These Drivers Have Amazing Stories About Passengers
When anyone needs a ride home, taxi, ride-share and limo drivers always lend a hand. While driving, these hard workers meet a slew of people from different backgrounds. And with so many different riders, there's always someone new making the journey a bit more interesting. These drivers on Reddit discuss some of their most memorable passengers, along with interesting moments behind the wheel.
A Life-changing Pickup
I was unemployed at the time and had quit a job due to an abusive/toxic work environment. I had recently graduated a coding boot camp but wasn’t having any luck landing new opportunities. Bills were piling up, and honestly, I was losing hope.
So, I’m about to call it a night — driving drunks around gets tiring — when I decide "What’s one more?" It turns out these three older women wanted to do some gambling in the next state over and had trouble finding a ride. I said yes and figured I’d just call it a night after. We start talking, and it turns out one of them is an IT consultant. They decide to pay me basically $100 an hour to hang out until they’re done and drive them all home.
We ended up connecting. She revised my resume and put me in touch with some references of hers. I ended up making a good buck off the fares alone and also ended up completely turning my life around by landing a dream job with a little bit of help. I wrote her a sincere thank you letter once I accepted the new offer, and she replied with "Help others because you can." Not a day goes by where I don’t think about how lucky I am.
Don't Let Them Get Away
I used to drive at Fort Myers Beach. I picked up four drunk, middle-aged people and crammed them into my tiny car. I was about to pull into their neighborhood (nice, gated, on the water) and the one guy was like, "I need you to follow that car!" And I’m like, "Whatever. Let’s see how this plays out."
So we start following this random SUV, and I’m like, "Who is this guy?" And they’re like, "We don’t know, but we have 20 minutes of the babysitter left and we aren’t wasting it." I reminded them they were on triple-rate surcharge and they didn’t care.
Eventually, the car pulled over and everyone shouted at me, "GO GO GO!" We sped off into the night.
Can They Do It in Reverse?
I once picked up this guy who ended up being a magician. It was 2 a.m., and I had to drive him into Manhattan to his apartment. It was weird because nobody was around. The city was dead quiet for some reason. He sat in the front seat and told me stories the whole ride there.
Once there, he did a magic trick for me. He made four $100 bills turn into four $1 bills and gave them to me for a tip.
That's How You Get Arrested
I drove a taxi in a suburb of Boston for a while in the ‘80s. One day, a kid in his 20s with a baseball bat hailed me and asked me to take him to a pharmacy nearby. It was the middle of the day, so I assumed he was coming from baseball practice.
He told me to wait. He went into the pharmacy and left the bat in the car. A minute or two later, he came running out of the pharmacy with the pharmacist right behind him.
Was this guy nuts? What kind of criminal uses a cab as a getaway car? I casually reached back and locked the door just as he reached the cab.
He fumbled with the handle, realizing that he left his only weapon inside, and then ran off. I let the pharmacist into the cab, and then the two of us made a slow pursuit of the guy while reporting his location over the radio (no cellphones). Eventually, he was so exhausted that I got out of the cab and held him until the police arrived. I had to testify in court and identify him. Not the sharpest tool in the shed.
A Rough Night
I picked a guy up from a club around 5 p.m. He had clearly been there for a while and was a talkative drunk. He started talking to a friend on his phone and kept saying he couldn't go into detail because he had a lady driver. He told me he was going home and then taking his daughter out to a basketball game because there was an after-game concert she was very excited about.
Little did he know (or I know because I was just following the GPS) that he had been routed to her high school. Dude’s in a rumpled suit, smells like the club and is clearly not sober. He got a resolved look, handed me a few singles and said, "Thanks for the ride, Boo." Then he just hitched up his pants like a man embracing his terrible situation.
Looking out of Place
I picked up two guys from a hotel. The destination is in the Hollywood Hills. When we're navigating up the winding roads of the hills, one of the guys mentions that he "hates going to [famous football player]'s house" because he always gets a little carsick. He tells me he knows this player because he plays for the famous player's alma mater and is in town to work out for the NFL draft that year.
This house is at the top of a hill with a beautiful view. When we get there, the rider asks me to wait for a couple of minutes and he enters the house. After a while, he gets back in the car and tells me I'm going to follow three other cars to the amusement park. The first car is a big, black Suburban followed by two luxury German sedans. And there I was with my economy car with a sticker on it.
