I liked this fella, old school.
I flagged him down on Harold's Cross, immediately twigging the smell of freshly extinguished cigarette in his taxi.
I told him where I wanted to get to and he asked me which way I'd like him to go.
There was something about Cowen and the shambolic state of the country while we drove down the canal, but I was busy spotting hobos and too uninterested in yet another diatribe against the state of everything.
Then his about-turn.
"I've just heard myself, sorry about that."
"Sorry about what?"
"Sorry for being the usual moaning bastard of a taxi driver. I do my best not to go in for it."
Bernard was his name.
"You're alright. I don't mind." I did mind.
"We're an awful bunch of cantankerous fuckers, aren't we? We bang on about working 80 hours a week when we're lucky to have jobs, we're our own bosses and, I'll say it again, we're lucky to have jobs.
He continued, "I'm taking someone to the airport at 7.30 in the morning and four years ago I'd have said no fuckin' way was I getting out of bed at that hour. Now I'm happy to do it, not just because of the money but it's good to get out of bed in the mornings."
"Do you not meet some awful messers?" I didn't want to say fuckers, for some reason.
"C'mere, you meet them in any job, don't you? All I'm about is getting you where you need to go as safely and as quickly as possible, to be pleasant, to take the route you want and to... eh... that's the story of it. And I'll tell you another thing, any bastard that starts banging on about how shite his life is, while you're sitting in his taxi, needs to remember that you're the man paying his wages."