Bloomsday for Cab Drivers / 13: The Hazard
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Car Stand at the Old Irish Parliament House, now Bank of Ireland. Photo by Lafayette.

Jarvies and jaunting cars wait for fares on a "hazard" located on the north side of College Green (see also page 32. For more pictures of jaunting cars, see Vance Thompson's Cab Drivers: How Pat Travels.

Outing magazine, vol. XLV, December, 1904, p. 296.

Bloomsday for Cab Drivers / 13

The Hazard

Bloom's meditation on the life of drifting cabbies occurs while he is passing the "hazard", which the Oxford English Dictionary defines as "a cab-stand (in Ireland)".

The OED says nothing about the origin of the term, but cab stands were certainly hazards to traffic since they occupied a substantial portion of the street with cabs pulling in and out and customers approaching from any direction.

But then as now there were other kinds of street hazards and why the term should have attached itself specifically to cab stands is a mystery.

Bloom seems to be a bit envious of the cab horses who are oblivious to everything but the contents of their nosebags:

Mr Bloom went round the corner and passed the drooping nags of the hazard. No use thinking of it any more. Nosebag time. Wish I hadn't met that M'Coy fellow.

He came nearer and heard a crunching of gilded oats, the gently champing teeth. Their full buck eyes regarded him as he went by, amid the sweet oaten reek of horsepiss. Their Eldorado. Poor jugginses! Damn all they know or care about anything with their long noses stuck in nosebags. Too full for words. Still they get their feed all right and their doss. Gelded too: a stump of black guttapercha wagging limp between their haunches. Might be happy all the same that way. Good poor brutes they look. Still their neigh can be very irritating. [5 211 / 3469]

An hour later the hazard triggers another train of thought as Bloom passes by again. Only two cabs are on the stand now, the third one having gone off somewhere with a customer:

National school. Meade's yard. The hazard. Only two there now. Nodding. Full as a tick. Too much bone in their skulls. The other trotting round with a fare. An hour ago I was passing there. The jarvies raised their hats. [6 171 / 4178]

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