Should've Swiped Right
I matched with a girl on a dating app by accident, and she messaged me saying she liked PBR, which is in one of my pictures. Being awkward and not wanting to waste her time, I just unmatched without saying anything. Around this time I was near the beginning of my brief tenure as a driver, so who do you think I pick up the very next day?
I immediately try to slouch, hoping she doesn't recognize me. After five minutes of silence, right when I think I'm in the clear, she says, "Hey did we match on the dating app?" To which I reply, "I don't think so." Then she says, "Yeah, I messaged you about PBR and then you unmatched me." And I just let out a feeble kind of "Oh, yeah." Then I look down at my GPS, and there are 25 minutes left on this ride. I did not get a tip.
Head for the Hills
I picked up an elderly husband and wife in West Hollywood, Los Angeles. They had just been at a doctor appointment for one of them. Waze ended up routing me to take Mulholland Drive to take them home to beat traffic (an unusual route, but very scenic, up in the Hollywood Hills).
The elderly wife couldn't believe it — they'd lived in LA for 40 years but had never been up in those hills. She was so excited and kept saying, "Oh my goodness, would you look at that! Look at that! Would you look at that?" And the husband kept responding, "I'm looking! I'm looking!" Of the 1,200-ish passengers I drove around, they were my favorite.
Taking It for a Spin
I once picked someone up at a hospital. What started as "Okay, this person is grumpy" became this person shouting and screaming in my car. I was five minutes away from pickup so I started driving back, thinking, "This person is crazy and needs help."
She reached up from behind me and turned the wheel. I slammed on the brakes, got her hands off of me, parked the car and got out of the car. She opened her door, and I told her she needed to get out. I canceled the ride and reported her.
I dropped her off right in front of a restaurant and told myself that she was their problem now. I am not trained in handling people with psychosis.
This Driver's a Hero
One day, one of my regulars was going to the store with her boyfriend. We arrive at the store and she says, "I need you to take me to the hospital. I'm having a miscarriage!" She was, too. I got to hospital, ran in and told them what was going on. She was on her way into the ER in less than a minute. Faster than an ambulance.
Normally, there was a $20 cleaning fee if you messed up the cab. They actually took bets at the office if I'd charge it. Under the circumstances, I didn't feel right doing that. (The winner of the bet was so proud. I restored her faith in humanity.)
A Gambling Man
I was a driver for a while in and around Washington, D.C. I get a call to pick someone up from the casino.
They don’t tell you where you’re taking the person until you’ve picked them up and started the trip. When the guy gets in and I start the trip, the map zooms way out and gives an address in Ithaca, New York. Apparently, the guy missed his flight because he was on a good streak and didn't want to leave the table.
So naturally, I freak out because there was no way that I would drive seven hours. He proceeds to whip out a stack of his earnings and told me that if I did it, he'd give me $1,500 on top of whatever the charge would be. I immediately change my tune and agree to his offer. I called out of work, called my mom and girlfriend and made my way north.
An Awkward Conclusion
I picked up this sort of awkward middle-aged dude the other day who sat in the front seat. I usually think it’s weird when people do that when they’re by themselves, but some people prefer it so I don’t say anything. We were silent the whole ride.
When we got to the destination, I asked him, "Is this spot okay?" He said yes. I stopped and put the car in park. Instead of getting out, he just sat there silently staring straight ahead. A couple of seconds passed and I didn’t know what to say. I just asked again, "Is here okay?" He looked at me and awkwardly said "Yeah." Then a few more seconds passed and I was like, "Okay. Cool." Finally, he unbuckled his seat belt and got out. I was just really confused as to what he expected to happen.
The Strange Treatment
A couple of months back I picked up a middle-aged woman who seemed rather ill. She immediately let me know that she might pass out in the back seat on the way to the airport but assured me that everything was fine. I asked what was wrong.
She had just come from a holistic practice where they injected Brazilian frog poison into her leg as a cancer treatment. This was her second time doing such a thing. Nice lady. Interestingly enough, she also worked in the medical field, but she still sprang for such an out-there alternative treatment.
An Imaginary Friend?
I pick up this clearly drunk girl on a college campus. She wants me to take her to her dorm to pick up her ID, and then take her to a restaurant to meet up with her friends. I drop her off at her dorm. She comes back to my car about 10 minutes later, looks around and says, "Where's Becky?"
Her: "Becky. Where did she go?"
Me: "There was no Becky. I only picked you up."
