Taxi drivers on Reddit were asked: “What was the weirdest experience you’ve had in your cab?” These are some of the best answers.
The other day, I was sitting on the cab stand outside of a hotel. Three people jump and say “Follow that car!” I got super excited and felt that it was my time to shine. Unfortunately, the car in front was just a town car they hired and they wouldn’t all fit in it. Nice folks, though.
One night I picked up four guys having a bachelor party and one had left their phone in a taxi earlier in the day and had been tracking it using another’s phone. 45 minutes of speeding all over the city, cutting taxis off that might be the one with the phone while four grown men hop out of my car in the middle of traffic and swarm the unsuspecting drivers to inquire about the missing phone. Must have scared the hell out of them. We finally found it. The meter said $60. They gave me $120. Not the most exciting story but definitely the most fun fare I’ve ever had.
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 dollar bill and a 100 dollar bill. He looked at the five, didn’t think it was enough tip, then said “Aww to hell with it” and handed me the C-note. Didn’t want any change! That made my night.
My very first morning driving a cab in Daytona Beach I picked up a guy at 5:15 AM. He was about 55 years old and got in the back and laid on the floor. He had a Budweiser 12 pack of cans and opened one as soon as he got in. My dispatcher had already told me that I was taking him to his doctor about 30 minutes away, that he was a Vietnam vet, a regular cab customer, and that he was in pain and would be drinking.
I had never driven a cab before. So, he gets in, opens a beer and kills it. He’s moaning the whole time. A couple times I asked him if he was alright but he was never able to answer with words, just groans and moans. Luckily he told the dispatcher where he needed to go, and the dispatcher was able to tell me over the radio.
Nothing really exciting happened but it was my very first fare and it was quite awkward.
I used to regularly pick up four young ladies and take them to a local nightclub. On the return journey, I always found it was better to take people who had been to this particular establishment for drive through on the way home.
So, the ladies ordered, no dramas so far. As you leave the retail park, there is a ramp up in the road to the main road, which has quite a lump in it. So, the young lady in the front, has put her enormous coke on the dash, standing on one of those rubber non slip mat type dashboards, which was a flat surface. I said “Look, watch your coke doesn’t fall over…” As we go over the bump what happens? You guessed correctly, she ends up wearing most of the cup of coke…
So, as we join the main road to go back to wear they live, she points at the dashboard, where I keep my window cloth, and says, “Do you mind if dry my dress?” to which I replied (thinking she was going to use the cloth…) “Yeah no problem, feel free!”
The next bit is the killer… she proceeds to remove the dress, and lays it across the heaters on the windscreen, and sit in bra and knickers all the way home. She was more bothered about getting out with a dry dress 50 yds from home, then sitting in a cab in bra ‘n kickers!
So I picked up these 3 people to take them to a concert. One girl and two guys, all hipster. We are just talking, having a good time. They were actually very nice to me, and out of no where one of them says to another, “Shut up, and eat your mushrooms.”
At that point, I’m sweating bullets. My windows aren’t tinted, I didn’t feel like being pulled over and arrested for possession and transport of illicit drugs. Luckily, they were respectful, they put away the ‘shrooms. I dropped them off and they tipped me a few bucks.
Followed it to a house. Lady passenger told me to wait and proceeded to get out and intercept her husband who was going to his second family. He looked completely caught and guilty. She just stared daggers at him and got back in the taxi and told me to drive, whereupon she told me [what] was going on and I gave her a free 30 minute ride home.
Driving in Toronto club land a little before closing. This girl gets in my cab crying. I ask her where to and she says “Elmwood and Forest”. I ask her to repeat herself and again she says “Elmwood and Forest”.
“Are you asking me to drive you to Buffalo?” I ask her incredulously. “Yeah.” “Do you have any idea what that’s gonna cost?” “I took my boyfriend’s wallet.”
I realize at this point that I shouldn’t take her anywhere… but if I didn’t need money I wouldn’t be driving a cab, so I take her, meter running to Buffalo. The look on the Border Agent’s face when I pull up in my Toronto cab was…resigned. I told him to ask her all the questions, I was only gonna be in the US for less than an hour. I roll down the back window and he just says “Never mind, just go.”
