The NY Times has reported that, due to the use of GPS, almost all of the geographical questions are being eliminated from the New York cabdriver’s exams – drivers will no longer have to know how to get to, say, the Empire State Building or Madison Square Garden. I propose that the following questions be added to the test:
1. Where did I leave my umbrella last week?
2. Can you take me to my friend’s apartment, it’s on the Lower East Side somewhere, you know, it’s near NYU?
3. Can you take me to that new restaurant, I can’t remember the name, but you know, it’s the one that got that great review?
4. Can you get me to the airport in fifteen minutes?
5. Can you slow down please?
In order to certify that they’re genuine New York cabbies, drivers should also demonstrate the following actions:
1. Once a driver has agreed to stop talking on his phone, he should comply by whispering on his phone.
2. The driver must be able to drive while drinking hot coffee and eating something which smells like putrefying skunk.
3. If a driver is asked for change back from a fare, he must sigh heavily and take fifteen minutes to locate that dollar he’s tucked away, hoping that his impatient passenger will finally snarl, “Fine! Just keep it!” and exit the cab.
4. The driver must make sure that at least one seatbelt is either gone or not working.
5. The driver must be able to play the music on the radio so loudly that he cannot hear requests to turn it down.
6. The driver must make certain that his license is unreadable.
A true New York cabbie should also be able to discuss the following topics at length:
– What de Blasio is doing wrong.
– What Obama is doing wrong.
– What Cuomo is doing wrong.
– What the driver in front of him is doing wrong.
– Why Uber is the devil.
I haven’t included female pronouns in these questions because I’ve never had a female cabdriver who wasn’t incredibly friendly and professional. Female cabbies also get hassled far more than male cabbies, so they deserve a break.