In our culture we often encounter self-consciously self-branded celebrities like Paris Hilton and Martha Stewart. Well today I ran into the street transportation industry's version of the brash self-promoter Donald Trump.
I jumped into a yellow cab on West 56th and 10th Avenue and found myself hijacked by the self-proclaimed "Happy Cabby"—a disheveled little man with a high-pitched voice, thick Indian accent, and cheerful manner. With his lead foot on the accelerator, it was like the cultural melding of Hare Krishna with NASCAR.
As Happy Cabby barreled around cars and swerved into and out of oncoming traffic, he screamed barely intelligible advice at me over the blaring music of his near-deafening speakers. I wasn't sure what his game was—Did he just brand himself for the hell of it!—or what I was supposed to do about it. He kept turning around, uttering brief sentences, and offering me a knuckle to butt—which I did while keeping my eyes on the fast-approaching city scenery.
As I escaped somewhere near 42nd and Fifth, Happy Cabby told me to look him up on Google—which I did.
You can check out Happy Cabby right here:
Yep, here he is, high voice, thick accent, big smile, cracker-barrel philosophy—in short, yet another unique brand created without the aid of an expensive brand consultant. How is this possible?