Mort and Ysabell Sto-Helit are a young couple from Oban who have enjoyed a night out on the town.

Mort and Ysabell Sto-Helit are a young couple from Oban who have enjoyed a night out on the town. Ysabell is pleasantly tipsy, but unfortunately Mort has rather overindulged on a local high-alcohol drink called scumble (made mostly from apples) which has left him a little worse for wear. He can barely stand or string a sentence together, and has become functionally dependent on Ysabell to secure a taxi for the pair. Generally the more competent of the two, Ysabell manages to do so and although the taxi driver Albert is somewhat reluctant to let a man as drunk as Mort into his taxi, ultimately he acquiesces and agrees in conversation with Ysabell through the window of the cab to take the pair home. Ysabell bundles Mort into the taxi and joins him therein, noticing through her slightly drunken haze that a sign had been put up in the taxi which read Warning! Any urination, defecation or emesis will incur a clean-up fee of 500 to be paid additionally over and above any outstanding fare. Ysabell wasnt quite sure what most of those words meant, nor what was necessary to make a fare an outstanding one (she always found bills rather mundane), but she didnt much like the prospect of potentially being made to part with 500. Nonetheless, she put the sign out of her mind and tried to engage Mort in some conversation about their shared evening, only to be met with an annoyed and incoherent grumble. The couple and Albert travel together in silence for some time until the road begins to get suddenly rather bumpy and to twist and turn. The sudden change in motion prompted an ill effect in Mort, who woke and vomited profusely over both Ysabell and Alberts taxi. Ysabell quite understandably was horrified, but Albert was simply apoplectic: he slammed the brakes on the taxi, began to berate the couple for soiling his cab, and demanded that they both get out of the vehicle immediately. Having sobered up very slightly by virtue of his partial regurgitation of the scumble, Mort acquiesced, as did Ysabell who was silently cursing her partner for ruining her dress. Once they were out of the taxi, Albert announced that the outstanding fare was 21.20, but that they owed him 521.20 in total because of the clean-up fee. He also said that he most certainly would not be continuing to drive them home (which was still about 6 miles away) unless they agreed to pay him a triple fare to account for the lost profits he would have to suffer by finishing his shift early. Mort was still mostly unaware of his surroundings, but Ysabell in spite of her own slight drunken haze severely informs Albert that he has no right to demand any payment until he takes them both home, and even at that the idea of charging 500 to clean up some sick is ridiculous: any competent cleaner could get the job done for no more than 80.

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