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Uber Tales to Lyft Your Spirits

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Remember what happened last night in the backseat of your Uber? No? Well your driver does, and he’s spilling your secrets. Don’t panic. We’ve all been there – fumbling fingers on your iPhone, squinting as you try to drunk-click the app to get a ride. After all, isn’t that what Uber and Lyft are for? They take you home so you can avoid that pesky DUI charge. While you’re puking in the back seat (it happens a lot actually), holding hands with your driver (also happened) or going topless in the backseat (supposedly, THAT happened), your driver is – we hope – stone cold sober. And they remember you.

We chatted with a handful of local Uber and Lyft drivers – anonymously, of course – to hear some of their best stories. So what happens in the Lyft, stays in the Lyft? Not exactly, although some names and locations have been altered to protect your delicate reputations.

I had this rider who originally wanted to go to Warner Robins, and then he said, “Before we go to Warner Robins can we go to the convenience store?” I said that’s fine. We stopped, then he says, “Can you go in the store and buy some liquor for me?” I was like no … and I asked him why he couldn’t get it himself. He said was too drunk and felt like the cashier wouldn’t let him buy any more if he went in there. I said, “No, I don’t feel comfortable doing that. You still want to go to Warner Robins?” He said, “No, instead just drop me off at the strip club.”

People tell me their impression of who I am, just at a glance. I had to kick a guy out for trying to tell me an N-word joke. People try to tell me heinous jokes, and I’m not that guy at all. It makes me want to ask them, what is it about me that makes you think I’d think that’s OK? So the guy was like, “Hey, what do you can an N-word …” and I was like, “Whoa man, not on this ride!” He says, “Hey, where’s your sense of humor?” So three or four minutes down the road, he tried another one. I immediately found a gas station and took the keys out of the car and told him to get out.

I picked up a lady, who I’d driven before, from one of the sorority houses along with a bunch of her girlfriends. They all hoped in the car, and said, “We know you! You’ve given us a ride before.” I said, “I’ve given this lady a ride before but I’ve never seen y’all before.” “Yes, you have! You’re the one that told us about picking up the ladies from the bachelorette party who went topless for the Uber ride!” I’m insisting I’m not that guy and they kept saying the whole ride home how I was that guy. …  And that wasn’t the only time I’d heard the topless Uber story.

I was driving a couple from a downtown bar back to a university campus where their truck was parked. As I’m driving, the lady, who’s sitting in the front seat, grabs my hand and brings it over to her side of the car and holds it with both her hands. She looked over at me and said, “I just want to hold your hand,” in the most sincere drunk way she could. Then she takes my hand and puts it on her thigh. Her guy friend, who is sitting in the backseat, told me to just appease her, so I drove all the way there holding this young lady’s hand on her thigh. That was a first!

I was doing a Lyft line and I had a street philosopher type person immediate start talking about race relations. Another dude got in the car, and he was comfortable talking about it so they start talking, and then this gal gets in the car and she starts looking uncomfortable. So I told the guys to tone it down. The street philosopher guy was OK but the other guy was being a little pushy on it. Things got a little weird. I drop the philosopher off and then there’s this silence. Now, this other guy seems like a bro, and then he starts talking to the girl. Things get creepy like that. I went to drop him off and he said he wanted to keep going, to see where this went with her and told me to “just be cool.” I was like, “I am being cool; you’re done now.” It’s disgusting, but this happens so often. She thanked me more than enough, to the point where I was embarrassed to be a dude. And I didn’t really do that much standing up for her, I just told the guy to get out.

