Taxi drivers deal with all sorts of people, day in and day out.
Normally, their fares are just regular Joes and Janes on their way home or to their jobs or to a restaurant to meet their friends. Maybe they take people to the airport or the bus station while they're at it.
Then there are the times that people jump in, rushing all the while, and order them to gun it, adding some excitement to their shifts.
Who were these people and what were their stories? Drivers (and passengers) told us what happened after Redditor SDMFTX asked the online community:
"Taxi drivers of Reddit. Have you ever had anyone jump in your car and yell drive!? What did you do?"
"I always get my tickets..."
"I have been the person to jump in a car and yell that, followed by the address."
"My dedit card expired on the day I was going to embark on a £180+ train journey (The loss would have been crippling to me at the time and I also could only do this journey once), and I couldn't get the tickets as a result, so I had to go back to my house to retrieve documents to prove I was allowed aboard."
"I tipped him very well for his speed and understanding, by which I mean I threw a twenty and a ten at his passenger seat, shouted 'Thank you very much!' and gunned it out the door because I had only a few minutes to get aboard the train on the ride back. Went so fast I skidded into the station."
"I always get my tickets in advance now."
It sounds like you really learned your lesson.
Getting tickets in advance makes the most sense.
"It was awesome..."
"I’ve done it! Years ago in San Francisco, my family mostly got into one taxi except my dad and I. We hailed the next one, jumped in and yelled, 'Follow that cab!!!!!'"
"It was awesome, our driver thought it was hilarious and drove like a crazy person."
Your driver sounds like a good sport—thankfully you didn't get into an accident!
"So another ten minutes pass..."
"Not exactly a jump in and drive, but, yeah, it happened once."
"Got an early morning trip picking a guy up from a busy part of the city at like 7am. He tells me to go sit in a Dunkin Donuts parking lot facing the main road. I'm getting paid wait time. So, I don't care at first, but after a good 15 minutes, I had to ask."
His story: He broke up with his ex girlfriend some months prior so that he could get his shit together. They broke up for both of their sakes, but it definitely sounded like her idea. Anyway, he tells me he's getting on a plane to another state to start a new job, new life kind of thing. Tomorrow."
"He knows his ex girlfriend's route to work and we were watching her neighborhood exit. We were going to chase her down for a final goodbye."
"So, another ten minutes pass and we finally see the vehicle he had described for me pull up to the light to turn right."
"We get to the light across from it and are waiting to turn left. Naturally, when the light changes, she goes first and we end up having to literally chase her down through morning rush hour traffic on a busy 2 Lane road for about 2 miles and 4 intersections before we get next to her, he flags her down, and we all pull off into a restaurant parking lot."
"Much to my delight, she was actually glad to see him, they exchanged a lot of hugs and kisses, held each other, and spoke in intimate, soft tones for a good twenty minutes. (Yeah the meter was still running.) It was really sweet, if a little boring to sit through."
"I got him back home afterwards, he was really grateful, and paid me what I was owed. No tip, but it was a decent fare of about $50."
Did they get back together??
You can't just leave us hanging like this!
"Was clubbing with a large group of friends in Blackpool, and we had to split to two groups to fit in cabs, my friend who knew where the club was got in the front car, and me and a few others got in the one behind."
Which meant I got to say to the driver, 'Follow that car.' The driver just smiled and did exactly that."
The driver was probably waiting for someone to do just that.
"I was running late..."
"Not quite 'drive' but more of an emotional breakdown got him to drive faster.
"I was running late to my plane because I was in a new city. My phone was running flat, so I borrow his car charger to call the airport."
"It was the last plane of the day and his ETA would have my arrive as the plane was due to leave. I asked if they could hold it 10 minutes to save me spending the night in the airport and they said no."
"I started bawling my eyes out because I was broke and facing the prospect of spending $300 and a night in an airport all alone."
"Without saying anything, he took the very expensive toll roads and got me there with 5 mins to spare. I ran like hell and made it with literally seconds to spare. I think the uber cost $50 but the toll roads were like $10."
That driver was a good person—thankfully you made it!
"One time, I had to explain to him I did Uber EATS."
