David Rabbitborough's A to Z of Australian Species

 

THE TAXI DRIVER

Of the species that inhabit the roads of Australia there are few more colourful and various than the Taxi Driver however these creatures are not easy to observe at close quarters. One can try ringing one of the many taxi-services but there is only a one in five chance of one of them actually turning up, You can trying to intercept one from the kerbside but this is difficult because their eyesight is usually too poor to see a human being ten metres away with their arm outstretched. However, if you do manage to pin one down, the experience can be very worthwhile.

There are many different types. Auriga Disoriens is a Driver that takes off rapidly in the opposite direction to which you wished to go but assures you that it's a short cut. Raedarius Stridens, is a Driver that spends the entire journey telling you everything that is wrong with the western economy, the Westminster system, television, Australian rules and how to fix them. The direct opposite of Stridens, with whom a journey of only a kilometre seems to take a day and a half, is the Tacitus, a variety that responds to absolutely nothing that you say and in fact looks as if they might kill you if you open your mouth.

One thing that all species have in common is the habit of personalising their cabs with oddments. Typical decorations include penholders, thermometers, transistor radios, air fresheners and stickers such as "No Smoking You're Joking" "Pauline Hanson for PM" and "Nuke the Whales."

One tip if you go in search for this fascinating creature: to avoid injury make sure you have something smaller than a twenty dollar note.

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