Tales from the Backseat

I thought I held a good understanding of my fellow humans and their behavior after a lifetime of observation and analysis. But not until I drove rideshare did I encounter new characteristics of people who provided me with experiences which I feel compelled to pass along. So, open the right rear passenger door, settle in comfortably, and don’t forget to fasten your seat belt.

Cherry Coke – For convenience sake, we shall name our rider Cherry. Time: 1:45 AM. Sunday morning. Location: A well-traversed street in Marietta, GA. Most bars here close at midnight, while the remainder “stagger” (I think an excellent word selection here.) their closings to 1 AM or the rare 2 AM. I received the chime to pick up this rider and was but 3 minutes away. The driver-friendly app provides turn-by-turn directions and as you approach the targeted area, an icon of a person appears to pinpoint their exact location. I was just around the corner from the image when it disappeared. Poof! Cherry was gone. I made the final turn and stopped at the intersection where I last saw the icon. Remember, this was a highly travelled street in daylight, but it was nearly 2 AM. I stopped in the middle of street, tapped my 4-way flashers, and stepped from my car. Not a sound. Then a rustling of branches and leaves and out hopped an attractive blonde female with a flower-patterned dress and stilettos. One bounce from the grass onto the sidewalk, another over the curb, and then the third, ooh, a twisted pump and down went my passenger. Ass down, legs up, holding her purse about one elbow and reaching her hand toward me holding out her cellphone. “It died.” That solved the mystery of the missing icon. No power. No image.

I helped her up while she apologized profusely. No injuries were apparent. I explained she had no reason to be sorry to me, but thought perhaps she had some other regrets. The branches and leaves stirred a second time and a man walked without failure across the lawn, down the curb and to us, thanking me for helping Cherry and asking me to make sure she gets home safely. I add now that Cherry ignored him. No “Goodbye Honey, thanks for a wonderful evening,” or even a modest “get out of my life.”

The ride itself was uneventful, filled with several more apologies. She really wasn’t that drunk, she insisted, but was just very clumsy. I thought perhaps a combination was in play. I ignored her repeated pleas for a Cherry Coke.

I pulled into her well-lit driveway and suggested she may want to put her shoes in her handbag and walk barefoot the few steps to her door. Advice ignored, she wobbled the few steps and fumbled for her keys. I always stay with my headlights on until my rider is safely inside. Besides, I felt this ride wasn’t quite finished.

Door open, one step up on the concrete, one more to go, when she turned to acknowledge she was fine. Yep, she twisted and lost her balance, ass down, legs up, purse steady on her elbow. Cellphone? She got to her feet, one step up, a second into the house. Turned, noticed the phone on the cement. One step down, backwards. Another down to the ground, she bent over and collected her phone, and then again, ass down, legs up, holding her phone up high. She reminded me of a football player showing possession of the ball.

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