So what you're saying is that you gunned it to the nearest restaurant, right?
"I drove in my early 20s for about half a year. My taxi training was pretty comprehensive and I really enjoyed it."
"It covered using the street directory effectively, rubbed in the point that I had a permit to drive a taxi but I was still driving on the same licence and so despite driving 12 hrs a day, I still only had 12 demerit points to last an entire year."
"It taught that passengers will not cover your fines despite any claims to the contrary, gave very clear reasons to resist the temptation to accept 'alternative financial arrangements' but it did not cover what to do when a guy, face covered in blood, jumps in the car with his girlfriend and urgently encourages you to GO! while angry people are running up the mall towards you."
"I had no idea of what to do! The compassionate side of me said 'Get this guy to the nearest medical facility' (or at the least, away from trouble). The risk-averse side of me asked, 'Do you really want to be an accomplice to a crime?'"
"So, coward that I am, I just left my foot on the brake and told him sorry mate, not getting involved! Please leave! He tried for another 20 seconds then his girlfriend said, 'He's not taking us hon, let's go" and they both got out and hoofed it."
"Rest assured that I replayed that scene dozens of times in my memory that night and in the days that followed. Did I do the right thing? I still can't answer that question."
Something tells me that it's unlikely there is a single jurisdiction that would criminalize you for taking a wounded person to a hospital, though.
"I drove a taxi for a few months in a town next to the sea. It was a quiet afternoon, I’d only had two fares in 90 minutes and whilst parked on the taxi rank reading, suddenly one of the rear doors gets yanked open, a rucksack thrown in."
"A guy dives in headfirst shouting 'Get this car to the boat as fast as she’ll go,' and I burst out laughing, I’d never expected anything like that to happen in real life."
"Anyway, being familiar with the ferry times I knew we had plenty of time, it was only a two-mile journey and the boat didn’t sail for another 20 minutes, so no laws were broken getting him there. The guy was in too much of a hurry though, he threw me a £20 and didn’t wait for his £18 change."
Well, you made some quick and easy money for taking him to his destination, so it sounds like a win-win to me.
Who knew being a driver could be so exciting?
Well, they certainly know.
Trust—they've seen it all.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again.
One of the occupational hazards of being a cab driver is being forced to hear all of the things happening in your back seat, regardless of whether you want to or not.
Now, being a cab driver isn't a legal binding, so if it's something very dangerous, you're allowed to contact the authorities. But you have to be there experiencing every moment of it anyway.
Here were some of those answers.
Was The Money Worth It?
I used drive taxi on the Big Island, HI. I picked up a couple late one night from a bar, they were clearly intoxicated and they tell me what hotel, it's a bit of a drive. Good money. So we're going along, I don't hear any talking. But after about ten minutes I hear something like stirring mac n cheese if ya know what I mean. I briefly look behind and see them going at it. I really wish I hadn't. I told them to stop, but they didn't seem to care. By the time I dropped them off, I had made a $200 tip.
Only drove cab for a few months many years ago, but I drove the graveyard shift and saw and heard lots of interesting things in that short time. One night a couple, who were obviously of low socioeconomic status, got in my cab and were at each other's throats bickering from the very beginning. There was something about a missing ring and failed drug scores.
Then the woman said something that must have really pissed off the guy because he paused for a second and said, "B*tch, you gave me siphyllis and herpes, so SHUT THE F*** UP!!" There were a few minutes of quiet after that before the bickering started again.
(Man on phone with what I assumed was customer service)
"No you delivered the package to the wrong house....no....no... the white one. Yes....yes... really who else around here has been trying to order live alpacas?!"
When I drove Uber, I picked up this couple from a strip club a little after midnight. The girl was obviously a stripper, and the guy was a pompous dickhead that was trying to pick her up. He spends the whole ride talking about how rich and smart he is and how successful his business is going to be. At first, she's asking about it and about his life, showing genuine interest.
He deflects all of these questions and goes back to just talking about how he's such a genius. Then she's trying to change the subject, wanting to talk about literally anything else.
