“To be entoirely honest with you now,” taxi driver Anthony ‘Anto’ Brennan said, alarmed at having his favourite monologue interrupted by a sceptical passenger, “I’m not a hundred percent sure which mansion he lives in? But I know it was one a them massive wans out in Howth, so it was.”
As he spoke, Mr Brennan, a brill creamed grandfather and lifelong Dickie Rock fan, half turned to speak over his left shoulder.
“I remember I had a cold that I got at me brudder-in-law’s funeral, tha Lort-a-mercy onum,” he continued, his voice taking on a slightly defensive tone, “so there was a lot going on that week or I’d be able ta remember the address. But I remember the asylum lad well because he paid me with a brand new fifty euro note. He peeled it off a massive wad a notes the welfare gave um tha very same day. Can ya believe tha’?” he said, glancing hopefully into the rear view mirror.
A moment later, mistakenly equating silence with consent, he continued, “I wouldn’t mind but wasn’t there a brand new sports car in the driveway that they gave him last week when he told them he’s bringing his entire family over soon? That’s why they put him up in a mansion…”
Aware by now that this tall tale might be stretching credulity, Anto decided to bluster on anyway.
“What you have to understand about these fellas is they’re not like you and me? They’re only laughing at us.”
Irritated by the continuing silence, Anto subtly attempted to draw his passenger out, by falling back on the taxi driver’s tried–and–tested playbook of more general conversational topics.
“So what’s the story with yourself love anyway,” he barked, “are ya one a them social workers or wha’?”