MUTOD: The Checker Cab

Quick MUTOD this week, as I’m running out the door to go up to New Hampshire.  Apparently a few months ago I thought it would be fun to sign up for a “Tough Mudder,” which takes place this weekend.  I am very much regretting this decision, because A) Unlike Paul or anyone with military training, I’ve never done any sort of obstacle course  in my life and B) Because this week I finally stopped caring so much about what I consume and how much I consume it.  One cupcake and five bowls of Trader Joe’s O’s later and I pretty much derailed whatever metabolism my body was used to for the last three months.  Go me.

Disclaimer:  MUTOD = My Uneducated Thought of the Day, and the uneducated part is key, because I write these with no knowledge of anything.  I don’t do my homework, I don’t research.  Enjoy my thoughts from the narrow perspective I call my mind.

Having lived in in New York for almost two years there are a few key iconic things about this city that I see from time to time:  Obviously the landmark buildings, the horse carriages walking through the park, and the yellow New York taxi.  However, whenever one thinks of the “classic” yellow cab we often think of this:

Checker Cab

vroom…sputter sputter

This may be one of the ugliest cars to exist ever, but still, there’s some charm to it.  Couldn’t tell you why.

Unfortunately, the plant that made these cars in Kalamazoo, Michigan, shut down in 1982, and the checker has been a dying breed ever since.  Even our banner photo of a New York city cab features a Crown Vic.

“Back in my day.”

Sure, you could rent one for special occasions, but if you grew up watching the same movies as me, these cabs used to be all over the place, and they symbolize a different kind of New York.  An “old” New York, before the age of cell phones and internet.

Of course, as time and technology march forward it is essential that we move with it, so we get beautiful looking cabs, like this:

Hot. Drop me off at the park for soccer practice, Mom.

Or this:

If they remake Scrooged I hope the Ghost drives one of these.

What I fail to grasp is, if the Checker is so iconic, why hasn’t anyone ever tried to save it by recreating it with today’s plastics and metals?  Why instead does every cab look like it is about to transform into Optimus Prime?

As a means to derail my own thought, who really enjoys being in cabs anyway?  Whenever I’ve hailed one I’ve usually shut off those annoying adverts — the ones that summon the driver to take you somewhere are tirelessly awful — and I’m on my stupid phone checking my e-mail or playing some Zynga game.  I’m not watching the world outside the cab anymore, though I should.  It is just a means of getting from point A to point B.  Cabs suck, just like the subway, and just like the bus, and just like Citi bike (will?).

Call this an attack of nostalgia.  Just because the checker cab comes back doesn’t necessarily mean that the “Norman Rockwell in New York” outlook I’ve automatically assigned to it comes with.  This is New York.  We move the hell on with our lives and things get lost in the shuffle.

“I didn’t… I have no follow-up.”

About Eric

Frankie “The Red Panda” Funkaducciola RIP Uncle Prime
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