left at the Crown and two Chairmen, past the Dog and Duck you will find the Carlisle Arms. Characters spent time, sometimes lots of it and the quality of food was not an inducement. Jeffrey Bernard was often unwell there.
Maurice was a regular. He used to stop off there after work for a few jars before taking a taxi home to Barnet. One evening lasted longer and on the way home, after the taxi careered around a roundabout, Maurice fell off his seat and disappeared from sight. The taxi duly arrived in Barnet and the driver said: "We’re here, Guvnor". When there was no answer and not spotting Maurice, he assumed his passenger had slipped off at some traffic lights, cursed himself for his carelessness and drove back into the West end.
Up pops Maurice, asking; “Are we there mate?”
Alistair decided to drive home late one night despite being well over the limit. Past Baker Street and on the elevated section, he decided that since he knew the road ran straight for a mile, he could afford to shut his eyes. He awoke, on a roundabout and heading for the central reservation, he jerked the wheel around and crashed into the barrier. Below him on the pedestrian underpass an elderly Jamaican woman, on her way to an early cleaning job, stood shaking as she brushed glass off her woolen hat. She said: “I tell you what, someone’s trying to kill me. Third time this has happened this week”.
And I killed my new car and the only taxi in Central London plying his trade at 3 am. Curiously there were hundreds of witnesses.
Even stranger, they were all taxi drivers.