Monday, January 24, 2011

White girl hailin' a taxi

Sure, I've hailed a taxi before. [That's how you say it, right? Hail?] Ahem. Obviously, I'm still getting the lingo down. There's an art to it, you know, hailing a taxi. Or so I was told by Jamal, at the 2007 PRSSA National Conference in Salt Lake City.

I was conducting an agency tour for a group of public relations students from Brown University. I met my group of students in the lobby of our hotel - I wasn't sure what to expect, but when I found my group, I knew it was going to be an awesome day. I was the only white girl, and this group was not going to let me forget it. [In a good way.]

I introduced myself and threw out some self-deprecating joke to lighten the mood. They laughed. [Chalk one up for AE Jones and subtle humor.] We walked outside and I told them we were going to have to grab three taxis to get to our agency tour. I looked at them and asked, "Anyone know how to get a taxi for us?" All eyes were on the white girl.

"Say what? You don't know how to get a cab?"

Um. No.

Jamal, in all of his gentlemanly coolness, said we weren't going to the agency unless I got us those cabs. [My thought: "Oh crap. Dat's coo. I gots dis."]

Jamal showed me how to throw my arm up and wave down a taxi. [I had to wait a few minutes for a taxi to drive by... we don't have too many of those here in SLC... not like NY.]

I spotted a cab and the butters started to fly in my stomach.

I raised my hand like a timid little school girl in 3rd grade.

"Girl, get yo hand up!" [Eeeek!]
I threw my arm out there and waved it like a blubbering idiot. But boy, did it get that cab driver's attention. [I ended up looking like this chic in the picture the rest of the day... I flung my arm around so hard I threw my back out.]

But as soon as I got those three cabs idling there, Jamal put his hand to his mouth, leaned back like Usher and said, "Ooooooooooh," [and it was one of those "ooohs" as if someone just got smoked by a sarcastic joke] "our white girl just hailed a taxi!" A few of them did a little "white girl dance" to celebrate. I smiled, blushed, shook my head and crawled into the cab.

Talent # 22: I can hail a taxi. Brown University style.

Note: Please see an Apology post that was written in response to this post.


  1. I didn't even know you could do that in SLC. You just got cooler.

  2. Hahahaha...this made me laugh! I don't think I've ever had to hail a taxi either! I would be a little timid, too!!

    Love the new header design!

  3. This is hilarious! I would no clue how to even go about hailing a taxi so props to you :)

  4. omgggg i literally laughed out loud at this post!! tooooo funny! Way to go girl! xoxo

  5. That's funny! I also didn't know you could hail in SLC. A lot of cities you can't. It's illegal.

    And man, this makes me miss NYC.

  6. Wo - really Kristina? I had no idea it was illegal in some cities... hope I didn't do anything wrong. :/

  7. This is so funny.. when I first moved to the city I waited on the side of the street for 20 minutes because I was too intimidated to get a cabs attention! Your blog is adorable, I am your newest follower :)

  8. How fun! I hailed many cabs last week in SLC during the AltSummit Conference! We even used the TRAX system...we are so URBAN! Loved your little city!! Even went on a thrift/vintage tour and came home with tons of adorable thrifted goodies!

  9. Too cute! I love it! ... I was in NYC for a whole 2 weeks and I think I became an amazing taxi "hailer" haha.. I am happy to read you got it down however! :) Have a good day girl!

  10. my favorite part of being in NY was getting to hail cabs...I used to ask my girlfriend who lives there if I could hail the cab...cuz I thought it was made me feel like a grown up..

    kinda pathetic sounding when I type it out...

  11. This is too funny- good job! I've only ever had to hail a cab while in NYC, and it is so hard!

  12. Haha, I have never had to hail a cab but I'm pretty sure I would act just like you if I ever did! It makes me nervous just thinking about it.

  13. So great! I'm glad you were brave enough... I wouldn't have had the guts :)

  14. Hahaha... this is so cute and made me laugh!!! You go girl!! I love hailing cabs in NYC... gives me a lil thrill everytime one stops for me!! :)

  15. As an African-American attending Brown University, I must say that I take great offense to the comments you have made. After finding out that you were the 'only white girl' in the group, you 'knew it was going to be an awesome day'? Am I supposed to understand that being around a group of all black students is a hoop-la for Caucasian individuals in Utah?

    I especially disdain your comment 'Dat's coo. I gots dis.' Is that what people in Utah think African-Americans sound like? I am especially shocked that you are conducting tours for programs related to public relations. As a good rule of thumb, don't automatically categorize a young black man dancing as Usher, and refrain from talking about 'whit girl dances' or any other racially based descriptors.

    Try to avoid racism in your work in PR. I would appreciate a redaction on your blog, along with an apology.

  16. I noticed in LA it's illegal to hail a cab...they have little queue spots you're supposed to use. That helps somewhat inexperienced people like me. No hailing required and no one stealing your taxi.

  17. Don't let the "anonymous" comment hurt you, I seen nothing wrong with your post. It is hard being the different one out of a group. If people would just stop with the race issues and get along. Sounds like you had quite a fun day hailing a cab!:)


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