Depending on what kind of passenger gets inside, a cab driver can instantly become anything from a temporary therapist to a witness to an elaborate heist—and anything in between! Ask any cabbie out there, and they’ll surely tell you about at least one or two passengers that they can never forget picking up, for better or for worse. Here are 50 such stories that cab drivers online have shared about exactly those kinds of passengers.
I picked up this young, overly affectionate couple that spent the entire trip making out in my backseat and telling each other that they loved each other. Cute. So I drop off the couple and head on my way to pick up my next fare. I hear a cell phone ring in my backseat and realize it's my previous ride's phone. So I pick up the phone to let them know I have it and that I'll come back to drop it off.
Turns out it was the guy's wife phoning to check in on him while he was on a business trip, which he was thoroughly enjoying with his mistress.
One time, I was driving a dude for a bit of a long trip. It was gonna take around 25 to 30 minutes. He wasn't hammered, but definitely a bit intoxicated. It was late, and he must have been feeling a bit down, so he confided in me and asked me for some advice. He told me that he was madly in love with his fiancé's best friend, but that he couldn't back out of the wedding now.
He had been with this girl for four years, and engaged for one year, ready to be married in a few months. It was pretty sad to hear, because it wasn't just your average story. It was filled with a lot of subtle emotional and mental anguish. The guy went through about five years of ups and downs with his girl, and found comfort in the best friend.
After a few years, he developed feelings for her and it was just downhill from there. I felt bad for the guy, because he seemed like he was truly in love with his fiancé too, despite his strong feelings for this friend. He knew that going through with the marriage meant a lifetime of being around the friend and suppressing these feelings, but breaking it off meant that he lost the girl of his dreams.
He seemed like a genuinely nice guy, and I hope he's doing okay.
In this case, I was the passenger and it was the driver who was weird. During the ride, this driver randomly told me that he was changing his name to Nilrem, because it was Merlin spelled backward and he was secretly a wizard. I had no idea how to react to this kind of comment, nor did I know why he was telling me about this.
One time, I picked up two dudes in my cab. They spent the entire ride talking openly about how they were going to keep hiding their relationship from their wives and children. It was a pretty shocking thing to overhear and I felt really bad for everyone involved. Pretty messed up stuff. I hope that situation gets peacefully resolved somehow.
I was driving Uber one night. It was pretty tame until I picked up two guys who wanted to go to a gentleman's club forty miles away. As they requested an UberSelect fare, I was happy to drive that far. It took them fifteen minutes to get ready and into the car, but they seemed cool so I wasn't worried. As soon as we got onto the freeway, things took a very strange turn…
The guy in the passenger seat started asking about Uber driving, and things got dark. After a few minutes, he started saying things like, "What would you do if someone just grabbed the steering wheel and ran the car into the median?" and "Have you ever thought about what would happen if someone in the back seat tried to choke you while you were driving?"
I got a little freaked out and tried to lighten the mood by asking what they were celebrating, but the one guy just kept at it. I was happy to get to the club and get them the heck out of the car. The surprise bonus was that the bouncer at the club gave me $40 for dropping them off there. I never drove Uber again, though. Screw that.
This wasn't so much weird as it was random, but my first night driving for Uber I picked up a dude at 2:30 in the morning. He had been finishing up a pub crawl. The dude was dressed in a purple dinosaur onesie and was totally hammered. He got in and started telling me his entire life story, including how he had a fight with his parents and moved across the country the next day.
One night, I was driving an Australian dude and two ladies home about two miles from the bar they were at. Halfway there, the guy asks how much it was going to be. "About ten bucks," I said. "Well how about instead, this girl shows you her chest and slightly sleeps with you?" I pull over and turn around, "What the heck is slightly sleeping with someone??" To which the girl says, "I'll look at your undressed body."
That'll be ten bucks please…
It was my first night driving an Uber. I was in a ‘92 Grand Marquis. Huge car, big heavy doors. I pick up two very intoxicated guys going from the bar to their summer home. One guy sits in the back and the other up in the front. As we get close to the house, I notice the guy in front is looking pretty green. I speed up a bit to get to the house as fast as possible.
The guy starts to puke, but rather than go out the window, he opens the door and leans out with his arm hooked through the window. I freaked out and slammed on the brakes. The door flung open and slingshotted the guy out of the car. Luckily, he missed hitting any parked cars. He hit the sidewalk and rolled across for about a yard.
He got up all covered in blood and puke. I convinced the two guys that they had to get off the street before the authorities saw them. But first I got my money. Always need the cash.
I drove the day shift for a few years, so I didn't have to deal with a lot of intoxicated people. That all changed one day. An older gentleman gets in with the help of a friendly stranger. I asked him where he was headed, and he mumbled something that I couldn't understand. This guy was completely intoxicated and alone, too much so to even remember his own address.
