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Jun 29

Old skool

Posted on Sunday, June 29, 2008 in Philosophy, Taxi driving

I drove into work yesterday empowered by The Prodigy, old skool style.  It took my brain to another dimension… pay close attention. 

I’m empowered.  I rule the bus lanes of Dublin City.  I read strange books and lurk in taxi-ranks and I am at your service.  I am not a sour taxi-driver, I’m quiet.  If you talk to me, I’ll talk back and agree with you, sympathise with you and be interested in what you have to say, as long as you keep popping those coins in the meter. 

I picked up a carpet-layer from Bargaintown yesterday, and forgot to turn on the meter until we were halfway there.  His tip made up for it because he was refreshed.  I let an old guy off two euros… he had the notes but I took his spare change instead even though it fell short.  He smiled and said it would come back around, and it did. 


To all taxi drivers out there who might chance upon this post-

Be nice.  Provide a service that people want and the rewards will return.  Fuck the belligerence.  Write it down instead.  Blog, don’t bitch.

Read all those newspaper articles, listen to Joe Duffy or read countless blogs and you’ll know that we taxi-drivers are a hated breed.  They think we all guard our meters like we’re heroin-addicts and use every available opportunity to stiff the poor unsuspecting public.  They think we all talk too much about our miserable lives and darken their souls with our sordid opinions, but we don’t.  Not all of us.

So you’ve been burnt before eh?  Bitterness is a sink-hole whirlpool that sucks all the crud into oblivion.  Be careful, for you are the contact lens that’s fallen on the side of that sink bowl, and if you let the greed and the bitterness and the divil himself into your soul, you’re washed away. 

You have to cling.  You have to cling to the hope that you’ll be scooped up, washed clean and be appreciated for the vision you’ve created.


‘Course it’s easy for me, I’ve just won the lottery.  All €18 million of it, but ssshh, don’t say anything.  I’m giving it all to an investor who’s just e-mailed me promising me he’ll double it within 24 hours.  Woohoo!  I just love money!  No I don’t.  It’s fake and I hate it.  I’m hoping that if I hate it enough, it’ll come to me easily and I hate that too.  It always has control, always has to be more. 

These days we forget the alternatives, the ‘I’ll scratch your back’s, the discounts, the open doors, the free eggs.  Bring the barter system back, I say!  Fuck the Department of Finance, the credit ratings and the drooping shares, it’s all just imaginary cash and it has us ruined.

It’s about time this country had a recession.  It takes a jolt to bring people back around to the right way of thinking again.  

Bring on the comments

  1. I have never met a discontent or sour cabbie. Most of the one’s I’ve met have been very chatty and a bit curious. I tell them where I’m from and what I’m doing in their lovely city, and some tell me a bit about themselves.

    There was one chap that picked me up at the airport, when I first arrived in May. He was a lovely chap. We talked about everything! He talked about growing up in outskirts of Dublin, and I talked ’bout growing up in a wee southern city in the states. We became best of mates in the morning traffic. He even gave me his number for when I needed a taxi again.

    I reckon I’ll buzz him or a lady cabbie from the south, when I return in 62 days! ;)

    Keep on truckin’/cabbin’ K8. :)

  2. Quickroute says:

    what’s yer number – I need a cheap/free ride!

  3. Grannymar says:

    I’m all for barter.

    I’ll darn your socks if you dig my garden!

  4. Your last 2 sentences are right on the fucking money.

  5. Granny says:

    What a wise ole bird you are for such a wee chile.!

  6. Grandad says:

    We’ll pay for your secondary school fees if you’ll look after us in our old age?

  7. Granny says:

    I wonder if she knows that we have been running our meter for de babysitting and have the bill in de post! Barter my fanny.

  8. K8 says:

    Jefferson; Yes but you bring out the happy in people… according to a shit load of Irish blogs, people are very disgruntled about the whole grumpy auld scabby-fecker taxi-drivers thing. When I comment as a taxi driver, I seem to get very similar responses! It pee’s me off is all.

    Quickroute; 087-CHILLAX

    Grannymar; Sounds fair! Um, how big’s your garden?

    Xbox4nappyrash; We’re getting far too greedy, meself included what with me Xbox and Wii and DS and that. Kids are losing all meaning for material value and we need to wake up.