She begrudgingly accepts this but I see the gears of suspicion turning in her head as I'm driving her to her destination. She asks to be let out in the middle of nowhere rather than the restaurant. Now I would much rather drop off a woman in her condition with her friends than in the middle of nowhere, but I also didn't want to explain to the cops that I never met Becky. So I dropped her off there. I hope she made it to her friends alright.
Next Time, Use Email
I picked up a normal-looking guy from work one day and was having normal small talk with him for about 25 minutes before he got a call. He said he had to use speakerphone because his earpiece was broken (so I heard everything).
His cousin was on the other end and opened with, '"So, do you feel like a millionaire yet?" My passenger was confused, but he went on to receive news that his rich grandfather who had passed a few months previously had put the passenger’s name in the will.
My passenger was going to inherit some $3 million. As any regular person would do, he started to freak out in the back seat, grabbed my shoulder out of excitement and was on the verge of tears.
A Lucky Guess
A bunch of ladies dumped a super-wasted friend in the taxi, gave me $40 and said to make sure she got home safely. They went into long details about where they worked, who they were and why I would be able to get in touch with them if it wasn't enough money. I knew what neighborhood she was in but had never been there before. I have GPS so I wasn't worried. Off we go. Well, once the GPS got me going down a dirt road with no end in sight, she was out cold.
I knew we were on the wrong side of this river but I was led right into a bridge. But it was a barricaded footbridge. I got back on the main highway and found the right turn after passing back and forth about three times. Party Girl is still out cold, thank goodness.
I got into the neighborhood and I knew I was on her street. It was one of those streets that has a block of mailboxes with all the numbers on it at the entrance, so, of course, it's tough to find the house with her number. I got to the end of the road and hadn't seen it, so I yelled, "We're close! What's your house look like?" She woke up (pretty much slamming into the window), pointed and said, "That's it." We were right in front of it.
Tip of the Century
One evening, I picked up an old guy at an AmVets post. He had been drinking and was in a jolly old mood. His house was only like a mile from the post, so his fare was like $3.60. All he had in his wallet was a $5 bill and a $100 bill. He looked at the $5, didn't think it was enough of a tip, said "Aww, to hell with it" and handed me the C-note. Didn't want any change! That made my night.
Avoiding a Potential Confrontation
My very first night driving was the only time I have actually kicked someone out of my car — one guy in the front and one in the back. The guy in the front was so wasted he started just screaming at me "Screw you!" again and again. The guy in the back was barely there but kept trying to assure me not to worry. Then he lit a cigarette. I just pulled over and got them out somehow. I was pretty concerned.
He's No Lex Luthor
When I was a driver, I mostly just drove at night because I made more money. The weirdest conversation I overheard was when I picked up a 25-ish-year-old guy and a girl of about the same age from a club. The whole time the guy is rambling about his new startup and how he's going to "basically own [city we were in] in a few years." Deadpan serious, these are some of the lines he drops: "I don't have friends. I have colleagues." "I've never had a job before. I've just known a lot of rich people. I know how they think. That's why this program works." "People don't understand the kind of intelligence I'm working with."
This goes on for the entire car ride. Every now and then she tried to change the subject, but he was able to take everything she said and turn it into something about his company. We get to the hotel they had as their destination, and as soon as he gets out, she shuts the door behind him and says to me, "Would you mind taking me somewhere else?" Well, she was the one that ordered the ride, so I drove off before the guy could start making a big deal about it. She set a new destination, and the rest of the ride was pretty uneventful.
Case of the Ex
I was kind of in the middle of this conversation, myself. There was a lady in the front seat, and her boyfriend sat in the back. I'm a very talkative person whenever I have fares, so I start a conversation. Suddenly, out of nowhere, this happened:
Her (to me): "My God, you remind me so much of my ex."
Him: "Oh my god, babe... I swear, your exes are the only things you EVER talk about."
She goes completely silent for a while, and he continues: "If you care so much about them, why don't you go back to them?"
Her: "You know I love you most."
Him: "Sure doesn't sound like it!"
They kept bickering about this the entire ride home (about eight minutes). I sat there, totally silent.
Road Rage Vows
I picked up a guy in the middle of the day from a bar and took him to a casino nearby. As soon as I got on the freeway, some lady started tailing me and constantly beeping at me. I freaked out a little, and he said, "That might be my wife. Don't worry. She'll stop following soon." She followed us for the whole 20-minute ride, non-stop beeping. Once we got there, he practically jumped out of my car and ran for the door. She followed him in her car, almost hitting him. Last thing he said to me? "Don't ever get married!"
