Now we all know that D.C. cab drivers are crazy. Entire posts could be dedicated to their insanity alone, but today I’m just going to share with you the little tricks I employ when persuading them to take me all the way back to the ‘burbs. Whether it be back to Maryland or Virginia, you can use these tips on majority of them after a late night out in the town. FYI: When I say Maryland I mean Bethesda or Chevy Chase. Maybe even Potomac. There is NO trick you can turn to get a cabby to take you to Silver Spring, Wheaton or Takoma. Don’t even try it.
1) Be Vague
This trick is really the one to remember and works 95% of the time, if done correctly. Just say you’re going somewhere near somewhere but never ever say the exact address to where you’re going. For example, if you’re going to Bethesda, it’s best to just say that you’re going NEAR American University. Then start saying things like “so close” “keep going” and “almost there.” I highly encourage, using these phrases in this setting.
2) After Party
This one is one of my favorites; we 20 somethings love to pretend that we have so many friends. Lets be real, you probably only associate with enough people to count on one hand and chances are you’re with them in the cab anyway. In order for this to be effective, it’s important for you to just pick a random name and say, “SoOoOo excited to go to Sarah’s apartment!! Whooo can’t wait for the after parrrtayy!” Again, they can’t really get mad if you’re going to a friend’s apartment! How were you supposed to know it was outside the city limits? Just be young and dumb babes. People expect it anyway.
Who doesn’t love to talk about their offspring? Ask them how many they have, how old are they, where do they go to school? Pick his brain to found out about those little kiddies. They’ll get so caught up they probably won’t even realize they’re driving you to the ‘burbs. Or just offer to babysit in exchange for taking you home. You probably could use the money anyway.
4) Where They’re From
Now, if you’re a linguist like me, then you’ve probably lived in one of the countries that they say they’re from and can carry out an actual mature conversation with them, about that place. If not, just pretend they’re from Ethiopia. Majority of them are anyway. Just rave about how you want to try some Ethiopian food (you should anyway because it’s delicious) and how you really want to learn more. If they ask you any questions, just say, “So how long has it been since you’ve been home?” Do anything to shift the attention back onto them.
5) Be Yourself
A driver once told me after he saw 2 cabs pass my friend and I: “I see two girls at 2 a.m. trying to get a cab, of course you’re going home!” Every now and then you get a cab driver that isn’t completely insane, one of the few and proud, and you should cherish that moment if you do. They don’t care where they’re driving; they just want you to get home safe. However, chances are you’re not that lucky, so stick with tips 1-4.