"Careful outside, our driveway is the last place in Dublin to still have patches of ice."
As was his flat, judging from this evening. It meant that one of the two extra layers I'd applied for outside wear had never been removed once I'd arrived over to drink some beer and share in his team's further ignominy. And now it's too late for a bus and I don't feel insulated sufficiently against the freezing fog that shrouds the Rathgar road.
I hunch my shoulders and truck homewards, knowing it's not really that far of a walk. A dark figure shambles out of the mist toward me. Look straight ahead and don't make eye contact, Andrew, that's how you keep them from murdering you and raping your corpse. It works.
Dozens upon hundreds of taxis crawl past me, with hopeful lights on top that say "Hey big boy, me bring you home long time five dollah." I pat my empty wallet and think there was a time, lads, there was a time. I walk past a blonde girl with a warm-looking hat on. She looks straight ahead and doesn't make eye contact.
Eddie Rocket's of Rathmines is open and deserted and I consider throwing them the sop of my company. But I've done nothing to earn fries and a chocolate malt on a Wednesday night. The clock above the Swan makes for an eerie backlit sight in these conditions. I wish momentarily that I had a camera with me, then I remember that cameras don't really get fog, especially at night.
Tramco has less punters than the net café next door. Taxis queue outside Rain Niteclub as it dry-retches no-one to their bosoms. In the future, when my grandchildren ask me what I remember of The Grand Depression I will say "Taxis, so very many taxis." 7,247 of them I've counted now, though I have been drinking. Aprile's takeaway are still doing brisk business - those beautiful, greasy, durable bastards. It takes all of my bravery to stare straight ahead and not make eye contact.
I stumble in the door, hit the leaba without brushing mo fiaclaí and fire up the laptop to thaw out my thighs.