Car 6

Mr Steven Workman

Outward appearance

Plump, pale, about 35, in a grey suit, a tie that turns sideways, black Oxford shoes, and black Oxford hair complete with dandruff.

Inside information

Freelance systems analyst. Steven never fitted into corporate life. On time for an appointment with Adventure Capital.

What he is doing or thinking

Rehearsing his presentation.

"The technology exists to give every driver in the country instant knowledge of (cue Powerpoint slide)

  • where on the map they are,
  • the best way to get to their destination
  • traffic problems en route."
  • Scotland Yard's traffic monitoring unit has agreed to lease Steven their information. Traffic flow, cash flow.

    "I call the system," he will say, "the Knowledge. Every car could have its own personal taxi driver."

    The doors open at Waterloo: his stop. Stumbling out, Steven catches his watch in a woman's hair. He tugs, thinking it will come free. The woman yelps.

    The doors close. Damn. Frazzled hair is clenched between the sections of his metal watchstrap. Anyone could see, the only way is to pick it free strand by strand. Why isn't she helping?

    Instead, she shouts. "It hurts!"

    "Do you have a pair of scissors?" he asks.

    "What?" Her eyes tear up; her arms fold.

    He explains: "I've got an appointment." He starts to take off his watch.

    "Will you stop that!"

    They're already at Lambeth North. "Look, I've got to get off."

    "That's too bloody bad," she says.

    He gestures in frustration; her head is tugged again.

    "Leave it!" she says. The doors rumble shut. Both of them are swept on to the Elephant.

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