Occasionally I decide to take a taxi instead of walk or ride my bike, my preferred methods of hopping around this cocky, rocky island.
I kind of hate the MTA for so many reasons. If you saw those photos of people wading through shit water spotted with cigarette-butt boats a few months ago, you can relate. If you’ve ever been masturbated at, or heard stories of others who have been, or been crammed into a car with the smell of shit and death punching you repeatedly in each nostril, you understand where I’m coming from. If you remember reading about the lofty pay raises awarded MTA execs behind closed doors while raising the fares, or if you have ever waited for over an hour for a subway train on a bench that was most likely teeming with urine and bedbugs on a platform in the dead of the sweltering summer, YOU GET ME.
I even prefer riding the bus to taking the subway. Now, my favorite mode of transportation is the car service. Not just any car service, mind you, but my local neighborhood reliable, cheap service. I call my man Choo and he picks me up in a beautiful black SUV like I’m Beyonce. He’s polite and he stops and lets me get coffee. It’s not expensive (probably cheaper than a taxi nowadays), and it’s not a regular treat, only when I’m shlepping and usually when someone else is paying, but WHAT A TREAT IT IS.
I don’t really like riding in taxicabs, because too many people fuck and puke in them, sometimes simultaneously. Plus, the BO factor is always out of control, and I always feel 15% itchier after riding in one. Cabbies are typically angry people who were doctors in their home country and now have to act like rickshaw drivers for snotty jocks, or they are relatively nice, if somewhat overly chatty folks who have some mostly benign screw loose. It’s never happened to me, but I live in constant fear of taxi rape, and rape in general, which can be a side effect of having a vagina/living a late-night lifestyle.
Sometimes it’s really easy to get a cab. There I am, standing on the sidewalk, talking to a friend, minding our own business, nowhere near the street corner, and dude after dude pulls up to us like we were frantically hailing them down. However, when it’s pouring rain and I am late for an audition, the cabs fly by, turn off their available lights just when they get near me, give me the finger, and laugh.
On the rush-hour/running-late/rainy-day occasions, everyone needs a cab: the group of Jersey lowlifes who don’t understand taxi etiquette; the homely sad chick who is racing home after a thankless day of work to do sweet cunnilingus to her pint of Ben and Jerry’s; the tall model who stays effortlessly thin and beautiful and will remain rich and perfect even to the time she returns the ground; and myself. And of course, they try to angle for the best spot—which basically is in front of where the others are standing. And what do you do in these instances? I throw gumballs at them, make a dramatic and obvious statement such as, “I am waiting here for a cab, too,” and in some instances, when they don’t respond and beat me to a cab, I stand in front of the cab to hail another cab, making it physically impossible for the cab to get past me without driving over me.
Cab thieves are bad people. They are nearly as bad as any other kind of thief—a roommate who steals change out of your Tigger bank, a boyfriend who steals 20s out of your wallet, a thief who steals your purse, a friend who angles for your lover. If you see a cab thief, I recommend getting wide eyed, pointing at them and yelling, “STOP! THIEF!”
Do this, if for no other reason, to exercise your right to be crazy in New York City. A lot of people don’t know it, but this is a right that comes free with overpaying to live here, especially once you have lived here for over 10 years or more.