With a microphone and digital camera linked to his mouse, Barnes uploads to your computer screen sounds and phones from what he bills as “the only recording studio, theatre, night club, planetarium, toy store, and Internet-connected taxi cab in the world,” complete with a magical laser light show; purple fog and mist machines; glow toys; and a mirrored disco ball. “It’s a way for people to have a mind-altering experience,” says Barnes. “But in this case, it’s totally legal.”
Inspiration for his amusement park on wheels struck 11 years ago, when Barnes was looking for ways to entertain himself on the late shift. Getting from point A to point B soon took a backseat to the cab’s multimedia experience, and in April of 1995 Barnes- who didn’t even know what a Web site was- purchased a computer and put his one-man show online. So now when you’re in the mood for a little glitz, you can log in and sit in the backseat with the star riders Jerry Seinfeld, Marla Maples Trump, Michael Douglas, Clint Eastwood, Lee Iacocca, and Pierce Brosnan, among others who’ve taken real-life trips in Barnes’s car. You can also catch reports in ski conditions, as well as suggestions on the coolest Aspen hangouts and restaurants. Finally, before logging off, be sure to check out the toy shop in the taxi’s trunk, where you can purchase souvenir 3d glasses (all the stars are wearing them on their rides), glow toys, fun-pacs, and T-shirts. Happy trails!