8 Ways To Spice Up Late Night Conversation With Your Cabbie
It's NEVER too late for funtimes...
You know the drill: it’s late, you’ve had a big one and the time’s finally come for a cab trip home. You hail one down, get inside and begin the exact same conversation you always have. “Hey mate, how’s it going? Busy tonight? Yeah, what time did you start? Ooof, sounds like it’s going to be a long one then.” Etc, etc, etc.
It’s hard to say who’s more bored of that conversation - us, or the cabbies. Either way, it’s about time we spice it up. So here are eight suggestions for how to make that cab trip home a little more memorable…
He’s Hands-Free, You’re Hands-Free… Everybody’s Hands-Free!
Let’s face it: these days you often don’t even get the chance to have a chat because your cabbie’s already hooked into his hands-free gear having one of those long, hushed, mysterious conversations with… well, we’ve no idea who with. But why let that stop the fun?
Pull out some headphones, stick them in one ear and pretend you’re on a phone call as well, except… only ever talk as a response to whatever the cabbie says into HIS phone. For example…
CABBIE (into phone): Will you be home later?
YOU: Yeah, you wanna come round?
CABBIE (to you): Oh, I was actually speaking to my friend on the phone.
YOU: Huh? Sorry - I’m on a call.
CABBIE (to you): Oh... (into phone): Hey, sorry - I thought my customer was talking to me.
YOU: Oh I was.
CABBIE (to you): Huh?
YOU: Excuse me? Sorry mate, I just need to finish this call.
Give Me A Beat
Why sit silently when you could be talking? And why be talking... when you could be SINGING!?
If musicals have taught us anything, it’s that there’s no conversation that can’t be turned into a moving solo, uplifting anthem or hilarious ditty. So next time you get into a cab, why not tell your driver about your night as if Taylor Swift herself had imagined it for you. Plus, if there’s a whole bunch of you in the cab, obviously you all have to harmonise and do call-and-response material. The ultimate goal, however, is getting the cabbie to join in as well.
Double points if he raps.
Elementary, My Dear Driver
Sherlock’s one of the best things to come out of Britain in the last few years, so why not give your cabbie a chance at playing the hero for once? Provide details of your home address via a series of increasingly complex riddles and clues and see how he goes at getting you there.
Don’t be too tough, though, otherwise your fun game will turn into a shockingly expensive detour.
Coming Up Next… YOU
Step one: ask if you can turn the radio on.
Step two: ask if you can find a talkback radio show.
Step three: ask your cabbie what HE thinks of whichever issue is being discussed.
Step four: call up the radio station, put your phone on speaker and TAKE YOUR CABBY CHAT NATIONAL.
An oldie, but a goodie. Of course, given you’re being driven in the dead of night and you’re either sloshed, exhausted or both - spying anything with your ‘little eyes’ will prove more challenging than usual. Add to that the fact that most of what one can spy on the street in the wee hours of the morning is generally confined to ‘drunks’, ’prostitutes’ and ‘annoyingly fit marathon runners’, and your game might be short lived.
Better suggestion: appoint your cabbie as the one to spy. Not only will it prompt conversation, it’ll ensure his eyes are on the road and not his phone.
The Question Game
Have you ever played the question game?
Do you know how it works?
Do you reckon you could give a cabbie your address purely in question form?
Do you think it might piss him off?
How would you handle a pissed off driver?
Don’t they always seem semi-pissed off anyway?
How could you correctly identify a cabbie's different moods without really knowing him?
But can you ever really know anyone?
WHOA…Rhetorical question! You lose! Next round!
Bourne To Ride
Are you an aspiring actor? There’s no better place to try out a whole new persona than in a cab.
The driver doesn’t know you, so if you can pull off a convincing performance and rock a heavy accent without them ever raising an eyebrow and asking where exactly you’re from, you know you’re nailing it. You wanna pretend to be a spy, too? We’re not going to stop you. Only the bad guys chasing you can do that (*wink wink*).
Of course, if you really want to mess with them, change accents and/or personalities halfway through the trip, and if they ask you about it - act like you’ve no idea what they’re talking about.
No, But For Real…
Time to get earnest for a moment. We’re talking full-on Oprah. You want a seriously good conversation with your cabbie? Then put the phone down, dial back the radio and actually talk to them.
Ask them where they’re from, then ask them more about wherever that is. Ask them what’s the best thing they’ve ever seen since driving a cab, and ask them about the worst. You might laugh, you might cry - all we know is, you’ll walk away from that trip more engaged and entertained by one or two real stories than all the other fun ones above combined, and they’ll appreciate the chance to avoid the usual chit chat even more than you. Guaranteed.
By Tom Glasson