I had the two bro-iest bro’s that ever bro’ed get in my cab. They were attending the local college and had been friends since like childhood and it was one of their birthdays (they drunkenly reminded me of this repeatedly). Part way home they start horsing around. Wrestling and whatnot. They are just getting to the point where I’m about to tell them to knock it off when it just stops. Then a lot of loud drunken whispering happens.
From what I could piece together one kissed the other and that’s how they both found out they were gay. They could have been [messing] with me, but they left with their arms on each others shoulders. It’s nice to think I got to see two guys come to terms with who they were and find a little happiness in the process.
I drove a taxi on the west coast of Canada for a bit. I played Die Antwoord for the club kids, swapped substances with my passengers, and tried to engage everyone who came into my cab. I had a lot of fun and people generally loved having me as a driver.
One night at closing time I had 4 college girls get in, they were all in a good mood, having fun. I had seen a big group of guys around all night, wearing biker cuts, but all riding mopeds. Young guys on some moped tour I guess, because I didn’t see them before or after this night. One of them rode up to the window and tried some line on one of the girls, she laughed a bit, then turned to me, “Man, get rid of this loser!” That was really all I needed.
We took off on a “car chase”, me taking all the evasive manoeuvres I could muster without actually putting anyone in danger, him on his moped blasting through all the lights and keeping on us, while they directed me towards the first stop. It ended on a residential street with my taking a corner and pulling between two parked cars and killing the lights while he zoomed by.
They were all having a fantastic time, and calling me Taxi Jesus (beard and long hair). I dropped them off at three separate locations, with each of them paying me the whole fare to that point with a big tip. I did tell them each time they didn’t owe me nearly that much.
I was working as cabbie and about 20 seconds after the front cab had pulled away two guys got in and said “follow that cab”. I pulled off did so and once we were into traffic asked why, and they said they had his wallet and he was flying out of the country that morning, so they wanted to get it to him immediately.
I contemplated briefly how far it might be and if it was going to be a big fare, but my good nature got the better of me and I pulled out my phone and called my friend and colleague who was driving the other cab and got him to pull over. We were both still in the same street and I had pretty much [screwed myself] over, since it was a slow night and I could expect at least an hours wait to get to the front of the rank again.
They tipped me five bucks on a fare that was tariff plus about 20 cents which was nice of them.
Once had a fare going pretty far up north with 3 younger men who wanted to get home from the city as its was winding down. They claimed they had flown in with helicopter but “didn’t want to wait for him to come back”, so if I could get up north faster then the helicopter there would be a nice hefty tip in it for me. Being the opportunist that I am I drove them there and told them that as long as they wouldn’t complain about the driving I was fine. When we got there I was given close to $200 in tips just for that fare. Still wondering why the heck they didn’t take the helicopter.
I work at a taxi company in new York and I had one drunk homosexual male try to pay for a cab with kisses. Needless to say the driver was not happy.
A few months ago, I was called to pick up a twenty-something man at the local prison. He had been pulled over for DUI and had cooperated with the police during the sobriety tests. Unfortunately, he’d failed pretty much all of them.
When the police asked that he take a blood test, he flat-out refused. This did not sit particularly well with the police, and he was arrested, taken to jail, and had his driver’s license suspended. The police needed me to take him home, which was three towns away.
During the 35-mile trip, he made some phone calls, which I got to listen in on.
To grandma: without a license, he could no longer afford to keep his apartment, and so would be moving back in with her.
To mom: the lucrative government job offer that he’d just received had a “valid driver’s license required” clause.
To his friend: the only reason that he’d cooperated with the police at the start was so that they wouldn’t search his (currently impounded) car and find all of the drugs.
Also got to hear (several times) that the sobriety tests weren’t fair because the line they’d asked him to walk was on a slight hill. Also, it was cold and he was shivering, which naturally affected his balance. He figured that a lawyer could get him his license back.
I wished him good luck. The “your case doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance” part was left unsaid. He did not leave a tip.
Drove a cab for awhile on weekends while in college. I had dated this girl for about a month when she confessed she had a boyfriend in Germany. She told me all about him and that he was going to be moving in with her. Stopped seeing her. A few months later I pickup a drunk couple at a bar.
