Twenty-odd Questions - Ed
20.04.11 by Dazzler
How old are you? 29
Where were you born? Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland.
How long have you been a courier? 3 and a 1/2 years
Hang Name? Ed. or Wun – my call-sign is nine one and cus I’m northern it sounds like nine wun to my controller, Alice, so he calls me “wun” and it seems to have stuck…
Who do you ride for? Cyclone
What was your first bike? A green sparkly hand-me-down chopper copy with tassels on the wide handlebars and a big seat with back rest! My first bought bike was a second hand dark red 10sp Peugeot racer with thick black foam handlebar tape I got for my tenth birthday. God I loved that bike. It was stolen from outside Kingsway Baths in Lancaster while I was swimming. A tough lesson for an eleven year old: combination locks are shite!
What do you ride now? ‘Blue Steel’: my lovely spangly blue Eddy Merckx low profile TT bike, converted to fixed gear, of course. Brakeless, of course. A constant target of sexual desire, of course.
What’s the best docket you’ve ever been given? Elwin st, E2, to Redchurch St, E2, on a silver motorbike rate. Got to the pick up. It was Alexa Chung. Fit! But strangely unattractive. Kind of like a beautiful but venomous tropical creature. Anyway 45 mins waiting time in her living room being fed Belgian chocolate truffles and cups of tea. Then got a COA. She told me she was gonna rebook it in about half an hour so my controller said stick around. After a coffee on Columbia Rd, E2, I went back to do the job. 30 mins more waiting time. Then I did the job. Google maps puts the distance at 0.6 miles. It took about three minutes to do. Got paid somewhere in the region of £40! For a three minute job. Like a ho.
What’s the worst thing about being a courier? Prejudice. People are often quick to judge couriers and the verdict is usually pretty bleak. With no time for discussion insults are hurled and the accuser leaves before the situation can be given transparency.
What’s the best thing about being a courier? Freedom. There are few jobs which give you such malleable boundaries of behaviour and allow you to see such a broad range of people, places and activities.
Describe your childhood in 3 words. The Prodigal Son
What is your earliest memory? Huge dark red dusty carpets looming over me hanging from a high ceiling in an old pillared market in Kuwait. We lived there when I was little. Kuwait, that is, not the market.
Who are your heroes? Any courier who works through the winter. It’s hard. In many ways. You can’t understand how hard it is unless you’ve done it. Tom Waits, Aristotle, Salvador Dali are also heroes. And I doubt they’d make it through a winter in the road.
What’s on your music player? Tom Waits, Iggy Pop, Bert Jansch, Kraftwerk, Bob Dylan, Charlie Parr, Led Zep, White Stripes, The Band, Eno, Ian Dury, Jake Thackray, Joni Mitchell, Nick Cave, Scott Walker, Television, Smiths. And many more…
What’s the best piece of clothing/equipment you carry? I love my Fabric Horse. It’s a kind of a holster for your D-lock made from seat belt
material. Such a good invention. You can quick draw to bash your way out of tricky situations when you’re in at tight spot! It’s D-locks at dawn!
What advice would you give to any wannabe couriers? Be prepared for pain, aggression, frustration, exhaustion, freedom, exhilaration, camaraderie, fear, anger, poverty and relief all out of the blue, individually or combined and in any order. Also learn how to fix a puncture. Q: What’s more embarrassing than a courier going into Evans to get a puncture fixed? A: Nothing.
What’s the best lunch deal in town? My free homemade date and chocolate flapjacks. Friday is flapjack day. I’m the flap-jacker! That could be hang name: ‘the flapjacker’. Actually, best not.
What’s the best chat-up line you’ve ever given to/received by a receptionist? TBH I’m on constant flirt alert but these girls are generally OOML and after a rich dull guy. They’re hard to impress and that leaves me a bit cold. Plus if you are successful and then it bombs you gotta see em every other flimmin’ day! Actually there was one time when I thought I’d been rather witty: delivering to Nike on Wardour st. The receptionist is unbelievably pretty. She’s reminiscent of Erykah Badu. I asked her name for the docket and she said: “Gabrielle. That’s with two “l’s” and an “e”.” With lightening speed and wit I replied: “yeah but only one “i” (eye), right?! Like Gabrielle? (the singer)”. She looked at me as if she was trying to kill me with psychokinetic powers like in Scanners. I left quickly.
Favourite place to stand by? Crabtree Fields aka Cyclone Park, W1, Phoenix Gardens, WC2
What made you become a courier? The alternative lifestyle, health benefits and I love riding bikes.
In a parallel universe you would be… A wealthy, unhealthy, successful mechanical engineer with a mortgage and many other poorly chosen commitments wishing I was a courier.
What one thing would improve the quality of your life? A new pair of Sidis or a girlfriend! Can I have both?Who’d play you in the film of your life? I’d like to think someone cool like Johnny Depp or Vincent Gallo but it would more likely be Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher in Star Trek Next Gen).
What would be your catchphrase? You’re born. You spawn. You’re gone.
What has your been your proudest moment/greatest achievement? Not becoming a hopeless alcoholic.
If you could go back and edit the past is there anything you would change? I would have finished at least one of the two degrees I started. I wouldn’t change world history because worse things may have ensued.It’s the dream dinner party – what 5 people are there? Tom Waits, Oscar Wilde, Bill Hicks, Dolly Parton, Margaret Thatcher. Am I saying Tom Waits too much? I think I am. Maybe replace him with Ron Pearlman in this scenario.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever done? Same as the best: Courier. It certainly has it’s “WHYTHEFUCKAMIDOINGTHIS?????!!!!!!!!!” moments.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you? You gotta forgive. It’s so important.
How would you like to be remembered? As a real renaissance man. I knit, write music, run, ride, make flapjacks… Hahaha! It ain’t gonna happen…
When were you happiest? I often am. These are the days of roses.
What would your superpower be? I’d like the power of concentration. I often find it hard to… what was the question?
Freedom is… having the strength to uphold your beliefs, being true to your word and living without hypocrisy.
You have a time machine – where would you go? New York in the early sixties. Anything was possible. Good people getting angry managed to delay the ongoing totalitarianist indoctrination of our society through creative means. I would love to have been a part of that. Pity it didn’t last…
You are allowed to pass one new law – what is it? Every time a bank breaches my peripheral vision in an unagreed vision overdraft situation I get to charge it 25 pounds. And then charge it with a herd of bull elephants. Because it’s a proportionate compensation for the cost of it being in my face/mind/life.
How do you relax? Ride like a loon. Watch far too many films.
Tell us something about yourself we would never guess. I knit.
You’ve got one youtube link – what is it? The dog whose own leg creeps up on itself. It says so much about all life. They really should have called the video ‘Dogtor Strangelove’. They missed a trick there.Tell us a joke. A bicycle messenger walks into their bank to ask for an overdraft reduction. Bank manager says “are you joking?”. Messenger says “of course I fucking am you absolute banker!”