Thursday, February 28, 2008

Along for the ride

Cash Cab
Do you recognize this guy? Or the vehicle he's leaning against? If you do, you and I (and about a million other people, probably!) have a common interest. We watch Cash Cab.

I've got to be straight with you. I hardly watch any television at all. I know that sounds weird but I just don't like it. Really. It doesn't thrill me. There are loads of other things I'd rather do than watch tv. I generally pop the weather channel on for a couple minutes here and there during the day, just to see when the next big snowstorm's scheduled to hit. Or, during the summer, when the next round of blackout-causing storms are due. And I peek at CNN in the morning, and for a few minutes around the time the market closes. Otherwise, it's a no-telly zone around me.

That is, unless it's Cash Cab time. Then, all bets are off.

For those who haven't seen the show and don't smile at the sound of the cab's music and Ben Bailey's laughter, I'll explain.

The Cash Cab is a Toyota cab that drives around New York City and picks up passengers. Just like a normal cab, right? I know, you're wondering what the big deal is to that, aren't you? Wondering, too, if I'm not a little more cracked than you first imagined, eh? Well sit tight, I'm getting to the fun part. The spice, as one of my characters is known to say.

When Ben and his light-and-music-enhanced vehicle picks up a fare, the unsuspecting passengers are given the chance to play for money in the Cash Cab. As they're driven to their destination they're asked a series of trivia questions. They've got two chances to ask for help. The first is a mobile shout-out, where they can call anyone and pose the question that's stumped them, hoping to get a correct answer from the other end of the phone line. The other, and my personal favorite, is a street shout-out. Just writing that makes me smile! The street shout-out involves hanging out the cab's window, yelling to some passerby and asking for help, then hollering the question to the person on the street. Only in New York, right?

I love this show for so many reasons.

Ben (yeah, we're on a first-name basis) seems to be a down-to-earth kind of guy. He's funny, and I like that in people. I don't know how he manages to keep a straight face sometimes -- some of those passengers give amazing answers. I know I'd be cracking up a lot. Probably driving into mailboxes and parked cars too because, really, who can drive while they're doubled up laughing?

I like the money part. It's not a ridiculous amount of money so there's a no-pressure atmosphere in the cab. I think if passengers' answers impacted their getting sums with big zeroes attached to them there would be tension. With the potential winnings being modest there's no anxiety. So many times people say, "We got in with nothing, so if we get out with nothing? Hey, at least we've had fun." I like that. A lot.

The fact that the cab's driving around in NYC appeals to me. I'm not sure I'd be as amused if it was on the streets of a different city. But driving past the UN or Radio City Music Hall, places I've been over and over again, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Really, it does. I get a kick out of taking a ride to Central Park or another familiar destination.

Cash Cab is on the Discovery Channel. Apparently it originated in England but now it's a New York kind of thing and I hope it stays that way.

If you haven't seen it I recommend taking a ride in the Cash Cab. It's fun, and fast, and you never really know where you're going to end up. Kind of like life, don't you think?


Anonymous said...

It's interesting that you don't watch television. I'm pretty much addicted to the boob tube. But I haven't seen Cash Cab yet. Don't watch the Discovery channel but I'm going to start.


Marianne Arkins said...

Don't watch that one, though it sounds like a hoot. I can count the TV shows I watch on one hand with fingers leftover.... no time!

Have a great day :-)

Anonymous said...

He's kinda cute!! LOL!!


Dru said...

I've seen this show a couple of times and it is fun. I don't normally take cabs, but it would be so awesome if I hail him. He's not bad to look at either.

Melissa McClone said...

I've never even heard of that show, but since Heroes ended for the season I haven't really turned on the TV except to put on the Disney Channel for the kids. But it sounds like a fun show!

Anonymous said...

I never know what you're going to talk about but I am always amused!



Anonymous said...

You certainly come up with some goodies. Ben can come to Oz and pick me up in his Cash Cab any time he likes!!

Aussie Jude

Anonymous said...

He is a cutie pie!!