I picked up this couple from a music event downtown. I find out he’s a lawyer and they are from Alabama. The couple had brought her sister with them to the concert but they left the sister there because they said she’s a “crazy ass bitch.” They’re going on and on about their life as I drive them out to a subdivision to drop them off. Then it’s getting fairly late and I decide to make one more run for the night and head back downtown. There’s an after-party for that concert, so I pull up in front and park my car. I have my windows down and there’s this very inebriated lady sitting on the park bench. There’s two folks from the band sitting with this lady, asking her how she’s gonna get home. She’s so inebriated that they kinda feel bad for just leaving her there. She’s like, “I don’t know I guess I’m gonna Uber.” I say, “Hey! I’m an Uber!” She pops up off the bench but is so inebriated she almost falls back over. She stumbles to my car and on the way the band member asks if she has Uber on her phone. She’s like, “I don’t know.” He opens up her phone, can’t find Uber. So he’s trying to download Uber for her – she seemed a little technology challenged. Anyway, he can’t get Uber on her phone because she can’t remember her email. She’s knows her address though. I introduce myself to the band member, give him my card and tell him that this lady lives on my way home. She clearly needs some help, so I offer to give her a ride home. She stumbles into the car; we help her with her seatbelt and we’re on the way. The address was in the same subdivision I’ve been going to all night. She starts talking and says, “Yeah my sister and brother-in-law just left me at the concert. I can’t believe they left me there. I come here and they just leave me.” I say, “Is your brother-in-law a lawyer from Alabama?” Her eyes got real big and she says, “How did you know that?” Well, I just gave them a ride home.

Here’s what I like to call express Ubers. I went to pick up two gentlemen. They were standing at the end of their driveway. I pulled up and they were looking at their phone and looking at me. You know, the “Uber look.” I could tell they were pensive about something. They hurriedly get in the car. I said, “Are we late?” They said, “Yes, we were supposed to be downtown at a reception 30 minutes ago.” I said, “Does this need to be an express Uber?” The dude in the back says, “Yes, absolutely! I’m an attorney here. I will cover you if you get any tickets.” I said OK and we booked it downtown. We flew. I haven’t driven that fast in a long time. They tipped quite well, and were extremely appreciative.

I pick up a young married couple plus a friend from downtown. The lady is sitting beside me talking about this and that. The husband is sitting behind her and their guy friend is behind me. They’re talking, and the guy behind me, his head falls toward window. It looks like he’s taking a nap, although every once and a while he’d grunt. So we get to the neighborhood, I pull in the driveway and everybody gets out. As the doors close I’m checking where they are before I back out, and the guy has fallen down drunk in the yard. It looks like he’s out cold. I put down window and ask the couple if they need help moving him and they say no. I get another Uber call instantly, so I do the ride. After dropping that guy off, as soon as I get close to that same neighborhood I get another Uber call and recognize the name. It was the same folks I just dropped off. I pull up, they hop in the car and I notice their friend is still in the yard passed out. They hop in like it’s no big deal. I say, “You sure you want to leave him in the yard?” They say, “Oh, he’ll be just fine, it’s his house.”

One time I got caught in middle of a domestic dispute. I picked up the rider, she was coming out of the house with a bag of clothes and a baby and got in my car. Shortly after, a man comes running out of the house and he begs her not to leave, and he’s telling her he’s going to change and saying please don’t go. Then he starts taking everything out of the car and she’s like, “No, no, stop, I’m leaving,” and she’s putting the stuff back in the car. So it was back and forth for a while and then she tried to get back in the car, he physically wouldn’t let her. It was a horrible situation. I sat there 15 minutes letting them go back and forth and finally I didn’t feel comfortable any more. So I said, “I need to get out of here.” So I cancelled the trip and drove off.

On the way to country concert in Macon, I pick up these guys who think they’re tough. You know, the ones who have bedazzled hats and jeans. So this guy gets in the backseat, asks me to turn up the music and then he cracks open a beer. The first three or four times that happened, I didn’t stand up for myself when people were being inappropriate in the car. I’ve had people wanting to drink, wanting to smoke, asking if they can smoke some herb in the car.

40s-plus white people don’t trust the GPS and they want to give you their own directions. And they also always assume I’ve done nothing with my life, and so I get a lot of advice. Not only advice on directions, but stuff like, “How old are you? Well, there’s time for you yet, young man!”

Note: If you’re an Uber or Lyft driver with a great story to share, send it to ReneeCorwine@gmail.com.

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