After a few minutes trying to grasp the new language this man had created, I learned he had to go to the ATM first. I take him across the street to another bar with a cash machine right inside the door. I hop out and pretty much have to carry the guy inside. All heads turn to watch our entrance. I stand him up at the ATM and take a step back.
Miraculously, he can walk again. He performs a sideways grapevine shuffle up to the bar, and sits down to try and order a drink. I say, "There is no way you are getting served. Everyone saw me carry you in here." He looks me straight in the eye, puts his pointer finger up to his lips, and lets out a long and dramatic "SSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHH."
Everyone nearby bursts into laughter and I leave. He's someone else's problem now. A couple of fares later, I notice a tiny crinkled up piece of paper in the passenger seat. I open it up and there is an address written on it. Apparently, that guy had been prepared to get too intoxicated to talk, but had written out his address and just forgotten to hand it to me. I often wonder what happened to him.
I once took this 19-year-old kid and who I assumed was his girlfriend back to her house on Pride weekend in San Francisco. They made out for the whole ride. When I dropped them off, only she got out. He immediately said, "Take me to Castro and 18th." I said "Really?" and he said, "Yeah, I only make out with girls when I'm in cars." Never a dull moment in San Francisco…
I once picked someone up here in Memphis, Tennessee. I took them to a shady apartment, and they came out smelling like my favorite illicit substance. I asked them to go back in and get me some. I then got paid for the job, got the substance, and got a new dealer out of the whole experience.
Once, in the back of my cab, these two girls were talking about how they had both slept with the same guy recently. They both agreed his private part was too big and that he was hurting them by lasting too long. They also both concluded that he was probably gay. Another time, these two middle-aged couples got in and started trying to negotiate the terms of a foursome.
Once, I had an extremely intoxicated middle-aged couple fight for the entire duration of their thirty-minute ride. They attempted to bring me into their fight many times. I just pretended like I was deaf and didn't answer when they tried to rope me into it. I have no idea why a random married couple would be interested in a cab driver’s opinion on their marital issues…
Two 40-something-year-old guys who I picked up from a bar were talking on speakerphone and trying to make plans with a third guy who was at a party with a bunch of intoxicated twelfth-graders. Those were his exact words in describing them. One guy in my car asked if there was anyone younger there, to which the other dude responded, "Dude, really?"
This was followed by a few moments of silence, and then one of them said, "Freaking sweet!" Now, I’m not 100% certain about what they really meant, as it’s entirely possible that I could have been missing some important context. But, that being said, it sure as heck sounded like they were heading to a party where there were some intoxicated teenagers that these older dudes were hoping to pick up!
I used to drive a cab many years ago, and I would very frequently pick people up who wanted to talk about the weirdest and most random things that you can possibly imagine. One time, I picked up this one dude who told me all about his butt warts. And yes, he did go into very explicit detail. Apparently, they were simply huge.
I once picked up a divorced father whose buddy paid for his Lyft ride to the bar. Why? Because he was supposed to see his kid that evening for an overnight, but the wife had the authority to dictate the terms of him seeing his own child no matter what and she wasn't feeling it. Granted, I definitely only got one side of the story, but it was terrible to see a man who desperately wanted to spend time with his kid be completely blocked from it over some nonsense.
The state of California had given fathers so little rights when it comes to this stuff, at least from the way this guy described it, that even though he had a stable job, a good house, and was willing to pay for a hotel so that he and his son would stay in the town the mom lived in, it was a no go. That was a tough one because I was so powerless to help.
I picked up a girl to take her straight from work to the hospital to see her dad. Her mom had called her work to make her end her shift early because it was serious. Her dad had cancer. I dropped her off and was like, "God, I hate this job because I'll never know how her night ended." Wrong. Next night, I'm taking people home from bars and I picked up these two dudes. I couldn't believe what happened next.
Turns out that they had taken that same girl out to get wasted because her dad had passed. They were behaving like intoxicated idiots. So when I took them to get pizza, the girl came outside and we talked about it a little. That was probably the one ride where I felt I had a positive impact on someone's life beyond getting them home safely.
I was taking two couples home. I dropped off Couple #1, and the husband of Couple #2 was in the front seat and made a comment I didn't hear. Apparently, he insulted the wife of Couple #1, who happened to be his wife's best friend. The wife of Couple #2 didn't like that, so she hit him. Not like a playful smack, she fully struck her husband.
It was full on domestic violence. I laid down the law: "We're not going anywhere if this is how it's gonna be." The dude was intoxicated, and so was the girl. So the rest of the ride home was him asking me, “How would you feel?" and me saying "It's not about how I feel; you two need to discuss this tomorrow when you're sober."