They’re all over each other, making out in the back. The guy is German. We drop off the girl, then he has me take him home. He starts telling me how he just moved here to be with his girlfriend, but she’s out of town for the weekend. He says American girls are easy cause they’re suckers for guys with accents and he cheats on his oblivious girlfriend all the time. Yep, it was the guy. I said nothing as I dropped him at Keri’s place. Always wondered what happened with them.
I used to be a taxi driver a few years ago in a smaller town in CA. One of the most popular things to do in this town was get piss drunk at one of the few bars in town, and I made decent money by getting drunk people home every night. One night in particular around last call I had picked up a group at a bar that was headed to an after party to continue their booze filled adventure, with several cars following to the new “spot.” Once we get to the new party spot (an apartment complex of all places) and my passengers vacate, I notice a large crowd all converging quickly toward the entrance of the complex.
Knowing [something] was about to go down, I made my way toward the entrance and positioned myself in a way I could see what was going on but could easily get out of there if I needed to. Apparently before I had picked up my fare there had been some words exchanged or some drama at the bar. A couple car loads of angry and offended bar goers had followed the convoy to the new party spot and intended to continue whatever happened at the bar. Fight breaks out, some dude’s getting punched while sitting in his truck, had to be about 30 people getting involved, and for some reason everyone just jumped out of their cars and left them running with the doors open before engaging in all out fistfights. During all this craziness I notice a dude run across the street and jump into somebody else’s Infinity G35.
The guy throws it in reverse and slams into 3 separate parked cars. I’m thinking he’s going to hit me and quickly back out of the way, and he flips around with half the car hanging and starts to take off. Owner of the car starts running down the street after him and I’m like, I have to chase this guy. So I flip around and try to catch up to him as safely as I could. He was pulled over right around the corner possibly reflecting on what had just happened, and I was immediately calling 911. During the call, he started driving again and I started following. Eventually he realized what I was doing and started driving recklessly in residential areas and I wasn’t about to get hurt or have any further damage done, so I backed off. Not even a minute later police were swarming the area and they had him pulled over and in custody.
So no I didn’t have like a James Bond passenger jump in my taxi and tell me to follow that car, but I did have a moment where I felt compelled to follow a car because I thought it was the right thing to do.
After my senior year I drove around Bloomington and Indiana University. During the summer a bunch of prospective students were in and I would drive them to the Indy airport after their visits. Once I had an east coast family that was straight up creepy. Dad didn’t really seem interested in talking (New England aristocracy is oftentimes surprised when the help talks to them), so I kind of minded my own business.
The weird part was this: Whenever son wanted to say anything to dad, he asked mom if it was okay, at which mom would ask dad if it was okay for the son to speak. At this point the son would make his comment or ask his question directly to [his father], and dad would reply, and the cycle would repeat if junior had any further requests for communication. But guys, this kid had to be 16 years old.
I always thought I came from relatively old-fashioned parents, sir’s and ma’am’s all around, but I never had to route a request to ask my dad if he liked lunch through mom. I think this is how this family communicated 100% of the time. I couldn’t help but suspect if it might have been an abusive household (psychological or other). The air in that cab just had this weird tenseness where the dad seemed perfectly comfortable, but the mom and kid seemed sheepishly uneasy.
Dude tipped okay. But even with all the druggies and solicitations for sex, that guy vividly lives in my memory as one of the creepiest people I have ever met.
Long story short, it was about 3 in the morning when I had a guy that was being such a douchebag, he actually offended me and decided to pull over to kick him out. He said, in no uncertain terms that he was going to get out. After a few verbal rounds, I told him he was going to get out of my car in one of three ways; walk out under his own power, get a cop to drag him out, or I would force him out.
I saw him rolling up his sleeves and told me the first two options didn’t appeal to him. He was making a threatening move, when I tapped his knee with a taser I had with me. I went to the door to get out and he tried to hit me again when. I gave him another dose.
Initially, I didn’t want his money since I was kicking him out, but after I got out, he seemed incredulous why he should pay me. I held up my taser and called it a charge tax. He got money out and proceeded to try to hit me again at the same time. I lit him up again and he fell to the ground. I picked up the cash and left as I saw he was wetting himself.
I drove by again about 20 minutes later and he wasn’t there. Idiot.
