A huge part of driving for Uber or Lyft, and I’m sure taxis too, is dealing with drunk people. I’m sure in other, bigger cities, there’s a demand for drivers from people who are just going places. But here in Cincinnati, especially on Friday and Saturday nights, it’s all about the drunks.
Typically everything is fine. Drunk people are my people, so it’s all good. I’ve never had anyone throw up in my car, yet, but I have had two throw up out of the window. Only the first one projectiled away from the car. The second one ran down the outside of the door. Thankfully it was the outside. Her’s smelled of berries, which was rather pleasant.
Typically though, they’re just drunk and in a good mood. I did have two guys pass out in my car recently, and I had to wake them when I got them to their house. The first guy jumped, stared at me for a moment, looked around, wondered aloud just where in the hell he was, and then it all came to him. He woke the other guy and they left.
Well, tonight was a different sort of night. Thankfully the weird shit didn’t last long, but it was enough.
To start my night, I picked up four college boys from the general UC area. They were young, like, if I had to guess I would have said they were in high school. As it turned out, they were all at least 21, unless the club I took them to allows 18 and up.
These college boys, white boys who seemed to be of the privileged variety, got in the car and smelled like they had styled their hair with beer. Immediately the one next to me asked for an aux cord, which he plugged into his iPhone and started playing some terrible new hip hop. All of them were rapping along and being “hard” while looking like complete tools.
Halfway to their destination the one guy in the back asked if anybody wanted gum and started handing it out. It was about that time that I noticed the guy sitting behind me kept rolling his window down and spitting out of it. Ladies, he might be single. Don’t you all rush him at once.
After I dropped them off at the club and began heading to my next pick up, I heard something knocking around when I turned or stopped. Then I felt it hit my foot. I pulled over and dug it out from under my seat. A still cold beer bottle that had leaked a lot of its contests out on my floor board under my seat. And the car wreaked of beer. That’s so awesome when I’m going to be driving around all night!
While searching for another one I discovered a half-chewed piece of gum with the wrapper next to it on the floor board in the back. These guys were batting 100. The best part about the beer bottle was, there was nowhere to throw it away and I wasn’t going to litter. So I had to ride around not only stinking of beer, but with AN OPEN CONTAINER!
My next ride was an older couple who was also drunk, and the man had brought along beer as well, except it was all unopened and in a bag. He was just taking it home. Good for him. They were nice, and they didn’t care about the open container or the brewery scent wafting through the car.
After I dropped them off I went right to a gas station to throw the bottle away. I lit a smoke on my way there, and when I got there I noticed a few Cincinnati police cars in the parking lot. Don’t worry, nothing crazy happened there and I didn’t get arrested. I only bring it up because in my mind, that’s what I thought was going to happen. After what really happened, I almost wish they had arrested me first.
I parked and got out with the bottle to throw away. As I was heading back to my car I heard someone call out to me, so I stopped and turned. A scraggly looking man was walking my way and he asked for a light. I got in the car and gave him my lighter. Then he asked me for a cigarette.
Clever, bum. Fucking clever. Instead of asking for the smoke first, he asked for the lighter, making me think he already had a smoke. By me giving him my lighter, he knew I was a smoker, even if he didn’t see me smoking. It pissed me off. I said, “Do you want me to smoke it for you too?”
He apologized, then began talking to me about how much his life sucked and his philosophies on life, the universe, and everything. I was sitting in my car with my left leg still out of the car and the door wide open. I kept waiting for him to jump me, but he didn’t. He just kept talking. And talking. For FIFTEEN FUCKING MINUTES he stood there and talked to me about all kinds of stupid, unimportant shit. And I listened to it all. You know why?
Cause I really thought he was going to jump me or stab me with his HIV infected heroin needle. This all ran through my mind.
Finally he gets to the good part of the story. The end. He talks about how he likes to drink and how he’s an alcoholic, but he’s never done drugs in his entire life. He just drinks. Then he said how he doesn’t care if anybody does drugs, or what drugs they do, because he wasn’t one to judge people.
This was all a very well rehearsed act. Everything he said had a purpose. While he was speaking very clearly and coherently, he was drunk. I could tell by his eyes and the way he stood there. And he also wreaked of alcohol.
After telling me he wasn’t one to judge people, he said, “Well, I’m gonna just get to it. Can you buy me a beer?”
Seriously, if I knew that’s what he wanted from the beginning, I would’ve got one for him just to shut him the fuck up. But I was too concerned with being murderized to think it through. Otherwise, I should’ve known that’s what he was going to ask for.
I told him I had no money, which was almost completely true. I had two dollars in cash and three dollars on my debit card. I could have bought him a beer, but fuck that and fuck him. He wasted my time and he already had one of my cigarettes.
He then had the nerve to say, “Oh, you can charge the beer. I really don’t want the money.”
Oh, I can, can I? Thanks for giving me permission. What insight, to show me my options for spending what very little money I had to my name on you, Mister HIV needle having drunkard whose name I don’t know.
I said loudly, “I didn’t say cash, I said I don’t have any money. ANY. I’m broke. That’s why I’m out here now doing Uber so I can make some money.”
“Oh, I wish I knew. I know a lot of people who need to Uber somewhere.”
“That’s great, but right now there are a lot of people downtown who need an Uber and I’d like to go make that money.”
He then started talking about the government and how they treat the people, and how the media runs everything. So I told him to have a good night and I left.
As I backed up out of the spot and pulled out of the station, I saw him nowhere. His crack-ass disappeared. He clicked his heels together and said “there’s no place like the projects, there’s no place like the projects…”
I drove down the street and attempted to contact Uber about the kids and the beer bottle, but all I could think about was the fucking nerve that guy had, the way he asked for the cigarette and then basically told me to buy him a beer. This is why I don’t do well with others. That’s not a joke, nor an exaggeration. People remind me constantly why I hate them so much.