Monday, 19 October 2009

Day 350

The architect likes the clunk. The clunk is the noise my car makes on level ground when the automatic gearbox shifts gear from first to second (if i’m not braking). When he first heard it he looked up from his drawings with a delighted smile (i’m assuming the smile from the tone of the “whoop” he let out on hearing the clunk, naturally my eyes were firmly fixed on my fellow road users and pedestrians at the time).

“It’s a clunk!...why’s it making that clunking sound Mike!?”

“Not sure, Peter, I’ll ask Jose” (the mechanic, obviously).

Since the debut appearance by the clunk, it’s been heard by several mechanics; Jose just said “Time for a new car, Mike” as did the man from the RAC, so further opinions were necessary, none of which, to date has managed satisfactory diagnosis. The clunk has also been heard by many dozens of the fine people of Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove and North Kensington who have jumped with fright, ignored completely, tittered, or asked what that noise was.

Recently I’ve discovered that I can drive a certain way, when I’m P.O.B. (that’s cabbie talk for ‘passenger on board’, although to date I haven’t found anyone else with my fondness for its use within the industry). i take my foot off the gas a split second before the gears change automatically between first and second (on level ground, as I’m sure you recall) then the clunk doesn’t, clunk. I try to just let it clunk when I’m not P.O.B.

Anyway, Peter the architect finds it endlessly amusing and always asks after the clunk. Sometimes I let it clunk just to cheer him up if he’s particularly stressed.

It’s a sunny september evening in London, the quality of the light shining through the autumn coloured trees is particularly catching and I’ve been driving a cab for almost a year.

The music is picking up though. A breakthrough is coming, of that there is no doubt...

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