Sound Off Sam 6 – The one with TED

Hi folks


I’ve been thinking a lot during lockdown which for me can be quite dangerous. There is a strong, lingering smell of burning around my home and it’s played havoc with my smoke alarm.


But living on your own during a pandemic leaves time for reflection in between Zoom calls. Figuratively speaking, I’ve picked up a fare from lockdown to self discovery. On my journey I’ve found I can be happy without triple quilted loo roll, I don’t need to shower every day to be a good person and playing board games is beneficial for my mental fitness. I actually came across an Edinburgh University Study which found that regularly playing board games slows the decline in your brain function as you get older. I’ve not found a study that proves my hypotheses about loo roll though.


My big discovery is that I want to try again to find my soul mate: the one I can sound off to about my deepest fears and highest hopes and the one I would be happy to lose to when we play Taxi! Board Game. So, I uploaded my Epixel of Youth to a well known dating app.


My problem is my erudite cabbie-punter banter buckles under romantic pressure. I’m reduced from James Bond in my cab to Mr Bean on a first date. To help me through first date nerves, I’ve swotted up on do’s and don’ts of dating and scribbled three reminders for a successful date on a scrap piece of paper:

  1. pay compliments and ask questions
  2. dial down the sound offs
  3. if I like her…don’t accidentally call her Lorraine


Read on for my first appearance on First Dates Zoom (usual privacy settings applied…)


“Hello there. Nice to virtually meet you, Susan.”


“Yes, I can see you.”


“Okay, Susie it is. You have lovely lockdown hair. It’s very Hermione Grainger.”


“Yeah. It’s a compliment. I meant an older Hermione.”


“No. No. I’m not saying you look old. Do you like salt and vinegar or sauce on your chips?”


“Yeah. Me too. I used to be a sauce man before I became a Personal Transport Professional.”


“I like to think there’s more to being a good taxi driver than just getting punters to their destination. I like to add a personal touch.”


“No, it’s not the taste. I’ve gone off sauce cos when it congeals it’s really difficult to clean off Lorraine’s seats.”


“Haha. No, she’s my cab. I named her after..err… You know, like they do ships and planes.”


“It’s a long story. Tell me about your job. It must be really interesting.”


“That sounds rewarding. Helping people deal with their personal problems. My dad has suggested I should see a therapist.”


“I feel fine about  it. My dad and me have a good relationship based on healthy competition and mutual mockery.”


“Nah, we don’t do much emotional stuff. We stick to what he calls our man-to-mans.”


“Well, we do shake hands.”


“I can tell you to the day. Our last hug was 16th June 1998.”


“Because it was the last time Scotland scored a goal in a major international football tournament.”


“Yes, I do have a strong female role model. She’s warm, generous and caring. Intelligent and funny too. She’s a really important part of my life.”


“Oh yeah. And my mum as well. You’re very good at this. I feel I could tell you anything. Do you have somebody who listens to you?”


“Well, I’d be happy to. I’ve got a bit of counselling experience  from my job.”


“Most of the time it’s sports, politics and celebrities but I’ve been asked for marriage advice, career advice and even health advice.”


“No. I can’t say. Like in your line of work, cabbie-punter privilege is sacrosanct.”


“Yep, what’s said in the cab stays in the cab. I’ve also done a bit of self-therapy to help me deal with adverse experiences from my past.”


“Well, I’ve not found any studies that help much. I think I might be breaking new therapeutic ground.”


“I suffer from something I call TED.”


“Trauma from Early Dating.”


“It is. It can be quite debilitating.”


“I get flashbacks when I’m in stressful dating situations. They become stronger and more vivid if I like the person. Wait. Give me a few seconds. I’m having one now.“


“Yeah. I can hear you.”


“ Okay….CaAalm.. Caaaaalm. Caaaaaaalm.”


“Oh. That’s really worked. I feel better already. I’m glad a professional was on hand.”


“Oh no. That’s the time up warning already.”


“Yeah. Me too.  We should do this again.”


“Definitely. It was nice to met you, Lorraine.”


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