At one point she asks, "So what kind of stuff do you and your friends do for fun?" He responds with this tone of voice that I could basically hear him rolling his eyes at how stupid her question is. "I don't have friends. I have colleagues. Fun is what people do when they have free time. I'm too invested in my start-up for something like that," he says as he's leaving a strip club…
It was the most painful conversation I'd ever had to sit through.
When we finally get to the destination, his apartment, they get out, and she tells him, "Let me just get my purse." She walks over to the passenger side front door, gets in, and tells me to go. So I did. She was the one paying for the ride anyway. She changes the destination to her place, and asks to put on the radio. The rest of the ride was pretty quiet. We get to her place, I drop her off, and she leaves me a $20 tip. Definitely worth it in the end, but damn that was hard to listen to.
This Poor Poor Girl
Not exactly what this thread is about but I think applicable. I was driving a school bus, subbing on a kindergarten route. One little 5 year old gets on and proceeds to tell me: "I helped fix Daddys lunch. I gived him a sammich and some potato chips and a apple and his lucky coin. He has to have his lucky coin or he gets mad and hits Mommy."
Brought tears to my eyes at the thought of what this darling little human had witnessed.
Avoiding For A Decade
Not a driver, but a passenger and this conversation made me not take a taxi for 11 years. I was drunk coming home at 3 in the morning and the driver tells me he has this amazing business idea, but doesn't know how to get it going.
Me in my drunk infinite wisdom asks him what it is and see if I can help.
He obliges and says "You know dog poop? You know how it sticks to your shoe and you can never get it off? There's something in that. Some kind of adhesive. I'm going to find out what it is and make a killing!"
A Court Date
My dad was getting an Uber to the airport and the driver had his hands free setup to go through the car speakers.
While they are chatting the guy gets a call and it's from court asking where he is? He says he can't make it cause he's crashed his car. My dad said the funniest bit was this call went on for a while but when he hung up the guy just went back to chatting with no mention of the call like it didn't happen.
My dad spent the rest of the ride nervously wondering what he was missing at court.
Cause It's Not The Kids' Fault
My husband was a full time Uber driver for a few years. One day, he picked up this guy his age who was going to a residential area. They're small talking, and the guy tells him, "yeah, just going to my girl's house, we just started dating, she's so hot, etc." The address was the house of my husband's best friend's long term girlfriend. She was cheating on her boyfriend and actually got pregnant.
My husband told me about it and said, "I literally could have brought him over there the time they conceived the baby." He didn't say anything to the guy at the time. He chose to tell his best friend, who didn't believe him, initially. The paternity test proved the best friend wasn't the bio father, but he's raised the kid and treats them as his own.
Cliches Don't Get Old For A Reason
Not a taxi driver, but one time on the bus this guy sitting next to me is talking on the phone about some really weird stuff. This was over 10 years ago, but I vaguely remember him talking about court dates and getting a new burner phone. And then he went on to repeatedly tell the person on the phone to dump the body. He was really casual about it too, like it wasn't a big deal.
I tried to justify it by telling myself maybe he was a mechanic or worked at a scrap yard or something and he was referring to a car or....idk. I'm not sure if that even makes any sense. I just couldn't possibly imagine anybody would be in public openly talking about disposing of a dead body.
A young woman talking to her mate about how clingy her soon to be ex husband was.
'If he doesn't start leaving me alone, I'm going to sleep with his brother.' His (non working) car was parked in her drive. When I pulled up to her house, 2am, he was asleep in the car. Yep, clingy. Never saw her again so I don't know if she slept with his brother or not.
Do you hear you?!
I drove a mini-van taxi, so minus the driver seat there were 6 seats.
One evening around bar close, I get a full cab of 6 people. One woman sits up front with me. We are both white, everyone else in the cab is black. As we're waiting behind the bar for their last friend to come out, this woman WILL NOT STOP USING THE N-WORD! Like every freaking sentence!
She was using it without the hard R, but still. None of the black people said anything, so I just looked out the window and disassociated until it was time for me to drive.
Former cabbie. Once had a drunk lady who worked at the zoo talk enthusiastically about all the different animal's genitals. To be fair she sounded more like a kid talking about gross bugs than an animal obsessor. Still weird.
