After a night of hearty merriment in a city centre tavern last night, I was horrified to find that the taxi drivers racing past me, roof lights ablaze, didn't seem to appreciate my drunken Saltelero. So I tacked my way up to the rank on The Green, only to be faced with a queue that stetched for what must have been a thousand miles.
My attention was then drawn to the charming gathering of hacks just beside the rank.
While I like a good carriage ride as much as the next man, the problem with them in Dublin is that they are driven by the worst kinds of tracksuited ruffians and ne'er-do-wells. I've always thought it curious that they should go to such splendid lengths with their choice of vehicle and then dress like something that crawled out of a hooligan's arse.
I took up the odds: I could either be set upon by a gurrier on my way home, or borne home by one in my employ.
Tentatively I approached the carriages and decided that only a barouche would do. Next came the difficult part - trying to explain to the driver in the few words of Gaelic I have that I wanted to be taken to Rathgar.
"I say, can you take me as far as Rathgar...Amm, craic, ceol, Eire?" I asked, my voice trembling not a little.
The chap then launched into a barrage of guttural squawking.
I persisted, "Ammm, ah, amm...Rath-gar. Me want go to Rath-gar."
He then said something to one of the other drivers in Gaelic and started chortling. Perhaps he doesn't know of Rathgar, I thought, it's possible.
There's very little in life that you can't fix by throwing money at it. I extracted my coin pouch and shook it, indicating it was heavy. I then offered it up to the blackguard.
He seemed to raise his crop at this. I cowered back. He said something I could just make out as "sixty Euro". By God they're well able to speak English when it comes to money! I handed him a hundred and instructed him not to spare the horse...and to stop at Abrakebabra en route.
Another Crisis In Foptown