Being a cab driver is weird, man. You get a weird passing glimpse into people's lives. I loved it and hated it at the same time.
My friend drives an Uber in my hometown. One time, he picked up some really nice girls out on First Friday. They were talking about their plans for next autumn. Slowly but surely, my friend started to think he recognized one of the girls. It turned out to be my younger sister, and he told me all about it afterward. And that's how I found out that my little sister was moving to Spain!
I haven't really heard anything too juicy, but so far my favorite was this one. I picked up two guys in downtown Los Angeles. From their conversation, I gathered that they'd just met at the bar I picked them up from and they were going home to hook up. One was younger and clean cut, while the other was older and rather scruffy.
So I'm driving up Main Street to the 101, and the scruffy guy starts talking about how he used to live there in the 1990s and how it was a whole lot scummier back then. He mentions that he used to have an older boyfriend back then. The boyfriend would call the scruffy guy and tell him to walk down to the sidewalk in a tied off shirt and daisy dukes.
Then the boyfriend would drive up in his car and the scruffy guy would lean in his window and the boyfriend would ask him how much. The scruffy guy would get in and they'd roleplay that he was a hooker and the boyfriend was his client. The clean-cut guy kinda glossed over this story and moved the conversation along, but I thought to myself that scenario sounded very interesting.
I once picked up a guy from a gay bar, and he was noticeably intoxicated and coming on to me. He then confessed that he was one of the founders of a very popular gaming company and offered me $2,000 dollars to come up to his apartment. He also refused to leave my car unless I kissed his hand. Fun times. I hope he is doing well!
I picked up a girl on a Saturday afternoon. She was a bit upset and a little teary, and opened up to me. Turned out a business she had started was failing and she was in debt, so she had turned to stripping on the side to cover the bills. She said the pay was good, but she kept getting really sick from all the drinks she felt obliged to consume since part of her job was making guys spend money at the bar.
She hated it and felt trapped, and she kept asking me what I would do in her situation. I'm a guy, so it’s kind of hard for me to answer. I tried to give her the best advice I could think of, like getting the tax office to withhold taxes for a while, but I couldn't really help too much. The only thing I could do was end the trip early.
I was once driving for Uber and picked up two young Spanish guys. They were clean cut, spoke English very well, and were really polite. Seemed like it was going to be a totally normal trip—but it was anything but. The first thing that seemed off was that both decided to sit in the back, when typically one of two people would usually ride up front. It was quiet for a bit after the usual small talk I made, and then they started speaking to each other in Spanish.
I know some Spanish, but I wasn't really trying to listen in on their conversation. Yet, with how quiet they were speaking, I figured they were trying to be secretive, so I started doing my best to try and eavesdrop. This became kind of easy, because they started getting louder and it was obvious that they were arguing.
Now, my Spanish is far from fluent, but I kept hearing words like "me," "you," "they," "where," and "location." I'm not sure what the one finally said to the other, but they abruptly stopped arguing. That's when I heard "You get out", and the Spanish form used was a "tu command," which I had learned in Spanish class was a very disrespectful way to speak to someone.
Then there was a lot of arguing where I could only really hear "get out" and "I paid" for a short while. Then, finally, they stopped and one of them said very politely: "My friend forgot his date tonight, could you please let him out here so he can walk home before we get further away?" I was conflicted, but I complied with his request and decided I must've been interpreting their conversation wrong. But my night was only beginning.
The one getting out thanked me for the ride, apologized for the inconvenience, and said one more thing in Spanish to his friend before he left. After that, I thought I had definitely misunderstood them. But then, the dude asks if I can change the destination, saying that his plans have changed now also due to his friend's date.
I said of course, now getting very suspicious but trying to tell myself I was overreacting. It was a long drive, longer than the first destination would have been, and we began to leave town. Finally, I pull up to this old farmhouse that looked abandoned, but I figured it must've just been his place and was a bit shabby and run-down.
But when the guy got out, he didn't walk toward the house. He just kinda stood there and said goodbye. Being suspicious, I drove off down the road for a while before turning back around. Then, I saw that the guy was walking along the side of the road toward a small graveyard, a decent ways away from the house. I didn't slow down because I didn't want him to notice my car and think I was snooping.
I'm still not fully sure what happened, but I'm pretty sure there was something waiting in that cemetery hidden somewhere, and as soon as his buddy told him where it was, he cut him out of the deal and made him get out. And there was nothing the one getting out could do because he wasn't the one paying. I think he may have even been scared of the other guy. Weirdest night of my life…
This one driver told me that he picked up his last fare for the day and it did not have a final destination. The dude gets in the car, completely intoxicated out of his mind, and starts yelling into the phone. The guy then says to the driver, "Drive to Vegas, here!" and the guy tosses $500 bucks at him. That is on top of the Uber fare, which apparently was surge pricing.
