The funniest thing I found in the back of my taxi? Had to be that parrot, didn't it. A parrot or a cockatoo, whichever it was. The guy never came back to claim it, that’s what was funny about it. And how do you forget to take a dead parrot with you when the purpose of the cab ride was to go and get the blessed thing stuffed?
He didn’t look like what you’d expect either. Not the sentimental type, more like some merchant banker or city whizz kid. At first he hid the white plastic parcel under the flap of his coat. The company has this policy about what you can bring in the back of a taxi on account of the amount of money we’ve lost hosing down vomit and curry and phlegm and heaven knows what else. A dead body, even if it is small and wrapped and disguised, is still a dead body. Strictly against the rules, that would be.
It was his aunt’s bird that keeled over whilst she was on holiday I think he said. He sat there in his suit and his mac, holding a brolly and a briefcase, and trying to balance this shrouded item on his knee then the seat then under his coat and his knee again. He had me park a bit down from the taxidermy place, like I wouldn't guess what was in the packet. And then he left it behind anyway.
He tipped well, which you don't always get with these city blokes. Depends if they are on the company ticket or paying themselves. Much more generous with someone else’s money, unless you give them a receipt for tax purposes. Give me a break. So I’d got round the corner when I caught sight of the thing left on the seat. I drove straight back round but there was no sign of him.
I kept it with me for a few days in case he called me back. He had my card, see. But he never did. I wondered what his aunt said when she realized Polly was gone for good. An ex-parrot, ha ha. Maybe I could try taking it into a petshop for a refund.