If you live in a major metropolitan area, chances are ride sharing services such as Uber have changed the way you travel around town. With the flick of a finger on your smartphone, somebody will come pick you up and drive you anywhere you want to go, for a fraction of the price of a traditional cab.
But there’s a catch; anyone with a car and a dream can become an Uber driver. This attracts some very colorful characters, making every trip not just a ride but an experience. They can be broken up into seven distinct categories:
1. The Wanderer
Even though every Uber driver has a company-provided iPhone so they can use their GPS to get you from point A to point B, The Wanderer manages to miss every turn as your fare slowly approaches infinity. This would only be moderately annoying if they did not insist they “know the area” and “they’ve been doing this forever.” This type of driver is ideal for those who enjoy the scenic route, and by that I mean passing by the same Yoshinoya Beef Bowl four times.
2. The Long Lost Friend
Your driver may know your name and have your phone number, but chances are you have never met this person. Regardless, The Long Lost Friend is fascinated by everything going on in your life since the last time they saw you (never). While great for the extremely extroverted, this type of driver torments those who prefer to not tell their life story to the complete stranger they are at the mercy of for the next 15 minutes.
3. The Wall
Remember how intense Ryan Gosling’s character in “Drive” was? Imagine that guy driving you around town. The Wall maintains complete silence as they take you to your destination, but it is not a tranquil silence. The silence is menacing; air may be flowing through The Wall’s 2011 Toyota Prius, but you’ll find it hard to breathe.
4. The Motormouth
Whether it’s the bawdy hair dresser sharing the gory details of their affair with you for absolutely no reason, or your grandparent recalling everything detail of last week’s “Antiques Roadshow,” we’ve all felt the wrath of a long-winded talker. The Motormouth treats their passengers like the lone listener of their podcast they forgot to record. Sometimes what they’re saying is serious and other times it’s mere chit chat, but whatever you do, do not try to get a word in edgewise. They hate being interrupted.
5. The Servant
You just summoned an uberX; after all, you are not Scrooge McDuck swimming in a pool of money without your pants on. The Servant insists on giving you the royal treatment anyway. They get out of the car and open your door for you as they hand you a SmartWater. They insist that you plug your phone into the car’s auxiliary port and play anything you want. They might even tickle your back as you take a quick nap in the passengers seat, assuming you ask nicely and you are into that sort of thing.
6. The Freak Who’s Super Into “Frozen”
Their hair is long, flowing, and platinum blonde. Everything they say to you is in the form of a song. They keep ominously muttering to themselves that they are too powerful, which is not something you particularly want to hear when you’re barreling down the road at 40 miles per hour in a two-ton metal death trap. If you develop any feelings while driving with this person, well…you’ll just have to let it go.
7. The Guy Who Insists He’s Not an Uber Driver and Wants You to Get the &#@% out of His Car
He pulls up right next to you and his car matched the description of your actual Uber driver. Then he has the nerve to act like you were in the wrong by entering his vehicle and terrifying his wife and child. He may not have had an Uber sticker on his back window, but he also didn’t have a sticker that said he wasn’t one. Yeah, exactly.
Zach is a comedy writer based in Phoenix. Follow @zachheltzel on Twitter.