Baldwin, Stanley (1867-1947)

Baldwin, Stanley 1

[Baldwin was Conservative Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1923 to 1931 and from 1935 to 1937.]

At any rate, Baldwin entered on his new job with characteristic humility. He went to the palace in an ordinary taxicab, kept it waiting while he was talking to the King, and then drove home in it as Prime Minister.

Bankhead, Tallulah (1903-1968)

Bankhead, Tallulah 1

[Bankhead made her stage debut in 1918 and appeared in many plays and films. Her outstanding movie role was in Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat, but she was also famous for her off-screen shenanigans.]

When Tallulah Bankhead first became successful in London, she bought herself a Bentley, which she greatly enjoyed driving. The London streets bewildered her, however, and she tended to get lost. After a while she took to hiring a taxi to lead the way while she drove behind in the Bentley.

Baylis, Lilian (1874-1937)

Baylis, Lilian 1

[Baylis took over management of the Royal Victoria Theatre (the Old Vic) in 1912. She acquired the Sadler's Wells Theatre in 1931. Her prayer was "Please God, send me some good actors -- cheap!"]

Elated by her recent acquisition of Sadler's Wells as an opera and ballet house, Miss Baylis stepped off the sidewalk outside London's Old Vic theater without looking and was knocked down by a passing cab. An elderly gentleman rushed to her aid. "Blimey," he exclaimed, "if it ain't Miss Lilian Baylis of the Old Vic." Raising her head with some difficulty, Miss Baylis announced proudly, "And Sadler's Wells, too!" And lapsed unconscious.

Beecham, Sir Thomas (1879-1961)

Beecham, Sir Thomas 1

[Founder of the Royal Philharmonic orchestra, Beecham was regarded as the foremost conductor of his time. He was also noted for his candid pronouncements on musical matters.]

As a young man Beecham was the subject of many stories relating to his dashing style. One tells how he was walking in London's Piccadilly on a balmy summer evening when he began to feel that he was too warmly dressed. He hailed a cab, tossed his redundant topcoat into it, and ordered the driver, "Follow me." He then completed his stroll unencumbered.


Beginners 1

A woman visitor to the city entered a taxicab. No sooner was the door closed than the car leaped forward violently, and afterward went racing wildly along the street, narrowly missing collision with innumerable things. The passenger, naturally enough, was terrified. She thrust her head through the open window of the door, and shouted at the chauffeur:

Please, be careful sir! I'm nervous. This is the first time I ever rode in a taxi."

The driver yelled in reply, without turning his head:

"That's all right, ma'am. It's the first time I ever drove one!"

Beginners 2

FIRST DAY ON A CAB. Told by John Rosenthal.

The first day out was a Sunday. I got the job through a police officer. Because of being a new man it was hard to got a job in any fleet. The day I started to ride was a thrill to me. I wanted to ride all over the city and see the sights without even thinking of picking up fares.

I started out at 135th and Madison and wound up at Fifth Ave. and Tenth St. There I got a little tired after two hours riding around and doing nothing but riding, and parked on a corner.

In about ten minutes I got a call to 59th St. and Fifth Ave. I threw the flag and proceeded toward the destination. As I approached 34th St. and Fifth Ave. a lady hailed me. Without much thinking on my part I pulled over to the curb to pick her up.

Opening the door, the man that I had inside said "This is only 34th St." Seeing the embarrassment I was in I told him I forgot where he told me to go.

At first I wandered around to see the town and didn't want a call. Then finally I wanted to pick up two passengers at once.

See also:

Asimov, Isaac 1
Churchill, Winston 1

Benchley, Robert (1889-1945)

Benchley, Robert 1

[This famous story about the humorist and critic is told by Benchley's son Nathaniel. The scene is the Trocadero Restaurant in Hollywood:]

When, in the course of events, we left to go home, he went to a uniformed man at the door and said, "Would you get us a taxi, please?"

The man turned, and regarded him icily. "I'm very sorry," he said. "I happen to be a rear admiral in the United States Navy."

"All right then," said my father. "Get us a battleship."

Benchley, Robert 2

[In a pinch, anything (or anyone) can serve as a cab:]

One day he and Mr. [Donald Ogden] Stewart emerged from Tony's to find it raining. A pedestrian carrying an umbrella came past Tony's doorway, and Mr. Stewart ducked under the man's umbrella, gripped him by the arm, said, "Yale Club, please," and steered his startled victim down the street, leaving Mr. Benchley gaping after him, lost in admiration.

"If drinking can do that for a man," Mr. Benchley mused, "there must be something in it after all."


Boasting 1

I have done almost every human activity inside a taxi that does not require main drainage. See also:

Meters 4

Burnett, Carol (1934-)

Burnett, Carol 1

Climbing out of a cab one day, Miss Burnett inadvertently caught her coat in the door. As the driver continued on his way, unaware of the accident, the comedienne was obliged to run alongside the moving vehicle to avoid being pulled off her feet. A quick-thinking passerby, noticing her plight, hailed the cab and alerted the driver. Having released Miss Burnett's coat, the driver asked her anxiously, "Are you all right?"

"Yes," she replied, still gasping for breath, "but how much more do I owe you?"

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Revised November 11, 1998