"I've got a taxicab now," volunteered Frank.
"How're you doing?" inquired Harry.
"Not so good. I hardly make enough to pay for the damage I do to the other cars."
"Hey," says one, "How come your car is painted red on one side and blue on the other?"
"That's in case I get into an accident," the second driver replies. "It's to confuse the witnesses."
[Paraphrased from a French joke on this web site:]
There was a driver picked a passenger up somewhere near Borough Hall in Brooklyn. And he was told to drive to a dock out in 32nd Street or 34th Street in Brooklyn to a ship.
The passenger was drunk. It was a dark night, snowing and a lot of ice on the street. When they got to the dock the driver asked the passenger how far he wanted him to take him into this place. It was so dark he couldn't see.
So the passenger said, "You see that red light out there?" There was a red light out there blinking in the distance. "Go straight ahead until you come to that light!"
The driver drove on and on until he finally went up the roadway and crushed through the ice of the river. The cab sank to its roof top in the river. The red light the passenger told him to drive to was on a buoy in the middle of the river.
Joe Miller's Jests 4
Mitchell, Margaret 1
West, Nathaniel West 1
I sent an article to the Manchester Daily Despatch suggesting that in Cinderella Robert Courtneidge had produced a thing of beauty. I was invited to become the paper's dramatic critic. Asked what salary I wanted I replied that I would leave it to the proprietors who should pay me at the end of the year whatever I had been worth to them. During the year I contributed forty-nine articles. On Christmas Eve I received a cheque for [seven pounds]. I gave it to the cabman who drove me regularly between the theatres and the newspaper office, and told the editor what I had done. He sacked me.
Shaw, George Bernard 1
The receptionist apologizes for the delay and tells him the cab will be there shortly.
Another half an hour goes by and he calls again. The receptionist promises that the cab will be there any minute now.
Twenty minutes later, the man is in a panic. "The cab still isn't here and I've got to get to the airport! I have to catch flight 714 for New York and it leaves in half an hour!"
The receptionist apologizes a third time and swears that the cab will arrive ANY SECOND. "But don't worry," she adds, "You won't be late. That flight is always delayed."
"It's going to be delayed, all right. I'm the pilot!"
[Paraphrased from a French joke on this web site:]
In June, 1857, the Great Cockney [Charles Dickens] invited the Great Dane [Andersen] to visit him at Gad's Hill for two weeks. Andersen stayed five, at the end of which time his host was referring to him as "a bony bore". Nobody could understand him, in French, Italian or German; Andersen spoke no English, and the Dickenses no Danish.
Andersen's simplicity must have been trying. In a letter Dickens reports: "One day he came home to Tavistock House, apparently suffering from corns which had ripened in two hours. It turned out that a cab driver had brought him back from the City, by way of the unfinished new thoroughfare through Clerkenwell. Satisfied that the cabman was bent on robbery, and murder, he put his watch and money into his boots -- together with a Bradshaw, a pocket-book, a pair of scissors, a penknife, a book or two, a few letters of introduction, and some other miscellaneous property."
I once caught a taxi and asked to be taken to Grand Central Station. Clearly, the cabbie didn't know where it was and it turned out he was fresh out of the Soviet Union and this was his first day on the job. Beyond the fact that he was in Manhattan, he knew nothing.
I didn't get mad. I remembered when my father came here from the Soviet Union and had to turn his hand to anything he could to feed the family. I said, "Do as I tell you," and talked him over to Grand Central Station.
When I got out, I said, "Learn the city as quickly as you can because there are few New York passengers who are as nice as I am and they will be annoyed with you if you don't know where you're going."
On one occasion, I noticed the name of the driver was Michael P. O'Brien. I said, "I'd be willing to bet that the middle initial P. stands for Patrick."
The driver said, "You'd be right. It's Patrick." There was a short pause and then he added, "A great deal of originality went into thinking up that middle name."
I laughed and doubled his tip.
The result was foregone. Tim and Dick showed no signs whatever of having imbibed liquor, but I had gotten sloshed (which is why I don't drink). When they ordered a third drink, I tried to order one, too, but Tim said something quickly to the French waiter in French and the waiter leaned over me and said solicitously, "Would ze zhentleman like some bread and buttair?"
I finally got editorial permission to do my book and between that and the two drinks I was as happy as a lark. I left the restaurant to get a taxi that would take me to my next appointment. As the taxi driver pulled away, I said to him, for no reason other than drunken camaraderie, "I just had lunch with two editors."
The driver must have had his share of drunken passengers. He stopped the taxi with a jerk, turned to me with a look of concern, and said, "Did they get you to sign anything?"
I reassured him, and doubled his tip.
I was waiting at the corner for a taxi on a blustery day and there were none. I was in a reasonable hurry, and I was cold and uncomfortable and I must have looked woebegone.
A taxi skidded to a halt in front of me. The front window cranked down and the driver called out, "I'd love to pick you up, Dr. Asimov, because I'm a fan of yours, but I already have a fare."
"I understand," I said. "Thank you anyway." And I motioned him on.
But now the back window cranked down and the fare shouted, "I'm a fan of yours, too, Dr. Asimov. Get in."
So I got in and was driven to my destination -- but I insisted on paying the fare. Noblesse oblige.
After the war one quip which went the rounds of Westminster was attributed to Churchill himself. 'An empty taxi arrived at 10 Downing Street, and when the door was opened [Clement] Attlee got out.' When [John] Colville repeated this, and its attribution, to Churchill he obviously did not like it. His face set hard, and 'after an awful pause' he said: 'Mr. Attlee is an honourable and gallant gentleman, and a faithful colleague who served his country well at the time of her greatest need. I should be obliged if you would make it clear whenever an occasion arises that I would never make such a remark about him, and that I strongly disapprove of anyone who does.'
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