Language 1

About ten days after I landed in America from England, I hailed a New York taxicab and instructed the driver to take me to "Three-three-three West End Avenue."

He repeated the number, "Tree hunert toity-tree," and immediately began questioning me about what I thought of the present Labor Government, the Beatles, mod fashions and so on -- all in the richest Brooklyn accents. As I paid him he looked me up and down and stated in tones of awe, "Gee, buddy, you sure do moider the English language!"

Language 2

A Chinese taxi driver rendered the following bill, which at least is as reasonable as any taxi fare:

Bill for taxi ride.
Ten goes.
Ten comes.
At fifty cents a went.
Ten dollars.

See also:

Heyerdahl, Thor 1
Root, Elihu 1

Lillie, Beatrice (1898-1989)

Lillie, Beatrice 1

[Born in Canada, Lillie won fame in England as a music hall comedienne and revue singer. She had a hit with Noel Coward's song "Mad Dogs and Englishmen (Go Out in the Mid- day Sun)."]

Beatrice Lillie, carrying her Pekinese puppy, took a cab to a smart London hotel. As she got out, she noticed a small puddle on the seat. The driver noticed it at the same time and began to complain. Slipping a large tip into his hand, Miss Lillie said firmly, "I did it," and whisked into the hotel.

[The same story is told of Mrs. Patrick Campbell.]


Limericks 1

[Here's the only reasonably inoffensive cab-related limerick I've come across so far:]

There was a young lady of Blacksea
Whose ears were tremendously waxy.
A suitor most fine
Shouted, `Wilt thou be mine?'
But she thought he was hailing a taxi.

[I didn't have the courage to include the following limericks, which can be found in Tony Davies Limerick Archive, arranged alphabetically by the last word of the first line. ]


Don't ride with a wild London cabby...
There was a young girl of Coxsaxie...


Said a timid young girl in Hong Kong...


A taxi-cab whore out at Iver...

Long Trips

Long Trips 1


Michael O'Brian was parked in front of the Hotel Mc Alpin. The doorman called him for a fare. The fare got into his cab and he told him he wanted to go to Grand Central Station.

It was a poor night for Michael O'Brian and this fare looked like an apple pusher (an out-of-towner.) So Michael O'Brian thought that he would take this man for a little sight-seeing trip.

So he started to ride him up Park Avenue, over the Queensboro Bridge, through Long Island, through Brooklyn. He came back on the Manhattan Bridge and when he got him to Grand Central Station the passenger got out of his car and he asked him how much was on the meter.

Michael O'Brian, in the dark, looked at his meter and it registered $5.70 and that's what he told the passenger, expecting a squawk.

When the passenger heard that amount he said, "That's strange. The last time I took that ride the driver charged me $6.20!"

Long Trips 2

Lots of people criticize New York City taxicab drivers. But I'm not going to criticize them. After all, maybe the best way to get to Macy's is by way of Canada.

Long Trips 3

A Norwegian cabbie thought he'd landed the fare of the century when an elderly Dane hopped into his taxi for a 2,300-kilometre ride from Copenhagen to Rome. Jorgen Gilberg's bliss ended at the Vatican, where his customer said he had to collect the $5,000 for the cab fare from the Pope.

"That's when it hit me. A bad fare to Italy. I was about to collapse from laughter," Mr. Gilberg, 24, said by telephone from Aarhus, Denmark, yesterday. "I could hardly contain myself when he said the Pope owed him money." Mr. Gilberg, an economics student from Fredikstad, Norway, drives part-time for an Aarhus taxi company. So when the owner asked him to drive the 66-year-old man to Rome last week, Mr. Gilberg assumed everything was in order. So did the taxi company, since the man took a cab to Rome last year. During the 24-hour drive through Denmark, Germany, Austria and most of Italy, the customer seemed unusually quiet. At the Vatican, the customer claimed the Pope owed him $11,000, and then admitted that "the voices in his head might have misled him," said Mr. Gilberg. Mr. Gilberg stopped for a quick tour of the Vatican, then drove the man home to Denmark. (Associated Press)


Looks 1

Two London cabbies were glaring at each other.

"Aw, wot's the matter with you?" demanded one.

"Nothink's the matter with me you bloomin' idiot."

"You gave me a narsty look," persisted the first.

"Me? Why, you certainly 'ave a narsty look, but I didn't give it to you, so 'elp me!"

[This joke had an earlier incarnation as the caption to a Punch cartoon dated May 5, 1909, which is reprinted in G.N. Georgano's A History of the London Taxicab (New York, Drake Publishers, 1973).]

Lost and Found

Lost and Found 1

N. Y. CITY REGULATIONS (Told by Ruby Moscowitz)

New taxi drivers going to work for Parmelee as a general rule don't know the rules and regulations much.

A man jumps in to a new driver's cab, "Quick Go around the block in a hurry!"

Having gone around once the passenger said, "Go around again." Then he paid 25 cents.

After this the driver looked in the cab in the back and found that the man had vomited. He goes to a cop, "Hey! What will I do with this? A man goes around a couple of blocks and leaves this in my cab!"

The cop says, "Well, you know the city regulations. If nobody calls for it in three days you can keep it!"

[This joke had long been in circulation in another form:]

The indignant householder held up before the policeman the dead cat that had been lying by the curb three days.

"What am I to do with this?" he demanded.

"Take it to headquarters," was the serene reply. "If nobody claims it within a reasonable time, it's your property."


Luggage 1

Every crossing in London had an old crossing-sweeper who had no payment at all and relied on the kindness of people giving him an occasional penny. And possibly the saddest sight, and one I shall not forget, is the fact that whenever you took a horse cab, in the horse cab days, from any of the big stations, two runners followed you wherever you went to take the luggage off at the other end, and I have actually seen men leave to follow our cab from Victoria to Holborn, a distance of possibly 2 1/2 to 3 miles, pelting along, and they were there to take the luggage off at the other end. And what was their reward? Well, in those days the reward was 4d, a ghastly state of affairs. But when you gave them 4d, they could get a cup of tea and two slices of bread and butter, and put 2d in their pocket.

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Revised November 11, 1998