What is a Name?
If they tell you they'll probably have to change their name all over again.
Every time one of my coworkers is gone for a while unexplained, I assume they were outed as an international spy and will come back to work in a few weeks with one letter changed. Rick becomes Nick. So far no dice. Did have one leave Mary and come back Eric. Names changed for privacy. (That line has layers).
Not a taxi driver but a couple of years ago I was getting the last tram at around 12am, while getting in I passed this punk looking couple and there is a break in-between the songs I'm listening to on my headphones as I pass them just long enough for me to her him say "It was like that other time where I stabbed the Russian guy" I sat down a row behind them before my drunken brain processed the information.
(Passenger) Here, we take cab to travel between cities, there is certain stations and the cab starts when the forth passenger gets on it. Three in the back and one in the front seat. I was 25. One afternoon going back to my hometown, I went to the station, the cab's front seat was occupied so I sat in the back.
The next passenger, this gentleman around 40, in a suit, with a briefcase, got on. Politely said hi and took his phone and earphone out of the suitcase and started to watch porn on his phone for 10 minutes. all this time he never tried to hide his screen. Next passenger came and cab left the station.
Trashy strippers. Very distinct from working girl strippers.
Picked up 4 of them and they wanted to hit the McDonald's drive-thru. They proceed to be loud, obnoxious, probably drunk, and yell at and just generally give a hard time to every worker there all the while they talk crap about the other dancers being skanks, coke heads, and "thinking they're better than everyone else".
Oh, and of course they didn't tip. Even though, yeah, they get paid in tips, too. Strippers that couldn't be nice to fast food workers, hated their coworkers to a venomous degree, and get paid in tips, but couldn't tip other people.
The conversation was between my friend and I when we were being taken back to my place after drunkenly leaving a concert by an Uber. Not disturbing really, we were very confused, however, about why the driver had taken us to a different state.
A Sympathetic Ear
Not a driver but a passenger. My parents are divorced, and when we stayed at our fathers home, he kicked us out. We had to call a cab. It was the middle of the night, our mum was going to bed, and we were lucky she heard our calls. Anyways, as me and my brother were very young, me especially, my brother explained what had just happened, and we talked about what the future would look like. We thought that the driver wasn't listening. As our mum was paying the man, he told her how lucky she is to have so smart children and wiped his tears away. Idk if he didn't want to hear it but man did i fell bad.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
If you're a fan of action films or romantic comedies, then you've definitely seen at least one take on the classic "follow that car!" scenario. At some point in the film, someone is jumping into the back seat of a cab and excitedly pointing while telling the cabbie to just follow that car. Sometimes the cabbie jumps into action. Sometimes they just stare at the protagonist like they've lost it. In some films we're chasing down the love of our life before they reach the airport and fly away for forever! In some we're speeding through the streets in pursuit of the baddie. We see it in movies - but there's no way it ever happens in real life, right?
One Reddit user asked:
Taxi drivers - have you been asked to 'follow that car'? If so, what happened?
The responses weren't all from taxi drivers - we guess this is a thing that happens in non-taxi life as well. Who knew? Here are some of our favorite responses.
Taxi followed my car. When my driver understood it- he started driving faster. So when we reached our destination, other taxi stopped near us and my brother came from it and said that I forgot my phone!
His V8 Performance Sedan
A woman got in my cab and asked me to follow her husband's car as she suspected he was going to see another woman.
I was in a clapped out six cylinder and his was a V8 performance sedan. Lost him after a few blocks.
She wasn't impressed.
I work in the taxi industry, drivers will not comply with things like this. Any "follow that car" or "drive fast let's get out of here" gets a customer kicked out.
Chasing The Train
Not a car, but followed a train once. Picked up a fare at a train station who had missed his train. Got him two stops down the line (about 5 or 6 miles away) so he could make it on. Had to drive pretty fast.
Follow Cab, Meet Future Wife
I was on shore leave in Perth. I went to a night club with my friend. He met couple of girls but they were ignoring me. I finally told him I was leaving and would he stay or go. He was staying of course.
