In the driver's defence, I sort of started it. I didn't mean to, but 2 hours at Kings Cross, 2 hours on the train, followed by another half hour in the insanely snowy taxi queue with wet feet in stupid heels had obviously destroyed all my critical faculties and social filters (yes, Chablis might also have been partially responsible for that. No matter). Thus, when the driver said to me "Are you cooking Christmas dinner?" I answered:
"No, we're not doing Christmas dinner because I've just split up with my ex (note how articulate that formula was. Chablis vocabulary) . We're spending the day together with the kids, but we can't be arsed to cook".
TD: We did that Jamie wassit's turkey last year. It were gorgeous. Shove a load of butter up its arse. Stick some foil over t' top. (he did talk like this, I am not lapsing into Geoffrey Boycott/James Herriott professional Yorkshireness, tempting though it is. I do have a whippet after all)
E: Oh? I've got a mate who sticks her turkey in salt water for three days in a bin outside. Apparently it's gorgeous.
TD: So are you a good mother then?
E: (puzzled, must have misheard) Eh?
TD: Are yer a good mother?
E: (now fully primed for philosophical debate on nature of parenting): Well, what's a good mother?
TD: Does 'e see 'is kids?
E: Oh yeah. Loads. We do fifty fifty.
TD: Because I been married twice, and t'first wife - can I speak my mind?
E: Oh, go ahead.
TD: She were a right evil cow.
TD: She were just after me money and she turned the kids against me. Me two girls.
(you can hear sleigh bells ringing and songs of peace and joy at this point can't you? It gets better)
E: Bad choice of wife by you, then.
TD: Second wife were 'er, first wife's best friend. And she - the evil cow - shacked up wi' second wife' husband.
(chestnuts are roasting on an open fire now)
TD: She wanted everything. I offered 60:40 but bitch weren't 'avin it.
E: You can see why there are some bitter men out there.
(Hang on - you are ready for the festive climax, aren't you. I want everyone FESTOONED in tinsel for this bit, because it's so fucking Christmassy you may expire from the sheer seasonal goodness of it. Ready? Good. )
Now both of me daughters are heroin addicts and prostitutes.
E: Oh. Oh, that's awful. Er. Right! This is me here by the telegraph pole! Butter up its arse you say? Merry Christmas!