Hailing a cab is an art not easily mastered, judging by all the dudes out there who look like total jackasses while doing so. Don’t be one of those jackasses hailing a cab with a “heil Hitler” salute while standing near a puddle. While jackass behavior like this runs a wide gamut from uptown to SoHo, we focused on some of the more evident forms of foolery seen in New York or other city streets.
Do be calm, cool, collected. The suave way to hail a cab is succinctly outlined in “The Idiot’s Guide to New York City.” All you need to do is keep an eye open for an oncoming taxi, then step gently off the curb. Make sure you don’t step in dog crap or chewing gum. Then, coolly raise your right arm at an angle of about 70 degrees, somewhere between your arm straight out at your side and straight above your head.
Do know when a cab is available. You get the jackass supreme award if you try to hail a cab that is full or not in service. You’ll know a taxi is available when the little number on top of the roof is lit up. If the little number is not lit up, that means the cabbie is on a break, heading back to the garage or already has a cab stuffed with passengers.
Don’t upstream too closely. Upstreaming is standing in front of another person hailing a cab so you can cut them off at the pass and hail the cab yourself. This is akin to stealing, and New Yorkers don’t take stealing lightly. Proper etiquette dictates you stand at least one block in front of fellow cab-hailers and preferably in a place they cannot easily see you. If someone upstreams you, on the other hand, feel free to let your true jackass shine through.
Don’t act like a clown. Last we checked the circus wasn’t in town, so don’t act like a clown hailing a cab. Clown-like behavior includes waving your arms wildly above your head, jumping up and down as if your bladder is about to burst and whistling or screaming, “Yo, taxi!”
Don’t use your girlfriend as bait. Yes, she’s hot. Yes, she’s sexy. Yes, a cabbie will be more inclined to stop for a smoking chick over you. No, it is not a good idea to thrust her into the path of oncoming traffic just so you can get a cab, jackass.
Do share a cab. If one cab stops and two people are there, it’s easy to be a jackass and shove the other person out of the way to get the ride. Don’t. People generally hail cabs because they are as late, rain-soaked or fed up with the subway trains as you are. So be a gentleman and share the ride. Besides, the other passenger might be a real babe who ends up as your next girlfriend.