    Squidward; I’ve saved up a nice pile of old newspapers and brown paper bags for your retirement. I’ve even booked a bench in Phoenix Park for you, you can’t get much posher than that.

    Ma; Uhh, ok… Bring your fanny to the pawn shop with me tomorrow and we’ll see what we can get for it.

  9. warrior says:

    Howye, yep you guys have a recession, beats living in France which is in permanent recession. The salary is crap and the trains are on strike and taxis here cost as much as a helicopter ride. But its 30C today and will be till september…..people are half naked, I have good health care, ( needed for the upcoming surgery)……and life is always a struggle…..Bring back the barter true….. true, but a shock to the system doesn’t mean they will think the right way, look at the last bunch of years after 2001?

  10. Woo-hoo. Go K8. Indeed, money is a bad dream we have all yet to wake up from. Scary shit is perpetrated in it’s name, filthy lucre.

  11. Maxi Cane says:

    I wonder if I could do the ironing for my bank manager in exchange for a car payment or two….

  12. Money’s got us all by the short and curlies. We need it to live, but we’re only slaves to it if we allow ourselves to be. You need never worry about being in its thrall, K8. You are not the money-grabbing type, that much I know.

    My dad still barters all sorts. A bottle for salmon that fell off the back of a ghillie’s boat. Work on a house for a nice slab of venison or a freezerful of lamb. Nothing’s ever agreed on ahead of time. You just do good turns for people and they say, oh well, you did my peats for me, that year I had shingles so here’s some tickets to Murrayfield I bought but can’t use.

    More of it, I say.

  13. King Bob says:

    I like cab drivers, and I kind of get a bit [email protected]@@ed off when people whine about them. They are human, are entitled to have an opinion and there are days when I can understand they get a bit crotchety. However, it is not a job for everyone, the driving part is easy, it’s dealing with the public that makes the job difficult. When a student I worked nightshift in a petrol station and because I had a laugh and treated them OK they all came after their night shift and used it for a chill-out zone, i treated them well and in turn they treated me well.

    Last year I was whisked into Loughlinstown by Ambulance and my wife came with me. After I was stabilised in ICU (about 3am) she had to get home, she had no money and had left her purse at home. The cab driver picked her up and took her to Wicklow Town on a promise of money nothing less. She was upset so never got his name. But whoever it was , wasn’t cynical and was a credit to the profession.

  14. “I’ll talk back and agree with you, sympathise with you and be interested in what you have to say”


  15. K8 says:

    Warrior; Yes but French people don’t act like spoiled brats, not so wrapped up in material value… we’re all paranoid over here, too eager to guard our stuff instead of sharing it with our neighbours. 2001 probably has a lot to do with that.

    Thriftcrimal; The only time money is fun is when a 20 bob note is changed in an arcade and you get to carry around a big bucket of coinage :)… I love wasting money on slots.

    Maxi Cane; Iron the bank notes for the ATM machine you mean? I’ve always wondered who does that.

    Sam Problemchildbride; You still do get lots of that in the country, just not in built-up suburbs so it’s just as well this recession will stop urban sprawl… it was swallowing up old fashioned-thinking.

    King bob; Trust breeds trust, ’tis true… that’s a good story you got there :)

    Roy; There’s alot to be said for earphones :) Sure I do be listening one-eared to Metallica half the time.

  16. Hear hear!

    I get annoyed in long queues when I’ve been clutching my fiver a bit too long and read the bit that says, ‘I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of five pounds’ and I think, ‘I don’t have five pounds… and what is five pounds anyway?’

  17. Brianf says:

    I stopped reading the comments when you called Grandad, Squidward!!!!
    Squidward it is!
    chortle, yuk, guffaw…….

  18. Medbh says:

    All the taxi drivers here look miserable and angry.

  19. Deborah says:

    You’re so right K8. People need a swift kick up the arse!

    As for the cabbies, I’ve also been very lucky in Dublin. Usually it’s like a travelling comedy show!

  20. K8 says:

    Jenny; I know! Besides, I’ve never heard a salesperson even once say ‘I demand €2.40 for that newspaper…’ because demanding is just so darn rude.

    BrianF; Perfect, innit? Of course, that makes me Spongebob which makes you Patrick :)

    Medbh; Same here, for the most part. Sometimes I think plastic bobbleheaded dashboard Jesuses should be mandatory to break the tension.

    Deborah; Yes but are you laughing at them or with them? ;)

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