Monday, April 10, 2006

Your cheatin' heart

Taxi rank on Dawson Street. It is lashing with rain. Here’s one! A result, I climb in…..

Taxi Driver (TD) : Hi love, where to?

Blankpaige (BP) : Hi there, Dun Laoghaire please.

I immediately notice the country music blaring from the radio…… bad omen

TD : You’re off home early. What’s wrong? Run out of money?

BP : Yeah, something like that. Either money or energy!

TD : Energy? I don’t know what’s wrong with you kids these days. In my youth, we’d party hard for about four days before we’d call it quits. And that was after a full working week. None of these one day weekends and your light beers. I hear them talk about the hours junior doctors work. Sure that was nothing in our day. And you’d still have enough energy to play a matvh on the Sunday.

BP just smiles weakly. The “Crystal Chandeliers” are lighting up some horrible house somewhere outside of Nashville, Co. Meath.

TD : Kids these days. You don’t know how lucky you are! We used to get up at six and do an hour in the yard before going to school. And as soon as we’d finished our books, we’d be back at it until nine or ten. Mind you, we didn’t know any better. Happy we were!

BP : mmmm.

TD : Mind you, we’re still going strong some forty years later. Myself and the wife. We can party like the best of them. Tell me, what time did you get to bed at last night?

BP : Silence …. Marble statutes are lying stately in the idiot’s hall……..

TD : C’mon, don’t be shy now, what time did you call it a night at last night?

BP : Don’t know, maybe 9:30pm or 9:45pm

TD : There you go! Myself and the missus are married 32 years now. We were out in Vicar Street last night until 2am, and then we went on to pub on the quays. Do you know The Ferryman pub? I know the guy who owns it. It’s a great place for a lock in. Well when I say owns it, I think he’s still paying off the deposit on it. It’s a right little gold mine.

BP : I admire your stamina!

TD : Mind you there’s not much left after he’s paid off the protection money. Still, it’s a good clean business. And in this day and age, you can’t knock a good clean business.

“Your good girl is goin’ to go bad…”

BP : eh…

TD : Yes, out until 4:30am this morning we were. Had a few scoops. They do excellent Guinness in The Ferryman. Do you drink Guinness yourself? Probably not, you’re probably one of those WKD girls or a Bicardi Breezer lass. None of that stuff in my day, we’d a pint and a chaser. Well when I say a pint, of course I mean we’d more like eight pints and eight whiskeys. I’m a Power’s man me’self. Always have been.

Do you know, I drank my first Power’s at nine. At my father’s wake. Don’t think I’ve stopped since. Well that’s not exactly true. I stop every year for lent. I never drink a drop of alcohol during lent. Never have never will.

BP : But isn’t this lent?

TD: Well this year is different. It is the first year in 27 that I haven’t gone off the gargle for lent. You see it was my birth day on the 19th March. And it was a milestone if you get my drift. And the wife was celebrating too.

BP : Ogh, were you 40?

TD : Hah, hah. Now aren’t you the charmer! 40? Sure I’ll never see 40 again. I was 50 last week. 50 years of age. Sure still only a young one. But I can understand your mistake. Most people take me to be only in my early 40’s. I’ve always looked young. Was the youngest at school. Well we were all young back then. None of this Montessori lark for us. Went to the University of Life so I did. And it didn’t do me any harm what so ever. That’s what attracted the missus. My youthful good looks, I suppose, what?. Do you know what age I was married at ? Go on, have a guess.

BP : Must have been 18, if you are married for 32 years and you are 50.

TD : That’s right. 18, I was. Good you’re quick for a women who’s been drinking since early evening! We’ll then of course you got married young in those days. We all did. In fact I was quite old at 18. Had to look after the business, you see. Never had much time for dances and all.

BP : I suppose….

TD : If you don’t mind me asking, what age are you?

BP : 26 (I lie)

TD : 26, and I see you are n’t wearing a wedding ring. God, my three were nearly reared by the time I was 26. Mind you, the kids these days, you aren’t in a hurry getting married, are yea?

I love you because you understand me ……

TD : And sure, marriage these days is nothing more than a passing fad. Not like it was in our day. A contract for life, it was with us. No thought of divorce for us. There was no way out. Til death us do part. And do you know, it nearly did part us several times during the past 32 years. My wife has been in and out of St Vincent’s Hospital, we nearly have our own parking space. We know all the staff there. First it was her gall bladder. Was in major pain with it for years before we knew it was serious. Flared up during our cruise on the Achille Lauro. Back in ’80. Well she just had to put up with it for 3-4 days. There was no way we’d trust those foreign doctors Don’t know what you are letting yourself in for. And then there was the breast cancer scare in ‘92. But she’s a warrior my wife. She toughed it out and you’d never know that she’d six months of chemotherapy. Mind you it’s pretty severe, the old chemo. Takes a lot out of your system. Most people think it’s the sickness, but it’s really the tiredness that gets you in the end.