A Special Delivery
One time someone put a blow-up doll with two drinks duct-taped to the doll's hands in my passenger seat and said that the ride was for her. He closed the door and I just drove myself and the doll to the destination.
I'm a driver and the worst I've had was a guy who was belligerent and entered in the wrong address. This was around 1 a.m., and he told me to "just drive" and "I'll tell you when to turn." We do circles for a bit around a neighborhood, and he says to "stop here." Then he says, "Not my house, but I can walk from here." I hope he made it home.
The Walk of Shame
I had one guy who went crazy on me when I wouldn't speed through a downpour to get him to the airport. This 250-pound guy was an ex-Marine. He spat on me, so I pulled over on the freeway and promptly threw him out of the car. I told him he could get his luggage up the road about a half-mile.
I then drove a half-mile, put his luggage on the side of the freeway, drove to the nearest convenience store and wrote an incident report. I never heard back from the company except for a canned reply that said I should "remain professional in stressful situations."
Were They Training for a Match?
I did have a violently belligerent passenger one time. His friends ordered a taxi from a local bar using his phone. When I pulled up, he hopped in without saying a word, and they asked me to make sure he got home safely. They mentioned that he may try to change the destination, but to not let him. Silly me for accepting such conditions. He did, in fact, try to change the destination to a local jewelry store (which was closed in the wee hours of the morning).
I continued on to the original address. He wouldn't talk to me; he just kept intermittently mumbling incoherently. Halfway through the ride, he started attacking the back of my car/backs of my seats as if using punching bags in a gym. It didn't do any permanent damage, thankfully. I pulled over and told him to calm down or I'd kick him out. Oddly enough, he got quiet and ended up just bolting when I stopped near his destination.
Getting Slap Happy
Two men got into a slap fight in my back seat as I drove them to church. I realized they were serious as the slaps started to get louder and I heard the telltale "I am NOT playing with you." I could not physically break them up, so I cracked a joke and told them in my best grandmotherly voice that I'd pull the car over and give them both spankings if they didn't stop. They stopped and laughed at me, and I dropped them off. I'm glad they laughed!
Food Can Be Precious
I pick up this 20-ish year old who works the deli counter at my grocery store. As I’m driving him, he asks if we can stop at his mom’s quickly. He runs in and comes back out with what looks like a bundle of clothes swaddling a baby.
Now I know it’s not a baby because there’s no car seat, but he’s talking to it sweetly and rubbing it in the back seat. "Hey little girl, you OK?" "Easy, easy we’ll be home soon." So I’m thinking it’s his puppy or kitten, and I turn to look at the cute little critter. It’s a sandwich. A turkey, lettuce and cheese sub swaddled up like a baby. He’s rubbing the sandwich’s "face" and talking to it. I turned back around without a word and drove particularly fast on that trip. I don’t go to that grocery store anymore.
Outside the Box
One man asked if he could bring his leftover pizza in my car. I said sure, but then he started to eat the pizza box, not the pizza in it. His girl liked the cut of my jib and was trying to get my number. Awkward! I am a married man and clearly had a wedding ring on.
Wrap It Up
I had a lady that had two stops: the supermarket a few miles from her work and then her house about a half-mile from the supermarket. As we're pulling into the lot, she told me to park up front and that she "shouldn't be more than half an hour or so." I laughed because I thought she was joking and gave my usual spiel about giving her five minutes before I'd end the ride, it's just not worth it to wait, etc.
You'd have thought I slapped her with the level of outrage on her face and in her tone. She said something like, "If you end it early I'm reporting you and telling them I think you've been drinking because I've NEVER had an issue getting a driver and that's just insane." I said I was sorry and that I'd give her a little extra time. I waited until she got inside the store, contacted support and explained the situation.
Thankfully they were understanding and explained what to do in order to get reactivated if she reported me for drinking and driving (it's an automatic deactivation). I got off the phone, ended the ride and one-starred her so I won't ever get matched with her again.
Speak Up Next Time
I had a former NFL player live-tweet from my back seat that he wanted to punch me in the mouth because I was chewing gum and he could hear it. He never said a word to me. I didn't even realize I was doing it. Maybe be an adult and let someone know next time instead of threatening them on social media like a little crybaby. The folks driving you are people, too.