So the guy drives him to Vegas from Los Angeles, taking about four hours. The whole time, the guy is talking and yelling on the phone to his mom. They get to Vegas and he drops the dude off at some mansion, where his mom is outside waiting to yell at him. Apparently, the guy forgot about having given the driver the cash already, because he tossed another few hundred bucks at him on his way out of the car.
Not my story, but my mom's. She does rides in San Diego, which is a city that loves its Navy and is where many future SEALs go for their BUDS training. My mom was telling me one time that she gave a ride to a young man who was about twenty years old. He had been fighting to become a SEAL his whole life, and ended up falling asleep on the last day or two of BUDS.
As a result, he ended up getting dropped for the season. He felt totally crushed, because he made it through everything up to that point, and now he would have to wait before being able to enroll again and would be starting from scratch. Anyway, during the ride, he started to open up to my mom about his other passion, which was medicine.
She suggested that he chase that dream instead, because he came off as a very caring and devoted person. At the end of the ride, he asked her to step out of the car so he could give her a hug and a huge thank you for lending an ear and an honest opinion about the situation. She also left him her phone number so he could give her a call and let her know what he decided to do in the end.
A few days later, he gave her a call and said that he had returned back home to Texas and would start taking courses to pursue a career in medicine.
One time, I had a group of three guys in my cab, probably all around my age. I am in my mid-20s. They seemed nervous, avoided making eye contact, and were pretty much silent from the moment they hopped in. I tried confirming the destination, asked how their night was going, etc., but I only got muffled mumbling in return.
As always, I worked the situation out in my head in a calm, rational manner. Something like, "Are these guys trying to rob me? Jack my car? Did they just do something terrible? Am I an accessory to murder? Do they have knowledge of the impending apocalypse?" But as my paranoia routine winded down, I slowly started to realize what was going on.
Between the beads of sweat, occasional jaw clenching, and finally the random giggle outbursts, I realized that these kids were just on some kind of intense substance. Once it hit me, I called them out immediately and told them I was cool. They looked so relieved. I started blasting music and they just started geeking out by that point. Fun ride.
At the end of the ride, the guy that sat up front tossed me a little bag of something as a souvenir. Good times.
I drove a lot of college-aged girls who openly told me they were looking for a sugar daddy. They wanted 30-plus-year-old men. They had to have no children, a good job, and be willing to buy them lots of things and pay their rent and bills. I had no idea this was a popular thing, but practically every girl around that age who opened her mouth about a guy in my car went on about his age, job, and money.
One girl even admitted to sleeping with someone with the same name and of the same age as her dad.
Former Uber driver and current taxi driver here. One of the things that I didn't really expect from this job is that I feel like a bartender at times. People will just vent to us. Maybe it has to do with the fact that we're an anonymous ear and people feel comfortable telling things to a third party. Whatever the case, a couple of incidents stick out in my memory.
One was as an Uber pickup in North Jersey. I picked up this girl and her brother. They had been out celebrating her birthday. The brother is completely inebriated and she is sober. He gets in the back of my car and passes out, while she sits in the front. The ride starts and we make small talk. Apparently, her brother and her boyfriend had taken her out for her birthday, and things didn’t go too well.
Her boyfriend got mad at her and went somewhere else, and the brother decided to get extremely intoxicated immediately. So she now had to take care of him. It ended up being an awful birthday. On top of that, she told me that her boyfriend was verbally abusive and made her feel really bad all of the time. I basically said stuff along the lines of, "You need to watch out for your own happiness and your boyfriend should be making you happy. Otherwise, I don't see the point in having one."
She instantly burst into tears. She said that in her entire life, she never realized that. She always just assumed that boyfriends and husbands have the "right of way" as she put it and that she never even considered that she should be happy in a relationship. Maybe that stuck with her and she's moving on to better and happier things now. I'd like to think so.
That ride ended with me helping her drag her brother out of my car and up the steps to the house. As for the second story, I'm now a cabbie on Long Island. I pick up these two women, mid-20s-ish, and bring them to a restaurant. We were on the way there and started chatting. The topic of depression and mental health comes up, as one of them was in school to eventually become a psychiatrist.
I, myself, deal with depression and anxiety, and I also have a history of attempts on my own life. I always speak openly about it when the topic comes up, because I want the stigma around mental illness to go away. Anyway, I drop them off and they ask for my name so they can have me as a driver again later. A few hours later, the dispatcher sends me back there to pick them up on a driver request. Sweet!
I pick them up and we're heading back, but the mood in the car has drastically changed from earlier. It was pretty much silent now. I figure maybe they're tired or whatever. Halfway home, one of the women asks if she can ask me about my depression and struggles. Although it was kind of an odd question, I go along with it for the reasons I stated above.
