I NOTICED a tweet from fellow Glasgow Times columnist Chris McQueer earlier this week which made me laugh.

He said/tweeted: “The taxi small talk glory era had to be the year Leicester won the league. Getting in a taxi and just immediately saying, ‘Wit about Leicester eh?’”

Everyone following? By that, I don’t mean are you following Chris on Twitter (although please do that – @ChrisMcQueer_ is his handle) – what I mean is, do you follow what he means?

I’ll translate. Taxis are commonly the venue for such opening one-liners between driver and passenger which use any topical subject to break the ice, from which the conversation can flow.

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At any given time, one item of current affairs will provide the subject matter for the dominant one-liner of the day aka taxi small talk.

In the late spring of 2016, this may – for a brief period, especially in Glasgow – have been Leicester City’s unlikely success as Premier League champions down south.

Chris is correct. Sport is a popular go-to for the taxi small talk opening one-liner, especially football in a city like Glasgow.

The election of Leicester City as the subject matter in 2016 is also a safe play, it doesn’t nail colours to any Glasgow mast, English football is rarely dangerous ground. The respondent does have the option to volunteer his footballing persuasions if he wishes (“It’s brilliant eh – good one them, even though I’m a Celtic/Rangers/Partick Thistle/Queen’s Park/Pollok man” etc, etc – which takes the chat on to the next stage.)

Glasgow Times: Glasgow funnyman and our columnist Chris McQueerGlasgow funnyman and our columnist Chris McQueer

Once you’ve spent years in the trade you hear all sorts of taxi small talk and opening one-liners.

My favourites are the quintessentially Glaswegian ones which capture the swagger of the city while at the same time either grossly underplaying or massively exaggerating the importance of the matter proposed for discussion. Or those which simply make no sense at all! Some examples:

l“That weather is murder, eh” (clarification: it’s not actually, it’s just raining)

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l“That’s some carry on in INSERT NAME OF COUNTRY WITH MAJOR INTERNATIONAL CRISIS, eh” (clarification: it’s slightly more concerning than a “carry on”)

l“Sorry to keep you, the bank was busy, it’s like Sauchiehall Street in there” (clarification: this surely only applies if the bank is the size of a town or if you mean it was like Sauchiehall Street under lockdown)

l“You busy the night, driver” (clarification: this can not be left out of any such list!)

What’s your go-to taxi small talk opening one-liner? Stay safe, everyone!