A little while ago I was stuck in the back of a taxi heading through London, after doing an interview for the BBC.
It was an unseasonably warm Friday afternoon and the rush hour traffic was already starting to coagulate in London’s arteries, so the driver and I got chatting to pass the time as we crawled along the Embankment in the simmering haze.
I never found out his name, but he was a typical middle-aged man who lived in Kent (if I recall correctly) – greying, bit overweight, estuary accent and a charming smile. In the course of things, he told me that it was his wife’s birthday the following weekend, and that he was going to treat her to something really special. Not a trip to the local Italian followed by a few drinks in the pub – something much, much better.
He’d hired a private jet to fly her to Paris. Apparently he had a connection with someone at Rolls Royce who’d managed to swing him a good deal on the plane. Not only that, he revealed an elaborate ruse to trick her into thinking they were flying by CrapAir from “London” Stansted.
I was in paroxysms of girlie delight (men, take note…). How cute is that? Taking your wife to Paris by private jet? But it didn’t stop there. He’d gone one step further.
I’d previously told him that I was busy recording two albums with my bands.
“I spent last weekend in a recording studio, you know,” he said.
“Yeah. I recorded a couple of Michael Buble tracks for the wife, to play on the plane.”
“That’s so sweet!”
“Do you wanna hear ’em? I’ve got the CD in here somewhere…”
He started rummaging in the glove box before I could even answer. Luckily, the traffic was stationary. Although I’m not a fan of Mickey Bubbles, as he’s known in our house, I could hardly say no.
I steeled myself to politely hear the lovelorn grunting of a middle-aged cabbie. I was completely wrong. The man could sing, and it was clearly a heartfelt performance (although I can’t say it converted me to the music of El Bubbles).
“Of course,” he said, once the backing track had faded out, “I could never tell any of my mates about this. They’d just take the piss.”
“So why are you telling me – a girl you’ve never met before?”
“’Cos you don’t know me, and you don’t know them.”
Of course, he didn’t know that I was going to tell the internet – sorry about that…
Anyway, that’s the most romantic thing I think I’ve ever heard about lately. How about you?