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Cab #580

Date Taken: 5/18/07
From: Roscoe Village
To: Irving Park

The Cab: Boasted the highest burglar-shield-to-fare-window ratio yet experienced, being somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 square inches of ballistics-rated plastic for every one square inch of open space. The backseat breathing room was further obstructed by a bizarre contraption - maybe a stereo, maybe a climate-control device, or maybe just a conversation starter - suspended from the ceiling above the fare window. It boasted four round grate-like openings and what looked like a light on the undercarriage, but no discernable means to make it do whatever it was it was meant to be doing. Despite these unsettling features, the cab was clean and your tobacco-wary reviewer appreciated the oversized "No Smoking" sign posted just behind the driver's seat.

The Driver: Upon further consideration, maybe Driver #580 doesn't like clean air and personal safety quite so much as he likes being completely invisible to his back-seat passengers. In fact, one gets the sense that if Driver #580 could fall through this crystal pool of a world without leaving so much as a ripple, he would consider his life a success. There's something soothing in that notion; something utterly at odds with the burglar shield's outward hostility.

Of course, this practiced non-interactivity also comes in handy when angling for that borderline exorbitant fare round-off. After all, if you don't offer the change in the first place, the passenger is less likely to take it from you. It's a strategy so subtle in design and execution it almost makes you think he deserved the extra-bulky tip.

The Driving Safe, direct, showing a clear understanding of local traffic patterns and one-way streets. Navigated a congested corridor with ease and gladly made the extra left turn so that your reviewer wouldn't have to cross a busy street on foot.

Overall rating: 3 extended arms

- Natasha Julius


There are more than 6,000 cabs in the city of Chicago. We intend to review every one of them.


Posted on May 21, 2007

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