Photo by Carmel King
The English are good at many things: darts, the subjugation of Africa, and the invention of Penicillin are but three. However ‘Joining In' is not one of them, quickly retreating to his moustache waxing should someone begin screaming “POGO! POGO FOR FUN!” at him. The Scot is a different beast: treating everything like a competition that he must desperately attempt to win to escape his nation's legacy.
And so to Cab Happy: 8 Scots, 1 English, and our ‘cabbie'. Driving around Edinburgh. Wearing ‘hilarious' Geordie wigs. Screaming at passers-by. For an hour.
The idea is passengers act as stooges for the driver's errant behaviour, with the goal of happiness for all. For example, spotting a group of students he would suddenly use the SUV's overcharged sound system to scream out an Ice Cream Van tune, hooting through his ever present megaphone ‘You kids want an ice cream?'.
The humour was never more than base and the Scot's loved it, especially when they were called upon to don balaclava's and gang rob someone at a cash machine to The Bill theme. The Englishman was less impressed, especially when he was called upon to “POGO! POGO FOR FUN!” to a bewildered audience.
Yet there were moments of clear majesty: parking near to a crowded Clerk Street bus stop we were commanded to point to the skies. Suddenly the cabbie charged into the centre of the street and tore open his shirt revealing blue and red as the Superman theme soared from the stereo. The crowds screamed with joy.
This is the interesting thing, while the Englishman bemoaned his conscription and argued it idiotic street exploitation of the worst Dom Jolly variety, for those unwittingly caught up in the adventures it likely made their nights.
So while for this English it barely scraped 2 stars, for the aggressive Scots with their competitive humour and, perhaps more importantly, for the many lives touched through the silly stunts it would be a 4, or even 5. Cab Happy is worth seeing, but best if it sees you.