Ten things that happened to me as a cycle courier in London, circa 1990 and thereabouts:
1. I collected an autographed cricket bat from The Oval and delivered it to Lords. In the pouring rain. By the time I’d got there the signatures of the entire West Indies touring party had vanished.
2. I gave Princess Diana the wrong directions. Her car stopped next to me on Marylebone High Street, and the detective accompanying our Queen of Hearts asked where Marylebone Lane was. I sent them off in the direction of Paddington. The small delay I caused may well have been a contributing factor to her death. You never know.
3. I was buff. Sixty miles a day will do that.
4. The first year, I worked for a very good company and took home more money each month than I do now. After I’d taken a break and returned for a second bite at the cherry, the industry had collapsed, I ended up working for a bunch of cowboys, and suffered accordingly.
5. I took the script of “Carry On Columbus” to a private address near Regents Park. The door was answered by Barbara Windsor. She didn’t appear in the movie.
6. I once shouted at a pedestrian on High Holborn for stepping out in front of me. He responded by calmly pulling out a gun, pointing it at my face, holding my gaze for a few seconds before casually replacing it and wandering off.
7. 10 Downing Street. Delivered there twice, ushered past the gates and up to the front door on both occasions. The second time was my favourite, as I’d just fixed a puncture and my fluorescent Butthole Surfers t-shirt was covered in grease. I had hair down to my waist. I looked great.
8. Opposite the old Daily Mirror Building at Holborn Circus. Riding behind a girl as she went under the wheels of a bus. Not a pretty site. It can be a bitch of a junction when you’re on two wheels attempting to turn right into New Fetter Lane.
9. For a while I had a regular job collecting hard-core pornographic videos from a shop in Soho and delivering them to a mysterious clinic in Farringdon, where a middle aged gentleman in a white coat would dutifully sign for the package and disappear into a dimly lit ward in the back, where I could make out a number of patients lying in bed watching television.
10. Euston Road, and the rain is almost tropical. The black cab in front of me stops suddenly, but my brakes don’t work on the greasy tarmac, and I slam into his boot. I’m thrown onto the roof of the car, but I’m unhurt. The bike is not so lucky. I take it to a shop for repair, but decide that evening to not bother going back to retrieve it. The next day, I got a job at a record company.
Next week: sacked by McDonalds.