Now, she's visibly upset, and she confesses that one of her best friends had just taken her own life a few days before. No warning signs or anything. Without too many details, I basically said that that's actually not too uncommon, as some people who attempt to do so don't want their friends or family to know how they're feeling.
This is one of the reasons I would like to see the stigma surrounding depression and mental illness go away. This girl then confesses that she herself was having similar feelings to what I described, and that she had nobody to talk to about it. So I basically said it's good that she's talking about it now, and that she should because this is not a thing that can be fought on one’s own.
I even gave her my phone number so that she could talk to someone who knew what she was dealing with any time that she wanted to. I also gave her the number for the local crisis prevention hotline and told her she should contact a mental health professional. I never did hear from her again, but I really hope she went and got some help.
So I picked up a guy in a suit at around 6:00 pm on Tuesday near Venice, California. He told me to take him downtown and, per usual, I asked if he had a preferred route. He said, "No, whatever is quickest." We get going and the usual banter begins. Him: "So how long have you been driving for Uber?" Me: "A year or so, it's a great job!"
Him: "Oh cool, where do you live?" Me: "In the valley." Him: "Oh nice, nice. So, how long have you been driving for Uber?" I paused and kind of half smiled, thinking he was messing with me. He wasn't. So I answered the same way as the first time verbatim: "A year or so, it's a great job!" He goes, "Oh cool, where do you live?"
This repeated three more times before I finally answered the questions differently, saying "I just started, and I don’t think it's really for me." And he again replied, "Oh cool, where do you live?" I answered one last time the original way, but then finally, just sat there in silence. By this point, I was on the Ten highway, stuck in rush hour traffic. This is when things took a dark turn.
I look in my rearview and he is rubbing his head and hair profusely, like someone going through withdrawals. He took his suit jacket off and looked severely uncomfortable. I got my phone ready in my hand in case anything went down. He then out of nowhere yells in a deeper voice than earlier, "UH OH!!!!!" and I said, "Umm, sir, is everything alright?"
He goes, "WHERE ARE WE???" I say, "Ummm, on the Ten headed downtown. Is that still okay?" He goes, "Yes." At this point, by the graces of the Universe, we ended up moving pretty quickly through traffic. Then, right before we exit off of the Ten, just two miles or so from his apartment, he yelled again "WHERE ARE WE???"
I said, “Sir, we're almost at your house, is that still okay?” And he calmly goes, "Yes, that's fine." Once we arrive, I pull up to drop him off. He gathers his stuff, opens the door, and looks back in at me before walking away and in the most genuine, kind way you can imagine, he says, "Have a great night! Watch out for crazy people!"
It was honestly one of the strangest, creepiest events that I have ever experienced. Subsequently, I bought a taser to keep on me at all times just in case I am ever in serious danger with a crazy passenger. And it’s a good thing I did, because this was just the beginning of several crazy incidents. So glad I don't drive anymore!
I once had someone get in my car who told me he was in his late 20s and that he was sleeping with a girl who had just recently turned 18. I awkwardly congratulated him, and he proceeded to tell me that this was not a good thing. He complained that his life sucks and that everything he does to make himself happy doesn't end up working out.
He told me that he watches videos of people taking their own lives, and wishes he had the courage to do the same thing himself. He told me he's going to go to San Francisco and spend every last penny he has on a vacation before jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge when he's done. I didn't really know what to say. I was kind of in shock.
When I dropped him off, I told him that I hope things start looking up for him. And he just calmly said, "They won't. They never do," and left the car. He also asked a bunch of weird questions along the way, like, "If I slapped you, would you kick my butt?" When I said I'd rather no one hit anyone, he said, "Dude, you'd whoop my butt. I'm a piece of poop at fighting."
Hope he got help...
I picked up an intoxicated guy on St. Patrick's Day. He was talking about his boyfriend and asked me if he should break up with him for being a money-grubbing loser. He then proceeded to tell me about the two dudes he was going to cheat on his boyfriend with later that evening. Just a weird set of conversations to have during a casual drive…
Two dudes were in my cab one time, openly discussing how much fun they’d had at one of their bachelor parties the night before. The fun consisted of "the most substances I've ever done!" and " I can't believe I cheated on my fiance right before I got married!" As you can imagine, this was a pretty awkward conversation to have to listen to...
I work for a small-ish cab company. We have a contract with schools in the area to transport seniors to this graduate program so that they won't drop out. These are usually troubled or badly behaved kids. Anyway, I was assigned to this one kid from sophomore year. Heard some pretty messed up things from other students about him, like that he allegedly slept with his dog.
