‘Nova underground: cab call

Mel Forest

Saturday night, my roommate checked the voicemail on her phone left by an anonymous number. He sounded perturbed: “Hello, this is Main Line Taxi. You should really be ready when a cab comes to pick you up.” She called him back explaining that someone must have given him the wrong number, because she didn’t order a cab. But, of course, he let her know the rule of thumb: the cab caller is always wrong.

How many of us have been screamed at by or blacklisted from Main Line Taxi, Rosemont Cab, Maxwell Cab Company or Bennett Taxi? Most Villanova students come across the same drivers when ordering cabs. There are the interesting ones, the kind ones, the jerk ones and the fly ones. 

If you are a frequent taxi taker, you’ve probably come across Lavender, the opera singing sensation. After a long night out, when your heels have given you blisters and your wallet only has enough for the cab fare, Lavender’s tenor voice puts you at ease as he sings “Nessun Dorma.” These serenades can only be compared to the beauty of Derek Zoolander’s Magnum. 

Joe, another fascinating driver, may ask you questions. “Can you name all seven wonders of the world?” If you answer correctly, your ride is free. Although there are no cameras or flashing lights inside, he takes it upon himself to imitate “Cash Cab.” I, of course, would have to pay because I can only think of four out of the seven wonders. I have much respect for the contestants on “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” 

Most students have their own cabby of choice. Some people take heed of a driver that can provide taxi therapy. They are blunt and unsympathetic to trivial college drama. A conversation may go: Girl – “But I loooovvveee him,” Driver – “He’s a dirtbag; dump him. I have a nephew who would treat you like a princess.” 

Other students enjoy taking cabs with drivers they trust. Senior Crystie Bowe explains that her cabby, Pete, “helped me to the door and got me composed for Public Safety.” Sophomore Annie Yun’s driver “gives informational cab talks on safe sex.” 

Of course, not all cab drivers have a prime real estate attitude. Granted, most taxi dudes have only two rules: Pay up, and don’t puke. If you hop into the wrong cab, you may find yourself driving through the longer back roads or driving in circles around Villanova. Don’t cab-nap or you’ll wake up with an $80 fare that should have been a $15 ride from Maloney’s. For anyone who doesn’t understand the value of $80, think of it as eight handles of Vladi. A darn shame. 

We don’t nearly appreciate the good taxi drivers enough. If I were a cab driver, I would probably mess with students by driving up to the police station on the way to their destination. My cab would be uncomfortable due to the plastic Barney-themed cover sheets I would lay on the seats — the type you use when a child is wetting the bed at night. I also never got my driver’s license, so it’s a possibility you might not survive my cab ride. But of course, these are the reasons I am not a cabby. So I suggest getting the personal number of the driver that you like the best and stop giving out my roommate’s number to cranky Main Line Taxi.