There are very few problems I have with the concept of taxi-cabs. At the top of the list of merits of cabs may be the fact that I do not even possess a driver's license (and got my permit at age 19). A direct consequence of this is not having to elect a poor sap to be "designated douchebag" for the night. And I certainly love anything that facilitates inebriation. There are, of course, other aspects of the concept of taxis which I do love. However, concepts do not always pan out as intended.
In reality, a lot of cab drivers are assholes. And the ones who aren't ALWAYS want to chit-chat with you ONLY when you aren't in the mood to talk (e.g. when you're [spoken very quickly and in one breath, in my typical overdramatic fashion] rushing to school via cab because there is a test and you overslept and you need to take a last-minute look at your notes during the ride and the cabbie wants to ask you how to arrange 9 chairs evenly around a rectangular table [true story]). And there is simply NO polite way to say "shut the fuck up." None at all.
An even larger percentage drive like they're in a high-speed car chase or a car-simulation video game. However, I am not on the run from the police nor will I have another "life." I'm not a Super Mario Brother.
So now I present to you the newest thing to grace taxis - and the WORST since 1996 when they decided to install recordings to play when the driver would hit the meter. These were terrible because they were spoken either in a terrible Staten Island accent, telling you to "rememba to tsake you-wa belawngins when exsitin the tsaxi" or the one of which I have a blurry memory with, I believe, Eartha Kitt meowing or something and then, of course, reminding you to take your SHIT. I was in sixth grade so the memory is faded. Did Joe Torre do one... ?
Ladies and gentlemen, it's "TaxiTV." And it can go to hell.
It makes me furious. For those of you who have not been privy to (or forced into seeing) this atrocity, I shall explain. In keeping with (I suppose) the (unnecessary) technology of today, such as DVD screens in the backs of cars' headrests for children to be mollified, the Taxi and Limousine Commission has put fucking touch-screen "television" screens in the backs of taxicab partitions. This installation went hand-in-hand with credit-card-payment-ready cabs, and a GPS system. Why in the world the person in the back needs to see this screen, I've honestly no idea. (I'm going to break this aspect down because many people have claimed this to be the only real thing which can be defended):
A. If you get into a cab, you tell the driver where you're going and he takes you there. You don't tell him "make a right onto 56th street, then a left onto third avenue," etc. He knows. He does this for a living. Leave it to a professional. In fact, not only is this useless and erroneous information to give to a passenger, it's actually in some ways problematic, as it lends itself to "back-seat-driver"-ness.
B. You have to hit approximately ten buttons to get to the map. It's not even convenient.
C. You're in fucking New York City. Look outside your fucking window. Even if you're in an un-fucking-familiar neighborhood, there are big, green signs on EVERY SINGLE corner of the ENTIRE CITY. Not to mention, with the exception of certain areas, the city functions on an ordinal, numerical grid-system. Reaaaaally? You need GPS? Douche.
Okay. So, you may ask, what other useless shit is on there that makes you so vehemently furious, moon? Well, I shall tell you.
- Garbage, filler shit that has been deemed uncontroversial and vanilla enough, such as 5-second reviews of movies. Thanks. I learned a lot in 5 seconds, Jeffrey Lyons.
- Zagat fucking restaurant shit. Dude, Zagat is pretty much everywhere I go these. Leave me alone, Zagat. Who do you think you are? John Mayer? (See "raging out at... john mayer.)
- Weather. Someone told me that they liked the weather portion. My rebuttal: if you're in a taxi, you've already BEEN outside. You don't need to be TOLD what the weather is if you've already EXPERIENCED it.
- "Don't forget to..." as an "Ask the 'Locals'" bit, with "locals," of course, being celebrities like Julianne Moore or something. And the advice is like "bring the stroller, even if the kids say they want to walk." I don't have kids. And also, what the fuck? I feel like taking advice from your child is never a good idea. The other one I can recall is "bring an extra roll of film." Shut the fuck up. I don't like this because I don't like being told what to do. Especially not by celebrities. Espeeeecially when they don't pertain to me (not only do I not have children, but I own a digital camera).
- Random, skewed, couple-days-old news clips. Just as they're about to tell you some actual information, some shit like the "Taxi Rider's Bill of Rights" comes on. Yes, the yellow sticky thing that used to be stuck to the back of the partition. That used to be the ONLY information you needed. And if I weren't so fired up about TaxiTV, I'd write about the absurdity of granting "rights" to passengers.
I think I've made, thus far, a pretty good case for why this advancement in technology is silly and stupid. But if those reasons don't make you angry, ladies and gentlemen, the real reasons I am furious about TaxiTV:
Fucking inane and incomplete "headlines" on the ticker at the bottom of the screen. Is it not enough that you're in TRANSIT and watching television? You need another thing going on? Dude. Adderall has NO chance against these forms of gratuitous stimulation for people with ADD/ADHD. Or AC/DC for that matter. (Yes, people have AC/DC, clearly.)
I thought I'd share some with you:
- "6.4-Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Mexico." (Ummm - that's kind of important... You couldn't put that on the screen itself?)
- "Polls Open For Potomac Primaries." (Okay, this actually tells me nothing. Are you telling me to go vote? I don't live there. Let me know when there are RESULTS.)
- "Clinton Attacks Obama's Contributors." (This isn't really news. It's how campaigns work. She needs cash. Cooooool campaign manager, Hill.)
- "Homes Evacuated After Semi Overturns, Leaks." (WHAT???? Semi-what?)
- "5 Crossover Vehicles Named Best For Family." (Cool. Care to share which...? No..? Just wanna tell us that 5 exist...? Great. Thanks. )
- "100 Years Easier to Reach Than You Think." (I know, now, that there was some study done that essentially says we will be able to live longer than the past generation. However, this "headline" says nothing. Who is "you"? Who the fuck are they to tell me how difficult I think it is to reach 100?)
- "Britons Sound Off Against Anti-Child Device." (Do Brits hate children? Is that what this is saying? I feel like I'm on Jay Leno.)
- "Clemens' Ex-Teammates Dropped as Witnesses." (Why??? Damnit. I want stories here.)
- "Top Sports Photos of the Week." (Seriously now. What??? I even tried tapping it in the hopes that it was a link to said photos. Nope. Which I guess is actually fine seeing as this is non-news.)
- "Canadiens Player Accused of Stealing Purse." (This is actually fucking amaaaaaazing! A professional hockey player is stealing purses? Love it. This is the one thing I obtained from TaxiTV. However, I have no idea about whom they're actually speaking. Typical.)
- "Weird Chronicles: Modern Music Musings." (This isn't anywhere NEAR a complete thought, let alone piece of news. I do appreciate the alliteration of "Modern Music Musings." I, however, have no idea what this is TRYING to say.)
These "headlines" make me furious. I never thought I'd find something worse than the Post. I was wrong.
With all of this said, and I think I've made a lot of great points, the number one reason I want to have a duel to the death with TaxiTV's creator is...
LOOKING AT IT MAKES ME FUCKING NAUSEATED.
And most people with whom I end up in a cab fight me on it and repeatedly put it BACK on. It makes me actually need to hurl, like reading in a car on a hot day.
Fuck off and die, TaxiTV.
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