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You are in need of a taxi to get to your destination. You approach the curb and there are 5 taxis waiting for your business. Each of the 5 taxis have different characteristics:

Taxi 1: You will get to your destination without any issues. The driver will talk to you the entire time but once you step out of the cab you won't remember a single word that the driver said.

Taxi 2: During the ride, you will be forced to stop and buy a coffee for yourself and the driver.

Taxi 3: During your ride, you will be forced to stop at church and attend a service before continuing to your destination.

Taxi 4: The driver is 10 years old. If you are not dressed appropriately the driver may not allow you to get into the cab at all.

Taxi 5: There is free pizza and beer during your ride, but the cost of the trip will be double what you would pay in another taxi.

What is this a metaphor for, and what do each of the taxis represent?

Hint:

The metaphor might be easy, or difficult, depending on where you live.

Hint 2:

Most people in the United States know which taxi they would choose.

Hint 3:

I have re-written this hint at least 10 times. One version had a disclaimer, another even had an apology. In retrospect I kind of regret posting this puzzle, since it is not only date-sensitive, but it also might be borderline offensive to some. Despite that I am still holding out for hope that people on this site will appreciate it for its entertainment value rather than the way non-puzzlers might take it. Now that I have likely achieved my secondary goal of strangest hint ever, you might be able to deduce what type of noun the taxi's represent. From there it should be easier to find the metaphor.

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    $\begingroup$ Ooh, this is an interesting idea! So this bizarre situation is a metaphor for some sort of object, situation, or idea, and we have to figure out what it represents? $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Apr 2 '16 at 23:14
  • $\begingroup$ Taxi 3 could be about marriage, and taxi 5 about paid sex. $\endgroup$ – Gamow Apr 3 '16 at 5:51
  • $\begingroup$ Taxi 4: The driver is 10 years old. A 10 years old kid can drive... $\endgroup$ – Jamie Apr 3 '16 at 9:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Gamow Than Taxi 4 would be about pedophilia..:/ $\endgroup$ – puzzleNewbie Apr 3 '16 at 13:41
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    $\begingroup$ I see what you mean about it being borderline offensive—I don't think it's offensive so much as ... there's a lot of ideology to claw through in order to get the answer. It's a little too reminiscent of the eye-rollworthy "You have two cows" memes from years gone by. I do like the idea for the puzzle, though. $\endgroup$ – question_asker Apr 4 '16 at 13:28
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I am, admittedly, not American, so my view of this may be skewed, but are the taxis

candidates in the 2016 USA presidential election?

This is mostly based off the hints that the answer is both date-sensitive and borderline offensive

Taxis 1 and 2:

Clinton and Kasich. Not sure which is which, mostly because I haven't worked out the 'coffee' bit yet. At a guess, Kasich is 1, purely because no-one seems to be paying any great attention to him.

Taxi 3:

Ted Cruz. Notable for applying religious views to potential policies (I'd have suggested Carson, but he dropped out)

Taxi 4:

Donald Trump - seen as childish, more than a little exclusionary

Taxi 5:

Bernie Sanders - high tax, high spending

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  • $\begingroup$ Well done! You nailed the ones you attempted. The first two aren't nearly as pinpointed, so process of elimination should work for those. Take a stab at them and you'll get the checkmark. $\endgroup$ – TTT Apr 4 '16 at 12:53
  • $\begingroup$ That's correct. IMHO, Kasich is not a very polarizing figure (which is usually best for a general election, but less likely to win the nomination); and as such his statements aren't really covered much by the media. $\endgroup$ – TTT Apr 4 '16 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ The purchase a coffee for yourself and the driver metaphor is an idea associated more so with the Democratic party in general, rather than Clinton specifically. One example would be subsidized healthcare via the ACA, which (currently in the US) is something that you must purchase for yourself, but also help pay for others that can't afford to buy it themselves. It was intended to contrast nicely with Sanders' free beer and pizza which is obviously even more free stuff, that you inevitably have to pay for somehow. $\endgroup$ – TTT Apr 4 '16 at 17:40
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Maybe ...

Taxi 1: You will get to your destination without any issues. The driver will talk to you the entire time but once you step out of the cab you won't remember a single word that the driver said.

University classes (taxi driver = teacher)

Taxi 2: During the ride, you will be forced to stop and buy a coffee for yourself and the driver.

2. Intership (taxi driver = supervisor)

Taxi 3: During your ride, you will be forced to stop at church and attend a service before continuing to your destination.

3. Graduate school or PhD (+graduation ceremony)

Taxi 4: The driver is 10 years old. If you are not dressed appropriately the driver may not allow you to get into the cab at all.

4. First job (taxi driver = boss)

Taxi 5: There is free pizza and beer during your ride, but the cost of the trip will be double what you would pay in another taxi.

5. Attending a conference ?

But I might be missing some US customs here ...

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  • $\begingroup$ Taxi 2: internship or intership? $\endgroup$ – Jamie Apr 4 '16 at 2:49
  • $\begingroup$ Creative attempt, but it's too broad. I added another hint. $\endgroup$ – TTT Apr 4 '16 at 4:50
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Here's my try:

Taxi's are countries, and drivers express it's leadership structure.

Taxi 1: You will get to your destination without any issues. The driver will talk to you the entire time but once you step out of the cab you won't remember a single word that the driver said.

I'll try 'communism' here. Not really sure on this. I have zero understanding of why it seems to work in some places, but hey, if it works...

Taxi 2: During the ride, you will be forced to stop and buy a coffee for yourself and the driver.

2. No clue here, is there any regime with big 'one time' taxes or fees to pay?

Taxi 3: During your ride, you will be forced to stop at church and attend a service before continuing to your destination.

3. I'll go with a theocracy here, where religious leadership is also country leadership.(I'll give Vatican City as an example here, or perhaps Iran)

Taxi 4: The driver is 10 years old. If you are not dressed appropriately the driver may not allow you to get into the cab at all.

4. I'll go with a totalitarian or military regime here, like North Korea. The 10 year old might be the (semi-offensive, as in hint 3) metaphor for Kim Jong-Un, and the appropriate attire a reference to the list of allowed hair styles or so.

Taxi 5: There is free pizza and beer during your ride, but the cost of the trip will be double what you would pay in another taxi.

5. This would appear to be a high-tax government system (i.e. Belgium or others), where education and health care etc. are all seemingly cheap, but you do end up just paying it in taxes anyway. For the sake of it, I'll label it a 'democracy'.

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    $\begingroup$ What about taxi 1 is a basic democracy : politics talk a lot and nobody really listen to them but it's "fine" $\endgroup$ – Fabich Apr 4 '16 at 9:58

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