I’m going to take a break from my biblical retellings for a bit. I have something I need to share with you guys. I think it might change some of your lives.
There are some days when the world is crap and everything is terrible and the human race should all go to hell. And there are days when the world is good, when people are kind and happy and everything is going to be okay. Those days happen because I watched Cash Cab.
I’m not sure that I will be able to express how marvelous Cash Cab is and why you need to be watching it. But I will try. Cash Cab is a show on Discovery Channel. The basic idea is that this man (this wonderful, wonderful man), Ben Bailey, drives around New York City in a normal-looking minivan taxi, picking up unsuspecting people. After they tell him where they’re going, Ben turns on a bunch of lights and tells them they’re on a game show.
They inevitably give this look:
While he drives them to their destination, he asks them general trivia questions and they get money for each question answered. If they get three questions wrong, they get nothing (and I get angry and stomp out of the room), Ben pulls over and they have to get out and find a real cab to drive them the rest of the way. If they get it right, they get to keep all the money. It’s awesome, because at the very worst, you just got a free taxi ride part (or all) of the way to where you’re going.
Those are the nuts and bolts. I’m just getting started. Let me explain to you what makes this show so VERY amazing:
1) The Contestants:
Everyone on this show is happy. Even the people you would never expect to see smiling. Ugly people. People in the rain. Professors. And how can they not? Seconds earlier, they were walking around New York (aka The Money Vacuum) trying to live their lives, and all of a sudden they are on television with the potential to win thousands of dollars.
Everyone on this show is a good person. Sometimes you see someone and you know if you ran into them in a bar or on the street, you would mumble “douche” and keep walking. But on this show, these people are happy. They are smart. They are happy to be smart. And they are good people. And I want to hug them and hold their hand with our fingers interlocked.
2) Old People:
Old people. Old people on Cash Cab will make your day. As soon as an old person hobbles into the Cash Cab I start squealing and clapping my hands. The best part is that whenever Ben throws a pop culture question at them, they are adorably befuddled. But for the most part, old people remind us that they are actually quite wise. Which we forget because they spend so much time telling us to get married and making irrational political statements. But they always go the farthest on this show, and they answer questions faster than it takes me say, “That’s a weird question…” Maybe it’s because any old person in New York is probably quite wily. I mean, I imagine. Cities are loud and fast and dirty. The three downfalls of an old person. So any one of them who lives in a city must be one scrappy creature.
3) Ben Bailey:
I. Love. This. Man. Ben is not only funny, he is funny in a clean way. I cannot emphasize the importance of clean humor in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I can laugh at a good dirty joke with the rest of them. I mean, that part in Team America where the guy pukes for about 10 minutes straight? Tears. There were tears. But comedians who can manage to be funny and not drop a single f-bomb or a joke about their penis….those are the good ones. Ben is also nice to everybody. Every person who gets in his cab is like his new best friend. I am incredibly jealous of people like this. Because when I meet a new person I either mumble something like, “Nice to have the pleasure with your acquaintance,” and then avoid eye contact the rest of the night, OR I accidentally introduce them to Loud Sarcastic Emily WAY too early and terrify them. So, Mr. Bailey, I applaud you for being so natural toward people you have just met. You are a man among men. Unfortunately, Ben looks a lot like my cousin, so I can’t get behind finding him attractive, but I would like to grab a sandwich and go people watching with him. I think he would be amazing at it.
I have yelled at Erin, who lives in NYC, for not trying hard enough to ride minivan cabs and therefore not getting on the show. I mean, she's been living there for two years. WHAT could she possibly be doing with her life, if not focusing on riding in minivan cabs? WHAT I ask you? WHAT?! ...Working? What's that?