According to a recent NY1-Marist poll, cab drivers are considered the worst drivers in the city, madcap hell-on-wheels vehicle operators who “don’t care if they hit anything.” Maybe they even like it! 80 percent of city residents polled say this, which means … it must be at least anecdotally true-ish. Last week we shared some of the worst experiences we’ve ever had (or read about, or heard tell through the omnipresent cab rumor grapevine of NYC) in getting a cab to Brooklyn. Today, in light of this recent survey, we’re gathering our shared craziest cab experiences, barring any of those that pertain to a driver not taking us to Brooklyn, as well as any other crimes, like being threatened with violence, or actually being assaulted. Because those situations do happen, and they are not funny.
8. The time the cab driver told us that it was cloudy and therefore we couldn’t use the ATM because the lasers that it relied upon for service wouldn’t be able to cut through the gray skies. Predictably, his driving style was a little “loose.”
7. The cabbie taking us downtown from the Upper East Side who smacked into a concrete blockade instead of turning onto the FDR. The car was not destroyed, and because we were young and stupid, we stayed in it, despite the strong smell of gasoline and fear of impending doom. We made it.
6. The cab we got into to make our early train from Penn Station only to be stopped by a cop at 7 a.m. on 6th Avenue because he was going really, really fast. (Older and wiser at this point, we got out and hailed another cab. And didn’t pay him.)
5. The driver who wouldn’t accept our credit card and, after a screaming argument ensued, in which we dramatically, accidentally, fell from the mini-van cab, called the cops on us. (We escaped.)
4. The cab we got into at Houston and Avenue A in which the driver didn’t know where Canal Street and Ludlow was, not even on the map he began to study, frenetically, and not even when we directed him there. (After many protests from him, we finally got out.)
3. This was really our fault, but getting into a cab going from 72nd and 2nd to 22nd and 2nd and being completely unable to say “Twenty-second Street” and instead repeating “Secondy-second and second! Secondy-second and second!” over and over again as he looked at us as if we were mad. We may also have had our shirt on inside out.
2. This happened to a friend:
I was the last of a group of friends to get dropped off in a cab — I was staying at my parents’ place. I’d been chatting with the cab driver for the last five minutes, and, when we reached my stop, he turned around and asked with all earnestness, “So, should I come up?” In my somewhat tipsy state, I felt the appropriate response was not to offend him, so I very rationally explained that, unfortunately, my parents were at home. “That’s okay — we can be very quiet,” he assured me. I expressed my deepest regret, but told him it probably wasn’t going to work out this time. “Too bad” he said. I agreed and got out of the taxi faster than I’ve ever left a taxi before.
1. And, from our friends on the Internet: “Taxi driver is driving like lunatic and I ask him if he’s blind. He tells me he has one glass eye. That is not what I wanted to hear.”
Surely, there are other, possibly worse, tales of woe? Care and share! (For example: This happened recently.)
FYI: If any of this or worse has happened to you, you can always take the bus. 70 percent of New Yorkers find buses very safe and comforting. Until something like this happens.
In other traffic-etiquette news, half of poll respondents thought pedestrians were considerate (hm); and 48 percent said cyclists were, while 46 percent said they weren’t. Others, presumably, didn’t know or couldn’t decide.