On my second day as a taxi driver, a guy jumped in the front seat and said, “I need to get to the Courtyard Marriott as fast as possible!” I just said ok and started driving as fast as I could. I suddenly realized we were only a block away. When we got there about 15 seconds later, he jumped out, threw a $20 bill at me, and said, “My friend is trapped in the elevator.”
I saw the firetrucks outside the building. I’m not really sure what he could have done to help, but hey, he’s definitely a good friend.
I drove the day shift for a few years, so I didn’t have to deal with a lot of drunks. That changed one day. Older gentlemen gets in with the help of a friendly stranger. I asked him where he was headed and he mumbled something I couldn’t understand. After a few minutes trying to grasp the new language this man had created, I learned he had to go to the ATM first.
I take him across the street to another bar with a cash machine right inside the door. I hop out and pretty much have to carry the guy inside. All heads turn to watch our entrance.
I stand him at the ATM and take a step back. Miraculously the drunkard can walk again. He performs a sideways grapevine shuffle up to the bar, and sits down. I say, “There is no way you are getting served. Everyone saw me carry you in here.”
He looks me dead in the eye, puts his pointer finger up to his lips, and lets out a “SSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHH.” Everyone nearby bursts into laughter and I leave. He’s someone else’s problem now.
A couple fares later I see a tiny crinkled up piece of paper in the passenger seat. I open it up and there is an address written on it. This guy had been prepared to get too drunk to talk, but had forgotten to hand me the address. I often wonder what happened to him.
I had a guy wrap his arms around my passenger seat from behind and start talking to it. He was very sweet and was gently trying to wake “her” up. He was incredibly drunk. He got to his house, helped “her” out of the car and left me a $20 tip. It was pretty odd. I drive tons of drunk people but this stood out.
St. Patrick’s Day, I get a bunch of drunk college ladies in my car. The three in back are cheerful drunks, chatting and laughing. The one riding next to me is motionless. For the first 20 minutes of the trip, this woman doesn’t move a muscle. Her phone is on on her lap, but she isn’t looking at it or touching the screen at all. Having had similar situations before, my concern was that she would revive in a spontaneous shower of vomit.
Instead, as we’re heading into the downtown tunnel, the aforementioned song pops up on my playlist. Dr. Frankenstein would have killed for the resulting resurrection. The previously motionless young lady gasps loudly, shoots forward in her seat, and eagerly asks me to turn it up. 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.
As a taxi driver for three years if anyone told me to do anything dangerous or annoying (like speeding or picking up more passengers than seat belts) I would usually refuse. Especially if the request came from a drunk promising “I’ll tip you fat, bro.”
One special occasion, bar crawling students started piling into my car. I opened up with my routine statement “I only have 4 seats available.” Before I could tell them “too many,” a guy no taller than 5 feet stuffed himself into the cab at the foot of his friend already seated at the front. He folded up like a battle droid and his friend simply told me “he’s small it’s ok.” I took them to their dorm.
I got a call from a trailer court way out of town, the guy actually had to give me turn by turn directions to get there. So I say to him when I finally reach the place “Yo, buddy I think I am here.” He says something along the lines of “Do you see those two campers next to the trailer? I am in the one on the left.” He then wanted me to pull up as close to it as I can. He needs to and I quote “Get out of here fast.” I tell him that’s impossible due to the amount of people and cars in the driveway. On top of that there is like 6 people standing in a semi circle around the trailer. He says “GET ME OUT OF HERE”
So the 6 people then see me. One guy has his shirt off and is getting real aggressive with me telling me no one called a cab (would never have found the place without the formers help). Through the conversation I get him to admit someone is there but “He doesn’t have the right to leave.” So Mr. Aggressive is now trying to push his head through the window so I start backing up out of the driveway. As I look back they all run to the camper and start tearing on the door. I call the man back to ask if he needs police assistance. The phone connects, it hits the ground and this man screams bloody murder as they force their way inside.
I hang up, call 911 and direct the police out there. The police say “There is a hell of a lot more than a cab fare here. You can shoe on back to town and we will get a statement.” Never got to see the poor guy but I have never heard a grown man scream like that it makes the hairs on my neck stand up for sure.