As I cycled home the other night up Tottenham Court Road, I was entering that tricky lane change just past Heals and Habitat when a minicab honked loudly behind me. When I noticed he was honking at me, I threw two fingers up at him, shouted, “What the fuck!?” and gestured towards the cycle lane that I was clearly entering. As he pulled up alongside of me and rolled down his window, I prepared for an ugly confrontation. When he said, “Excuse me, something fell out of your pocket back there,” however, I felt like a total douchebag.
I only had time to ask him where exactly I dropped the mystery object. After he indictated the crosswalk in front of Habitat, I only had time to thank him before we both had to make sure we didn’t cause an accident. I never got to apologise for giving him my best V sign.
Pulling over to the side of the road, I backtracked and retrieved what I had lost. It was just an old print out of a rather unimportant email, but it could just as easily have been my wallet or my phone. What a nice minicab man!
I felt quite bad about my initial angry response to perhaps the only kind person left in the whole of London, until I realised that I did my bit. London doesn’t need to go soft and helpful: it’s a cold and unfriendly city. I helped preserve its character, like a responsible resident. I also picked up my accidental litter, so double good: I kept Britain tidy. Good on me!