A New York taxi driver decided to turn in his cab for a new model. "But the car you've got looks as good as new," protested the honest dealer. "Nothing wrong with the car
itself," admitted the taxi driver, "but the 'Off-Duty' sign is completely worn out."
So I sprang to a taxi and shouted "To Aix!"
- Cerf, Bennett. Anything for a Laugh (N.Y.: Grosset and Dunlap, 1946).
And he blew on his horn and he threw off his brakes,
And all the way back till my money was spent
We rattled and rattled and rattled and rattled and rattled and rattled
And rattled and rattled --
And eventually sent a telegram.
[Sellar (1898-1951) and Yeatman (1898-1968) were the authors of that classic sendup of English history, 1066 and All That. The verse quoted above parodies Robert
Browning's poem "How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix".]
[Hailing a cab in Accra, Ghana:]
- Sellar, W.C. and Yeatman, R.J. "How I Brought the Good News From Aix to Ghent (Or Vice Versa)," (1933).
- Quoted in: Sherrin, Ned, ed. Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995).
I learned to rely on taxis, pumping my arm as I saw the Ghanaians do to hail one. Our street teemed with the little blue Cortinas. Often a passenger or two stared from inside
as I told my destination, and if the driver didn't grunt and drive off, we haggled for a good fare. I knew to check the tires, and the driver's breath for alcohol, before
getting in, although I took for granted the holes rusting through the floor where you could see the road below blur, and the rickety doors that only the driver's magic touch
could coax open and shut.
- Drew, Eileen. "Blue Taxis" in Blue Taxis: Stories About Africa (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 1989).
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Revised November 11, 1998