The Ecphorizer

The Ultimate in Taxi Decoration
Barry Leff

Issue #58 (September 1986)


Anyone who has traveled at all in any third world (Less Developed) country is quite familiar with the predilection of residents of such nations to festoon their taxis and trucks with all manner of wild and garish decoration. After nearly fifteen [quoteright'/>years of periodically visiting all manner of developing nations, I have finally discovered the ultimate: the taxi to top all taxis, the creme de la creme in the worldwide contest for the most gaudily outfitted taxi. The taxi I am about to describe was so marvelously decorated that once I got in it, I was totally absorbed for the 20-minute cab ride in trying to take as complete an inventory as possible. I challenge my fellow world travelers to discover one to top this one.

The exterior of the cab, which was a very small Datsun, was bright orange with white trim, which is a very standard color scheme for a Mexico City taxi. The options on this thing were what makes it great:
  • 8 mirrors (two outside on the front of the car, one on each side, the rest scattered around the inside of the car, including one with a bright pair of lipstick marks under the name "Jose Luts").
  • electric fan on dashboard
  • "aircraft" type steering wheel, covered with tape and green plastic tips.
  • spray can with indeterminate contents in the fire extinguisher holder mounted next to the passengers in back
  • box with switches, lights, and cigarette lighter on the dashboard
  • row of lights in the dashboard — triangular, square, circular, red and green, one of which was connected to the brakes so that when he stepped on the brake, he got an LED indication on the dash
  • stickers all over the inside; Playboy, Ghostbusters, Turbo, "Yo (heart) mi (car)"
  • flashlight in a mounted holder
  • horn like a foghorn, activated by a switch next to the driver's knee
  • redundant outside and inside mounted tachometers - cross in front of the speedometer - 6 images of Jesus scattered throughout - 1 1/2" diagonal TV in place of the radio
  • TV was playing an old "Lost in Space" segment, dubbed in Spanish, which the driver was watching intently while driving through Mexico City's notorious traffic
I also noted that the meter worked, and the car barely ran. But who has time to tune the engine when you are out hunting for such accessories? 

Contributor Profile

Barry Leff

Barry Leff was active in San Francisco Regional Mensa in the 1980s and early 1990s. After 20 years of slaving away in high-tech he saw the light, got God, and went back to school to become a rabbi. Leff is now a member of Maumee Valley Mensa in the Toledo, Ohio area, where he serves as a pulpit rabbi. Leff and family are busily preparing to move to Israel in the summer of 2007. A certified flight instructor, Leff tells his flight students hell get them closer to God (or at least hell get them praying) one way or the other.




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