Most conversations I started with him kinda just ended with awkward silence or him just asking me to stop talking. One year, he suddenly starts being more confident around me. He told me a lot of messed up things. His mom mistreated him and swiped his college money to spend on things for herself. It was all very sad.
The last year that I knew him, he was getting with a lot of girls from the school. Every day, he had me drive him home with different girls. He eventually stuck with one on a steady basis. He later told me about how some of these otherwise innocent girls were willing to do some crazy stuff with him. Unfortunately, he disappeared halfway through the year.
I later overheard from the other drivers that he had taken his own life.
I picked up a guy last night who confided in me that he was terrified of people from other races. He is scared that they are all plotting to swipe his belongings. The rest of his family members who were in the car with him promptly told him to shut up, and apologized to me for his behavior. It was definitely a strange experience, to say the least...
My husband once had a couple that broke up in the backseat of his car while he was driving for Uber. The woman made fun of her boyfriend's ex, and was talking about how she had bad teeth. The boyfriend said her teeth were fine and that she was being really judgey. She then asked him if he was still in love with his ex.
He thought for a moment, then said yes, and she immediately started crying. There was some kind of confusion about where they needed to get dropped off, since she just wanted to go home and he wanted to go somewhere else in the opposite direction. It was super awkward for my husband! I feel bad for everyone involved, honestly!
I drove for Lyft in Denver, Colorado when I was between jobs this past summer. My third pickup ever was a guy going to the airport. He said he was moving to Florida to get away from it all. But he didn't have any luggage. Not even a carry-on bag. I wasn't going to say anything about it, since I knew it was none of my business.
But eventually, my curiosity got the best of me. I asked: "So, where's all your luggage? Did you ship everything ahead of time?" I don't know what I expected, but I was not prepared for his answer. He doesn't say anything right away, and just as I was deciding that perhaps I wasn't going to get an answer, he goes: “Nah, I just had my friend call me a Lyft and he set up my flight. I just escaped from the slammer, but we look so much alike that his ID will work for me to travel.”
I was quiet the rest of the trip.
I was driving around waiting for pings. I eventually get one at a popular bar. I pull up and a young woman flags me down. She gives me her name and asks for mine. I'm her ride. Easy enough. There's a guy with her, and they're both quite intoxicated. She says good night to him and gets in the rear passenger side door.
Homeboy isn't having it, and decides he's coming with. He starts trying to convince her to let him come over, despite her saying that she has work early the next day and wants to get to sleep. But he is not taking no for an answer. It's getting a bit weird as he's getting more and more pushy and aggressive about it, to the point where she was clearly uncomfortable.
I step out of the car and say over the top of the car: "Hey man, if she says you're not getting in the car, then you're not getting in the car." He looks over at me with hate in his eyes. I'm a bit tense, not knowing what this kid's deal is. He slams the door and walks away, talking smack as he goes. Ooh, really man? Talking smack as you walk away? What a tough guy you are!
I get back in the car and the girl seems a little more sober after the experience. She is clearly still shaken up over it. I take her back home and make sure she gets inside safely. Things did not turn out as scary or as weird as they could have been, which is probably a good thing. The dude gave off a seriously bad vibe and I'm glad he took the hint and beat it.
I had a passenger once tell me a story that I'll never forget as long as I live. He said his brother had just passed and it was actually his fault, but everyone thought it was an accident. Apparently, he had moved from Russia to the United States and doesn't talk to any of his family anymore. He was a teenager and thought that a pistol was unloaded, but it wasn't. He made it look like his brother had shot himself.
At least that's what he told me.
A few weeks back, I picked up a woman from UT Arlington and drove her to DFW airport. We got stuck in traffic heading to the airport, so we started chatting about this and that. We started talking about our jobs and it turns out she was affiliated with a WNBA team from the Midwest. Her team had just beat the Dallas WNBA team by a sizable amount.
She was quite happy to share some info with me. She said she loved her job, but hated some of the players on her team. Divas, she called them. She said that a few players treated her like garbage and like a personal assistant, which she claimed she was not. "As long as those losers keep winning, I can deal with them. But they're such sore losers."
She laughed at that, and I just chuckled along with her. Afterward, I admitted that I didn't even know Dallas had a WNBA team, let alone any other major city. She smiled and told me she hears that a lot in all the cities she visits. So, while not the craziest thing ever, I still thought she was a memorable rider. Kind of cool, I think.
One time, I picked up a passenger in my cab who had been a presidential surgeon for Presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter. Technically, he still has clearance to work at Walter Reed Hospital. We had a pretty cool conversation about what those guys were actually like in person. I think people open up a lot more to a young driver, but that's a whole nother topic.