TD : And that’s just the missus. Sure my heart stopped twice. The first time I was out on a golf weekend with the lads in Portugal. Flew into Faro on Ryanair for a five day trip taking in six golf courses. Now, I’m no Ernie Els, but I do love a bit of golf in the sun. And we had a great few days golf. Mind you the heat was something else. We’d played a round in the morning. I’d been hitting the ball very well and hit some magical shots. They started calling me Tiger I was so hot. We’d a big lunch too. God, but the Portuguese like their food. Yes so I don’t know if it was all the walking, or the heat or the big lunch. But I was fair puffin’ by the time I’d finished the back nine. This tightness in my chest. It was like some big bloke had his size tens on my chest. That’s the last I remember. I woke up in the hospital in Albufera. And a fine place it was too. So clean and efficient. I never saw a trolley for the entire four days I was in there.

Trailer so sale or rent. Rooms to let 50 cent……..

TD : And I’d another scare last year. Was coming in the Long Mile Road. Knew straight away that I was in trouble. Luckily I didn’t have a fare so I was able to drive myself straight into Vincent’s. Well you see I know the staff well in there. Nicest bunch of people you could ask to meet. In and out in three days I was. Well the missus was off work with her back, and the bills don’t pay themselves, do they?

BP : … (missed my cue)

TD : Our Jimmy came home all the way from Australia, the silly bugger. Sure I was out on the road again before he arrived. My kids are all away from home now. My youngest Sandra is in Arizona. She’s an assistant to a plastic surgeon. None of the cosmetic stuff. It’s all reconstruction surgery. You know, fires and car crashes. She sees some horrific stuff in an average week. Agh yeh, Sandra’s a good kid. Married to a nice bloke from Chicago. They’ve two kids of their own and then Peter, a seven year old from Andy’s first marriage. Lovely kids. Very polite. But sure Americans are all very polite. Very mannerly bunch. Myself and the wife are going over there this summer. We go over there every year….

BP : Here is just fine!

TD : What?! But I thought you said Dun Laoghaire? Sure this is Booterstown. Sure I didn’t get time to tell you about Tony, the middle one. Or my last turn in Thurles. On the road with Tommo’s army.

BP : Sorry, just hear please. Thanks!

TD : What’s wrong do you not like country music?

BP : No, I love it, honest. I just changed my mind.

Blankpaige scrambles out of the taxi. I need a drink, I need a drink!


Blogger Fence said...

He persuaded you to show a bit more energy then did he?


10:39 a.m., April 10, 2006  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

MY friend is Spanish and she absolutely hate all the chatter in taxis, so now she just says, 'Please, I donnn want to speak with you.'
Que silence all the way.
I'd love to do it but I haven't the balls.

12:13 p.m., April 10, 2006  
Blogger fdelondras said...

Things you should never do in taxis:

(a) Tell them you're a lawyer
(b) Mention a lover
(c) Try to stand up for immigrants
(d) Show interest in driver's health


12:25 p.m., April 10, 2006  
Blogger Omaniblog said...

I enjoyed the whole journey.

When I get in a taxi, I follow the same routine, every time.

"Tell me how's business?"
"How long do you work every day...?"
"How long have you been doing it...?"
"Is this your area?"
"Tell me, where's a good place to buy a house these days...?

Either I move to Dublin, or I change me approach. You have much more interesting monologues...

2:36 p.m., April 10, 2006  
Blogger KnackeredKaz said...

I also can't be doing with taxi driver chatter, so I've devised a new, albeit blunt way, to get out of it.

I get in the cab, tell the driver my destination, thank him and then I deliver my award winning line.

"You seem like a very nice man and thank you for taking the fare. I'd just like to alert you to the fact that I tip taxi drivers who don't talk to me very handsomely".

Cue blissful silence.

Sure it costs me a couple of euro extra, but Jesus the 'me' time alone is worth it.

8:10 p.m., April 10, 2006  
Blogger JL Pagano said...

Ah, now, you see, THIS is where an interest in football comes in handy. If you mention the prevailing footie topic of the day, a taxi driver will either talk the hind legs off the proverbial donkey for the length of your journey, or simply shut up.

8:52 a.m., April 11, 2006  
Blogger Cat said...

Reassuring to know that taxi-men are the same the world over! You can't have been that drunk though, otherwise you'd have started braying along with the C&W. A girl can't help it. Or at least this one can't.

4:45 p.m., April 11, 2006  
Blogger Paige A Harrison said...


Fatmammycat & KnackeredKaz : Remind me never to share a taxi with you killjoys.

Fiona : Suppose I shouldn't mention to them that I'm a public health worker living with a Polish immigant who is studying at Kings Inn?

Catgirl : Why do you think I terminated the ride? Dublin 4 has done nothing to deserve my rendition of "Harper Valley PTA"

5:54 p.m., April 11, 2006  
Blogger planetpotato said...

heh great post

9:09 p.m., April 12, 2006  
Blogger fdelondras said...

Fiona : Suppose I shouldn't mention to them that I'm a public health worker living with a Polish immigant who is studying at Kings Inn?

No, I don't think that would be a good idea. driver will either give out about the Poles coming here and taking our jobs and our women or ask you about the bit of tax trouble he's been having lately and would you have any advice for him OR tell you all about his piles. None of the above is an appealing prospect!! :D

(PS Didnt know you were in Inns - we prob have numerous people in common. Amusing)

8:55 a.m., April 13, 2006  

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