He was getting on well at work, adding: "Unfortunately the nerves have kicked in bad today, soiling myself and we've still got a few days to go till the big kick-off . . . "
Okay, I admit it. He didn't use the word "soiling" but you get the drift. Auld Reekie smells of fear this week. For the city's two football tribes, today is going to be either the best day of their sporting life, or the catastrophic worst. There is no Halfway House, except the pub up the steps behind Waverley Station. Best or worst, maroon or green.
And speaking as a Jambo who was one of the 35,844 at Tynecastle on New Year's Day 1973 (0-7 in the derby), was at Dens Park in 1986 (defeat by Dundee costing us the league title on goal difference) and has borne witness to sundry relegations, cup final defeats and other traumas, that's saying something.
It was a long wait for me, but at least I have known Scottish Cup triumph, the 1998 Celtic Park final against Rangers in which Colin Cameron and Stephane Adam scored, and the nervy, undistinguished victory over underdogs Gretna in 2006, requiring penalties to decide the game. Rudi Skacel scored in that game; I think he will do so again today.
No-one on the planet can remember Hibs' last victory in the Big Cup, 110 years ago, hence the continuous barrage of sarcastic observations we fling at our rivals.
When Hibs last won the cup the Boer War was raging, Wyatt Earp was running a saloon in Nevada, survivors of the Charge of the Light Brigade were still holding reunions, Lord Salisbury was the Prime Minister, Queen Victoria had died the previous year, and the Wright brothers were still a year away from achieving powered flight.
Oh, how we laugh. Brushing off the odd win in the League Cup as the Diddy Cup or 'the cup wi' nae lid', Jambos keep coming back to the 110 years and counting. Jibes. Bragging rights. It's what fans do. Think Ian Murray of Hibs shaving 7-0 into his scalp. Think Ian Black's T-shirt at Easter Road promising to "Paint This Place Maroon".
Hibs ruining the joke by ending their Scottish Cup jinx any time would be bad enough for jolly Jambos, but to do it today by beating us would be a tough one to swallow. For our Hibby friends, it would be enough to eradicate the trauma of the 2006 Hampden semi-final, when Hearts scored four times without reply and Hibs had two players sent off. Today is their chance to wipe out all of that. By close of play new T-shirts will be in preparation. We have to hope the writing will be maroon, proclaiming 111 years and counting.
My lost generation of Jambos did not have it easy. Anyone born into a Hearts family in the mid-1950s had older relatives who were high on the successes of that era: the Scottish Cup in 1956, four League Cups and two championships between 1954 and 1962. In 1957/58 the team scored 132 league goals in 34 league matches. Unimaginable.
Conn, Bauld and Wardhaugh; Mackay, Cumming and Young. I was too young, but surely it would always be this way. Nope. The last silverware for more than a generation was won in 1962. Three years later, the league was lost on goal average to Kilmarnock on the last day of the season and the dark decades began, just as I was old enough to become a regular.
The 1967/68 cup campaign was a grand adventure for a 13-year-old boy and included the best game I have ever attended, the remarkable 6-5 tie at Tannadice. Replays were won in the quarter-final against Rangers and semi against Morton, but Dunfermline Athletic prevailed in the final.
By the time I finally saw Hearts lift the cup, I had two teenage boys of my own with me. Hampden had become synonymous with misery by that time, so it was no surprise that the breakthrough in 1998 came while the national stadium was closed for reconstruction.
What little success Hearts had through the 1970s, 80s and 90s I sometimes missed. I was unable to get the night off work in 1976 when we overcame a 2-0 away defeat in Leipzig by thrashing Lokomotiv 5-1 at Tynecastle. The feeling of being personally jinxed would have developed but for one man: John Robertson, whose 27 goals against Hibs meant that whatever other disappointments there were – most obviously the double that got away in 1986 – Robbo always gave us the edge over our rivals, contributing to a run of 22 derbies without defeat.
Who will give us that edge today? Hibs will rightly fear Craig Beattie (if fit), Rudi Skacel and Ian Black, and they should certainly worry about Suso Santana, who has come on to a great game. If those four play to form I believe we will score goals. My fears? Marius Zaliukas must not lose his concentration, and he and Andy Webster will have to snuff out Garry O'Connor and Leigh Griffiths while protecting Jamie MacDonald on cross balls. Do that and for Jambos it will be a day to treasure, something even my Dad and uncles never witnessed.