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Tuesday, 2 December 2008

The Knowledge





Hail, Cabbie

By Richard Carreño
Junto Staff Writer

Philadelphia.
Dimitry doesn't have The Knowledge. He doesn't have a hack licence. Still he was able to take me around Centre City this afternoon -- in a London black cab! The real thing, thanks to McNeil Inc., the makers of the pill-poppin' pain-killer Tylenol. And like the real thing, as often as not from the West End to Hammersmith, Dimitry's cab 'black' cab was wrapped. In Tylenol adverts, of course.
First, it was Boston, then New York, and now here.
I was across the street at 19th and Chestnut, and two female youngins asked whether I needed a cab to run around town. At the moment, I didn't, as I was heading to CVS (Consumer Value Store, for those who need to know) to buy eggs. 'OK, why not?' I responded when I saw the cab, Dimitry at the ready. Me the 'Guv'ner.'

Dimitry, it turns out, is from Wilmington, and he's one of two drivers who've been hustling Centre City slickers since yesterday around town. Sorry, no airport rides. How about the Philadelphia Art Museum. 'No clue,' says Dimitry. So much for The Knowledge. Another clueless Philly hack. Except Dimitry isn't really a licenced driver. He's a college student from Delaware.
Actually, I need a cab for 9 AM tomorrow, Wednesday. Could Dimitry be available? No luck. 'I start at noon to eight,' he said.
There's another thing: Why was this cab fitted with left-hand steering? Is The Knowledge coming to Philly?

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