By Forrest Clancy
It was 1am last night when I hopped into my Uber pool and headed home from Brixton. With no other ride sharers, it was a 34 minute, lonesome trip home – the only comforting detail within my circumstances. I had 34 minutes to write a SCAB, turn it in, and get to bed so as to continue working on D&AD the following morning. I decided I would write a character profile about my Uber driver, whom I knew nothing about.
Julian, looked like he might be a 50 year old former semi-pro footballer turned plumber who drives for Uber on wednesday and saturday nights. He’s married with two gremlin children and lives in the neighbourhood of Croydon but drives “in soho because it’s busier and there’s more arse on display.”
Fab detail. I wrote his words down verbatim. These sorts of quotes will just feel so… real, was the best word I could come up with.
Julian’s well of intrigue soon dried up, and, low on material, I saw that I had a joiner and decided to make up another profile about him. His name was Arthur.
I didn’t get far before Arthur’s youthful blonde hair and red trousers slid into the back seat. I was slow to delete his bold, underlined name from the middle of my page.
“What iz zat?” He asked. I told him it was nothing and slammed the face down, but he stared at me with that sort of expression that says I saw what was on the screen. After a second or two, he spoke.
“In France we say, ‘zose ooh work late and early, are zose ooh go far.’”
I smiled with relief, pulled out my iPhone, and made a note about what a stupid quote that was.
“I av just arrived from Paris.” He added. But now that my laptop was away and my SCAB on hold, I didn’t care to know anything about where Arthur was from or what he was here for. I had forfeit, my SCAB could not be written.
My night was over.
“I used to werk in Belgravia as a Bootler.” Again he piped up uninvited. But, now there was hope.
What was a twenty-something year old french guy doing in London working as a butler?
“Zis is my passion.”
Really? I said to myself. Is this really your passion?
“I want to do some-sing zat can build personal relationships and transform somebody’s stay. I really sink his is magnificent”
I wasn’t sure what was stranger, what Arthur was saying, or how genuinely he seemed to be inspired by it. Having grown up in London I just find it inconceivable to be interested by anything other than one’s self.
Arthur was here to look for another job, and this time, he wanted to make it into the big leagues as a concierge.
“I ham a people person.” This much I could tell. And so I asked what else he was looking into regarding his job hunt.
“Bootler again… Personal Assistant… and Sex.”
I repeated this last part to him and he nodded assuringly. And then it just sort of, clicked.
“I like taking care of people…. Building relationships… transform someone’s stay…” The words started ringing inside my head. It felt like the moment you discover somebody is actually a spy.
As I stepped out of the car, he gave me his card. I accepted hesitantly, acutely aware of where his hands may have just been, and then he was gone. Whisked away in the uber pool.
As I approached my door, I pulled the card out of my pocket. The thin, white cardboard was blank, other than three elements embossed on the front. A number, a name, and a message.
The words read: “Arthur Romeyer, at your service.”
The copy scores 81.6 in the Flesch Reading Ease test