Published Jun 28, 2019
The emergence of rideshare apps and services has made it more convenient than ever to get from point A to B, but what often gets lost in the ease of hitching a ride at the tap of a screen is the blind trust put in the stranger behind the wheel — or the one hopping into your passenger seat.
In Michael Dowse's Stuber, mild-mannered rideshare driver Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) picks up passenger Vic (Dave Bautista), who turns out to be a grizzled detective hot on the trail of a brutal killer. Upon getting roped into Vic's chase, Stu puts the pedal to the metal to keep his life and his five-star rating.
Ahead of Stuber rolling into theatres on July 12, we're highlighting six less fatal, yet no less bizarre, tales from those who drive rideshares and those along for the ride.
1. Five-Star Service
In hopes of racking up those coveted five-star ratings, some drivers offer passengers breath mints or bottled water upon entering the vehicle. Reddit user naco228 was fortunate enough to earn a perfect score on his first-ever fare driving a brand new vehicle, but it certainly didn't come easy.
As they recalled of the snowy January job, "Three people get in my car, one is very drunk. When I drop them off at their place, the other two can't get the hammered one inside. So I get out of my car and fireman carry him into the house, all while the other two are laughing and Snapchatting me."
The passengers didn't have to wait long to return the favour. "When I go to leave, my car is stuck in the snowbank and I can't get out," naco228 wrote. "Luckily, the other two offered to help me out and pushed my car out of the snowbank, and I drove off."
2. A Rocking Recovery
Rideshare drivers are often open to changing songs or radio stations at the request of their passengers, and as Reddit user CosmicMuse explained, he avoided potentially cleaning up after some inebriated customers thanks to AC/DC classic "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)."
The user wrote of picking up a group of women from some St. Patrick's Day celebrations, one of whom obviously had a few too many drinks.
"For the first 20 minutes of the trip, this woman doesn't move a muscle," they wrote. "Having had similar situations before, my concern was that she would revive in a spontaneous shower of vomit."
Whether it was Angus Young's stomping guitar riff, or the song's memorable bagpipe melody, "It's a Long Way to the Top" proved just the thing to give the passenger her second wind.
"The previously motionless young lady gasps loudly, shoots forward in her seat, and eagerly asks me to turn it up," CosmicMusic wrote. "I nearly drove into the wall of the tunnel. The rest of the trip was spent telling me how she was a huge fan of Jack Black, and how she recognized the song from School of Rock."
3. Beer Wheel Drive
Rideshare drivers appreciate a tip after arriving at the destination, and one bestowed upon Reddit user Kahlvin surely proved invaluable after a long day in the driver's seat.
"I picked up a few guys that were planning on going to a friend's hotel room to drink," they wrote. "They brought along a garbage bag full of Bud Light. On the way there, they decided to go straight to the bar instead. When we got to the bar, they left without the bag full of beers, and when I pointed that out they told me that I could keep it as a tip."
By Kahlvin's estimate, the passengers had graciously tipped just over 50 cans of beer — resulting in a little extra cash to put towards the gas budget.
4. Unfinished Business
Accidentally leaving your cellphone behind in a rideshare is risky business, as some drivers don't even bother returning misplaced devices. However, a businessman who hitched a ride with Reddit user YetiPie is undoubtedly thankful that his was returned.
"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," she recalled. "I drop off the couple and head on my way to pick up my next fare. I hear a cellphone ring in my backseat, realize it's my previous ride's, and pick up the phone to let them know I have it and I'll come back to drop it off."
As it turns out, the person calling was the businessman's wife, checking in with him on his business trip. YetiPie recalled that his wife "sounded very, very suspicious" hearing a woman's voice on the other end of the phone.
In the end, she was given five stars and a handsome tip for her trouble. As she remembered, "When I was going to drop off the phone I had planned to say, in front of him and his mistress: 'your wife sounds like a lovely person'. I approached him with the phone and he handed me a [$100 bill]. I was completely caught off guard so I thanked him and left...My plan totally fizzled."
5. Bet On Yourself
A common refrain when it comes to the working world is that "it's all about who you know," and for Reddit user EitherChipmunk, a chance meeting while working as a driver happened to lead to a career change.
"Three older women paid me to take them an hour ride to a casino and then by the hour to hang out and give them a safe ride once they were done gambling," they wrote. "I was in school at the time and one of the ladies ended up helping me restructure my resume, and this Monday I'll be starting me new job as a data engineer."
EitherChipmunk revealed that driving was a way to make ends meet after going back to school.
"I quit my job due to an abusive boss and really thought I had lost my grip for a while," they wrote. "I still tear up just thinking about this woman's impact on my life."
6. An Unwitting Accomplice
A Monday morning rideshare can lead to being stuck in traffic as the workweek begins, but for driver Paul, his week started with police drawing weapons on him shortly after accepting a job.
As Paul told VICE, he was set to pick up a passenger in the parking lot of a furniture store.
"Eventually, I saw the guy I was supposed to meet arriving, and as he approached my car, I got out to say hello. Within seconds of opening my door, we were surrounded by armed policemen, their weapons pointed at my head."
Paul was handcuffed, had his car searched and was held for 40 minutes before he was able to show police his rideshare app to prove his innocence.
"After about an hour, the police finally took off my handcuffs and explained that the guy who had hired me as his driver was a dangerous criminal, and that I had fit the description of this man's accomplice," he recalled. "Only five days earlier, the pair had robbed and injured an elderly couple — stealing over £1,000. In order to track them both down, the police had been observing the suspect and monitoring his phone."
Catch 20th Century Fox's Stuber in theatres July 12.