Monday, November 19, 2007

Nutritional secrets of New York City cabbies

So I'm riding shotgun in a Jeep Liberty cab inbound to Manhattan from La Guardia.

Three of my colleagues are crowded into the backseat, discussing the latest work gossip. I'm hanging on for dear life while the Philippine cabby nonchalantly executes acts of automotive daring that would make Jack Bauer carsick.

We end up stuck in slow traffic near the Midtown Tunnel. The driver, seemingly oblivious to the relieved silence that had befallen the passenger compartment while we were catching our collective breaths, went rummaging through the depths of a large lunch sack sitting between us on the console.

He pulls out an avocado and holds it up like a magician producing a rabbit from a top hat.

"You know what this is?" he asks in his best broken English.

"Yeah. I like avocados," I answer.

"You eat one of these every day for 45 days," he said. "It will make you head come up."

"Whatsthatyousay?" was my reply. "I think my head is up as far as I want it."

"No. It will make your head come up," he repeated, pantomiming a pinching movement with his fingers, as if he were pulling strings out of the top of his head.

Through a combination guesswork and charades (which had the added affect allowing the cabby to demonstrate his skill at driving without the use of his hands), my colleagues and I learned that the he was telling me to eat avocados to make my hair grow.

"Makes small hair grow big and strong," he said. "If have no hair, not work. But like you, weak hair will be strong.

"One each day for 45 days."

Now granted, I'm aware (to paraphrase Dennis Miller) that as I've pushed on into my mid- to late-30s, much of the population of the once bustling downtown of my scalp has fled to the more desirable neighborhoods of my nose, ears and back.

And granted, the cabby seemed very sincere. He was grappling with a "molting" problem of his own and was eager to share with me what he thought was the solution. His theory, as I was able to decipher, was that the oil in the avocado would work as a sort of follicle fertilizer, strengthening the puny hairs so that they become big, strong hairs. Kind of like an organic Rogaine.

Frankly, looking at the cabby's locks, I wasn't convinced.

But you tell me. Is this worth trying? Has anyone else ever heard of this? Is it healthy to eat an avocado a day for a month and a half?

And more importantly, has anyone ever gotten any bad advice from a cabby?

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  1. "...bad advice from a cabbie?"

    you crack me up!

  2. Given that one avocado has the same number of calories as half a Big Mac, you'll end up with luxuriant locks atop even more luxuriant rolls of fat.

  3. I wonder if I could get the same result by smearing guacamole all over my head every night before bed.

  4. You definitely need to try it so you can document each day on your blog.

  5. I hear Donald Trump gets his hair advice from cabbies.

  6. A cabbie here in KC told me one time about how he used to sell drugs in all the clubs in Westport. He was really proud of that, but he didn't give me any advice. Too bad, because I could just tell this man had pearls of wisdom swirling around in his drug-addled head.

  7. Day 1: Nothing happening to the hair yet. But my skin feels nice and supple. Hm, interesting side effect the cabbie failed to mention?

    Day 4: Ok, I can *feel* my hair wanting to grow stronger and more lush than ever, but no one's said anything yet. What's that about?

    Day 15: Holy SHIT! The poop! Gah, is the poop all worth it? It had better be, goddammit...


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