A friend of mine is a cab driver. He once had a blade pulled on him late at night on the road, as a "customer" tried to hold him up. When the guy looked away for a brief moment, my friend proceeded to calmly reach for the door and jump out of the moving taxi. In hindsight, I'm glad my friend wasn't seriously hurt. But, at the same time, I still think it's hilarious imagining what the face of that guy must have looked like after my friend bailed!
My dad is a cab driver. He once picked up these six guys who booked his taxi for 6:00 am the next morning. These guys brought bags with them, and my dad heard metal jingling. They were dropped off at a construction site. Later that evening, we heard an absolutely horrifying story on the news. Apparently, some guy got cut to pieces at that exact spot in the early hours of the morning.
In other words, my dad probably picked up killers and dropped them off for their crime. He didn't report anything, because he said he didn't want trouble and he also had no real cab license back then and didn’t want to get caught.
I drove a cab back in college. One time, I get a call for a pickup at a house very close to one of my college buddies' houses. I get to the address and pick up a girl wearing a long trench coat and a lot of makeup. She tells me she needs to go to the gentlemen's club downtown, so I immediately realize that she is a stripper.
As I drive to the club, I look back in my rearview mirror at the girl I picked up, and she seems oddly familiar. I didn't think too much of it, got to the gentlemen's club, and was on my way. Fast forward a couple weeks, and my buddy invites me to a house party he's having. I got to his house a bit early to help him set up and a few of his housemates were there helping make room for the keg.
I go to help the roommate moving the keg all by herself and, lo and behold, it's the stripper that I drove to the club that night. I didn’t say anything, but she clearly recognized me a little bit later. She pulled me aside and told me that her housemates don't know anything about her job and asked me to keep quiet about it.
This was one of my favorite rides of all time, and it was also the biggest tip I ever received. I picked up a gentleman who looked about one step better than a street person. He gets in and says hello, and I am immediately caught off guard by his accent, which reveals that he is from the United Kingdom. He was going on like a seven-dollar ride.
Along the way, he asked how late I was working and I sarcastically responded: "Until 4:00 in the morning, or another hundred dollars. Whichever one comes first." He laughed and asked if I would really go home if he gave me a hundred-dollar bill. I said I certainly would. We arrive at his hotel, he hands me a hundred-dollar bill, shakes my hand, and tells me to have a good night.
I did not see that coming!
I worked at a cab company for eight years, but I didn't drive. Needless to say, I collected a few good stories from drivers over the years. This one is probably my favorite. My friend, let's call him John, is a Muslim convert. He does not look like how you would imagine a Muslim to look, so people are always surprised to learn that he is one.
There are a number of Saudi students in my city and they like to go out partying like most college students. One night, during a bar rush, John is driving a cab full of Saudis home. They were quite intoxicated and just being plain obnoxious and loud in the cab. Now, John likes to listen to the Koran in his downtime, so he usually has a few CDs with verses on them in the cab.
So he decides to mess with these kids. He pops one of the CD's in and starts playing it. The silence was deafening. The students had no idea what was going on, and looked extremely confused. They didn't make a peep for the rest of the ride and actually tipped him pretty well. I guess they were embarrassed about their earlier behavior!
My pops is a cab driver in Toronto and, while I was out of the city for university, he called me one time. He was telling me about what had happened to him. Apparently, he had picked up a passenger and was driving them somewhere and having a conversation, when the passenger abruptly stopped responding to my dad’s comments.
My dad wondered what had happened, but didn't ask or look back. And then, about thirty seconds after it went silent, a smell hit him hard. He turned around just in time to watch as the passenger tensed up and went to the bathroom on the floor of the cab. My pops couldn't believe it. He just stopped the cab and told the guy to get out right away.
As soon as the guy left, he couldn’t help laughing about it. He had to take the weekend off so that he could take his car to a cleaner and get the mess removed. He also got the car fumigated, freshened, and the whole nine yards. But he didn't care. He found the whole situation hilarious and laughed his head off for the entire rest of the weekend.
On my second day of driving for Lyft, I picked up a guy that was intoxicated at 6:30 pm. Halfway to his drop-off spot, he gets a phone call and starts saying, "If we can't find the cars with the defected bolts, Tesla will have to recall thousands of cars for safety." So now I'm waiting to see if Tesla will recall anything…
I didn't drive a cab for very long, but it didn't take too long to come across some real characters on the job. Especially since I drove the 6:00 pm to 6:00 am shift. I once had a couple get in my cab at about 1:00 in the morning. They were obviously of very low socio-economic standing, and they were bickering before they got in my cab, while they were in my cab, and after they got out of my cab.
The woman was particularly nasty to the man, screaming at him for not having money to buy some sort of substance, then screaming at him for losing his wedding ring, then screaming at him for throwing up on her at some point in the past. He eventually turned to her angrily and said something I'll never forget: "Witch, you have given me more diseases than I can count, so shut the heck up!" It was quiet for about two minutes after that, and then they were back to another yelling match.