I hopped in a cab and asked the driver if there were any good night clubs away from the city. He recommended one called Doors and off we went. We stopped at a light on the Horse Shoe Bridge and I asked him if he knew of any place to meet girls. He looked at me then pointed past me. In the turn lane was a taxi full of girls yelling and waving at me. When the light changed I said "Follow that Cab!" I ended up a block from where I caught the taxi. The door man asked for a cover charge from me. The 4 girls laid into him about how the club never charged when the Fleet was not in and he relented and let us past. Some of the guys I worked with were already in the club, and their jaws drop to see me roll in with four beautiful women. One of the Girls grabbed me to dance and would not let me go. The other guys started hitting on the other girls but they weren't having it. The local girls gave those sailors a clinic in rejection.
The party of girls broke up. Me, my date and her best friend left and went to Doors. We ditched the best friend after much alcohol consumption and eventually ended up back at her place. The next morning I could not remember her name, so when she her friend called to make sure she got home alright I snuck a look at her driver's license. Name, Age, Eye Color memorized. Then her friend asked to speak to me. Chit chatted for a bit and hung up. Found out later the friend was on the phone because the girl did not remember my name and the friend got it out of me.
That was nearly 20 years ago, we have been married for 18 with one son. We moved to America and her best friend also lives 20 minutes away
"Catch That Bus!" - Round 1Giphy
I took a bus to the airport and got off without my luggage. As soon as I realized, I ran to the nearest taxi and told the driver to catch that bus. The cabbie delivered. I caught the bus at the last stop before it left the airport, got the luggage and barely made my flight.
"Catch That Bus!" - Round 2
My friend left his bike on the front of a bus. We got in the nearest cab and told him to "catch that bus". I thought this was every taxi drivers dream, and that we would make the taxi drivers day.
He didn't give two sh!ts. Drove slow as f*ck towards the bus and didn't even make an effort to pass cars.
I told a cab driver to follow a car once. I was in the navy and we were out in the middle east where you couldn't have opposite genders in the same cab. We had some free time and wanted to go out, but needed to split up for drives. All over the place were red cabs for women and blue cabs for men. I got in blue cab with other dudes, the ladies and the one guy who was related to one of them got in the red. It was a bit stressful to have some of my liberty buddies in a separate vehicle.
Sober Vans And Fist BumpsGiphy
I'm an uber driver. 2 weeks into it I pick up a rider from a bar, and she asks, "are you up for something different tonight?"
Being the adventurous guy that I am, I say, "sure, what's your idea?"
She tells me she wants to pay me to follow a safe ride van that has her date in it. She thinks he was being different that night and wanted to see if he was going where he said he was. So of course I'm all in. We missed him getting dropped off and followed an empty van around quiet streets for almost a half hour, probably freaked out the driver. When we realize it's empty, I end her ride and start driving her home. But then I get another ride, so she did a ride along for a couple passengers before I was able to take her home.
Two weeks later, I pick her up during the day when she's sober and we fist bumped like old pals.
Easier For Drunk People
I followed the car ... and it turned out it is easier for a drunk person to just tell you to follow someone than it is for them to give directions.
Way back in the day, HBO had a show called Taxi-Cab Confessions. The premise was simple, taxi drivers come across some of the most interesting people day in and day out - so why not put a camera in the cab and see what we can learn. It turned the cab into a confessional booth - and people loved it.
The show may be a thing of the past, but the premise is just as solid now as it was then. Ride share drivers absolutely meet some serious "characters" and we still want to know all about it.
Reddit user Baaraban asked:
Welcome to the confessional, my friends. Things are about to get interesting. Here are some of the more popular responses:
Being a driver is not an easy job and it certainly isn't a safe job. People be crazy. A lot of the time we as passengers are nervous about getting into the car of a stranger but imagine the nerves of the drivers, they are in contact with strangers (who could be complete whackos) consistently for hours on end. We've all seen the videos of passengers gone crazy on a loop. If I was a driver, I'd own stock in mace.
Redditor u/foosh124 wanted the Uber drivers out there tell us a few tales regarding their most "unique" passengers by asking.... Uber drivers of Reddit; what's the creepiest, weirdest, and/or most bizarre passenger experience you've had?