Uber Chronicles


Uber Chronicles: Liz

Sometimes driving Uber is like the classic parent vs. the kid in the back seat relationship, “don't make me pull this car over!”. This past Saturday night as I bounced all over greater LA I was summed to pick up in the Echo Park area. As I pulled up I saw a group of trendy looking young people, a full car load. My mind is already anticipating that this could turn out to be a rough ride depending on how long the party has been going on for these guys:

Me: Hi for Nick? (Front passenger door is open but no one is getting in.)

Female passenger 1: Yeah but we are waiting for a friend to come down, she will be here in a minute.

FM P#1: Are we really going to do this? Can you just get in the car?

(so my initial suspicions are starting to be confirmed.)

FM P#2: Liz get in the car...

Male passenger: Liz just get in the car...

Liz: ( in a loud very drunk voice that never wavers for the entire trip.) Where are we going?

MP: Home we are going home and you are going to bed. Get in the car.

FM P#1: (now in the front seat.) OMG just get in the car are we really going to do this?

(everybody is finally in and I have the destination. We're headed to Santa Monica this could turn out to be a long ride...)

Liz: Sir! Sir? Sir...

MP: Liz don't...

(what usually makes these kinds of trips a huge pain in the ass is music... yes music... Uber likes to make it seem like drivers are also mobile DJ's that will provide your custom party music on demand. Let's just say “Homie don't play dat.” I have to drive in LA traffic so my job is to get you there in one piece. Also it's my car, don't touch my radio thats just standard driving code right? I will try to do a little with the music but like I said I'm driving...)

Liz: Sir... Sir... Can you put on some music you like? (keep in mind I already have it on I think it's KPRC, public radio that on weekend nights plays a hip mix of techno, not my normal thing but not bad and it seems to strike a happy medium.)

MP: Liz don't...

Liz: Liz don't! Sir... Sir... Can you...

FMP#1: Liz come on...

FMP#2: Liz Chill...

Liz: Liz Chill! Why am I always the Asshole! Liz Chill! Sir... Sir... Can you turn on some music?

MP: Liz leave him alone.

Liz: Sir! Sir! Can you put it on some hip hop... Sir! Can you turn it to 93.5? Sir...

Me: If I turn it to 93.5 will she settle down? (to FMP#1 in the front seat.)

Liz: Sir! Sir! Can you change the channel?

MP: Liz stop it!

(I change it to 93.5)

Liz: He heard me! Sir! Sir! Can you turn it up please...

MP: Liz no he can't..

FMP 1&2 in no particular order: OMG Liz stop... Just chill... Shut up Liz

Liz: Shut up? Liz Shut up? Sir can you turn it up? Sir... Sir...

(I turn it up a little... no way I am going to blast anything while I am trying to drive.)

Me: Is she going to settle down?

Liz: Sir! Sir! Can you turn it up! Sir!

(so here it comes... Daddy time... as I pull the car over to the curb on a random dark downtown street...)

Me: OK this is how this is gonna go. She is going to relax.

Liz: Relax? Sir... Sir...

Me: Either she calms down...

Liz: Sir! Sir!

All the other passengers in no particular order: Liz! Stop! Treat the driver with respect! We're sorry.. Liz shut up!

Me: Either she calms down or everyone is getting out of my car now! I don't put up with any bullshit...

Everybody else: No!!! Please!!! Shut up Liz! Sir? Sir? Liz stop! Shut up Liz!!

Me: I want to hear it from her..

Liz: Sir! Sir!

MP: We get it she will calm down. It's all good. Please it will be OK.

(I pull the car away...)

Liz: Sir! Sir can you turn it up...

( I turn it up just a little. I really don't want to have to bounce this whole group.)

MP: Liz don't... leave him alone...

(Liz finally starts to calm down, thank God, and eventually goes quiet. Maybe she's passed out just don't let her puke in my car or lose bodily functions. Liz stays quiet most of the way on the 10 out to Santa Monica until some song comes on the radio that catches Liz's attention...)

Liz: Sir! Sir! Can you turn it up! Sir!

(I am just ignoring Liz exiting on Lincoln pretty soon the car will be a lot quieter not going 75 mph maybe that will be enough...)

MP: Liz no, leave him alone...

Liz: Sir! Sir!

(at this point Liz reaches out and grabs my shoulder! Potentially a huge mistake but..)

MP: Liz! Don't touch the driver! Liz stop! Just chill!

Everybody else: Shut up Liz! Chill Liz!

FMP#1: So who's been your most annoying passenger of the night?

Me: Seriously?

FMP#1: Right...

Liz: (starts to sing along with the song... something bitch this and bitch that... only a few minutes away I think we are going to make it. We do. I stop the car.)

MP#1: Thanks Ronald! (when driving Uber it's my legal name not Jim) Five Stars for sure man!

Me: Hey I wasn't trying to be a dick... I just have to drive and get you here safe...

MP#1: No we get it! Thank you so much... ( this whole time Liz is still in the car...)

Liz: Yes thank you Ronald! You are the best Ronald! Sir... Sir...

MP#1: Liz get out...

Liz: Where are we going?

MP#1: We are home you are going to bed...

Liz: Sir... Sir... Can you take me too...

MP#1: Liz get out...

Me: I already have another rider waiting... (true...)

Liz: Sir... Sir...

MP#1 helping Liz out of the car. Everyone else is long gone... Last door closes... I can still hear Liz outside the car... Sir... Sir... Can you take me to... I punch the number for KUSC back to classical, deep breaths... off to pick up my next rider on Ocean Ave in Santa Monica. The night sky is kinda bright I can see the ocean... not such a bad gig....


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