I drove Uber in Denver for a couple months, but the singular event that forced my retirement happened on a classically Coloradoan night in late December of last year. It was cold and snowy, and everyone in town was very much under the influence of substances. I initially wasn't planning on driving in such miserable conditions. I'm a lousy enough driver as is.
I have no confidence in my abilities, nor should anyone else. I find the need to mention that the only reason I became an Uber driver to begin with was that I lost my job at Chick-Fil-A because of some "Can I speak to your manager?" type who wanted fat-free ranch, despite my insistence that we didn't have any fat-free ranch.
Anyway, I met her rudeness with rudeness of my own and got fired for it, which finally showed me that customer service probably isn't a good job choice for an angry jerk like myself. But I'm chilling at my apartment and the heating was broken, because Shawn the indifferent landlord was too busy catching up on Game of Thrones to fix it.
So I decide to get out of the house and pick up a fare. I picked this girl up to drive her to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Turns out this girl lives directly underneath me, but I've never met her before. She's also very attractive: curvy, blonde, about 5'2, and with the goofiest smile you'd ever see. As I'm driving her there, she starts telling me the story of why she's all alone on this chilly pre-Christmas night.
Turns out her ex-boyfriend, Scott, was supposed to go to this play with her that night, but he was a major jerk. The stories about him started off small enough. He slept with her best friend and lied about it. Basic stuff, right? Not even close! Turns out, he was dealing substances from the basement of her old house. And we’re talking very dangerous ones, not just the common stuff.
Believe it or not, she is the one who got thrown behind bars when he got caught! Thankfully, she was proven not guilty in court since the evidence was entirely circumstantial. But, in the meantime, her boyfriend had skipped town, so she was left to suffer on her own. She tells me he mistreated her, hit her nightly, and tried to do terrible things to her before she broke up with him.
My sympathy senses are going off the charts for her. She even sheds a few tears. Apologizing for spilling her history, she asks if I want to see this show with her. She says she still has the extra ticket. I, of course, jump at the chance to go on a date with this hottie who's probably definitely out of my league, so I agree.
We park about a block away from the theater and have to walk the rest of the way. The snow is sprinkling around us like this magical fairytale scene, and I'm getting serious vibes from her, like, "I'm totally gonna sleep with you tonight if you ask." We get to our seats in the show, when she asks me if I want to go backstage to meet the actresses before it starts.
That's against the rules, right? Well, the girl insists that she knows the performers and it's fine. So she takes me on this shady little path backstage and pulls out a set of keys to unlock the doors. Red flags are going off, yeah, but I'm wanting to get some action, so the last thing I wanna do is upset her by questioning what she is doing. I ended up ignoring my gut instincts—and I instantly regretted it.
She takes me to the green room and introduces me to this dude called Scott, who is one of the lead actors. Yes, you read that right. Scott, as in the same name as her crazy boyfriend. He looks at her and starts freaking the heck out, which is when she pulls out a blade and stabs him in the gut. Yeah, that Scott was the same Scott that broke up with her.
I got the heck out of there, called the authorities and an ambulance, and when everything calmed down, I had a little drink to calm myself down before Googling the guy’s name. Turns out, she was the substance dealer and the crazy one who had skipped town. He was her innocent boyfriend who found out and ratted her out to the authorities, and she wanted her revenge.
She tried to pin the stabbing on me, but when the officers interrogated me, they found out all about who she was and they understood that she had planned this whole thing from the beginning. So the whole time that I was feeling sorry for her, she was actually just a monster in disguise. Who knew? Anyway, the experience was the end of my Uber career.
Former Uber driver here. I once picked up a sweet girl from a bar on a Wednesday night. She was absolutely hammered. It was about 10:00 pm. She got into my car, apologized for being so intoxicated, and politely asked if we could just drive around a little while, with the windows down. I got the feeling that she probably wouldn’t make it through the drive without throwing up.
I was prepping to charge her a cleaning fee, and trying to drive and pull a vomit bag out of the glove box. But no, she just did that airplane thing with one hand out the backseat window. She asked me if I had ever thought about whether there is an afterlife, to which I replied, “Yeah, I guess so.” That's when she said something I'll never forget. She revealed that she had cancer.
It was in her brain and it was too far gone to consider chemo. I remember my heart just pounding. She told me that she did not have too much time left to live, but that it was going to be okay. That night, she was celebrating with her work friends who threw her a going-away party. She told them she was taking a new position abroad.
"I just didn't tell them that abroad was heaven." Jesus. Freaking. Christ. I turned off my app and cried my butt off all the way home.
My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.
Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.
Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.
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