Shawn Cody

New Member
It's Difficult to find Scotland after a few Beers!

Do Uber and Lyft drivers have a lot of drunk rides? More than you think. This story is a good example of what drivers experience nightly, especially on weekends.

For those who don’t know Campbell, it once was a sleepy suburb wedged between Los Gatos, San Jose and Santa Clara. The city is gentrified now, and the destination spot is complete with dance clubs, steak houses, Frost Cupcakes (yummy), excellent farmer’s market, and even a mediocre American/Mexican restaurant with a very potent cocktail called a swirl. The crowd leans to the younger side, and they like to party hard and late. I know this first hand, as I lived above that Amer/Mex joint for three years during its infancy.

Pickups are usually in the downtown area, but this ride was off the beaten path, at a small local sports bar called Coaches. I had to wait a bit, and tried calling the unknown passenger with no success. A Scottish chap who we'll call Scotland, emerged a few minutes later, dressed in a European soccer outfit and cleats. Scotland was a huge man, the size of a rugby forward. With a full reddish beard and linebacker shoulders, I couldn't help noticing the size of his hands. I'm not the largest guy, and he could have easily covered my face with his substantial mitts. He stumbled to my car, an enormous bag of gear slouched over his broad shoulders. It seemed to carry half his team’s equipment AND the net.

“Throw your bag in the back seat,” I calmly said as he looked into my open passenger window.

The request would prove a major challenge, due to Scotland's self-inflicted condition. It was obvious he had put back a few beers. Ignoring my words, he managed to get the passenger door open after several attempts. Putting himself and his gargantuan bag into the front seat at the same time would also be a problem.

Let the game begin:

Quarter 1: In his first attempt, he tried to wedge himself and the bag into the passenger seat simultaneously. The bag hit the dash and stopped him immediately, leaving him in a half-sitting, half-standing pose. He backed out of the car, stared at me for a moment, then at the seat, looking for an answer. I should have helped him then, but the Mr. Bean-like scene unfolding in front of my eyes was mesmerizing.

Score: Scotland 0, Prius 1

Quarter 2: Determined, he jammed the bag into the small area in front of the seat and tried to get in. The upper half of his body made the seat, but his legs now put him in an equally awkward position. Suddenly realizing the spatial challenge, Scotland sighed and sat there for a moment, perplexed. This was obviously going to take some analysis.

Score: Scotland 0, Prius 2

Quarter 3: After “carefully” surveying the situation, Scotland made his next bold move and pulled the bag out of the car, dropped it, and plopped himself into the seat with a loud thud. Reaching over to the bag, he attempted to pull it into the car, sideways over his lap. It again hit the dash, and he yanked furiously. If you can picture someone trying to pass through a narrow door with a long pole, then pulling that pole horizontally, both ends hitting the door frame, you will have the general idea. At this point it was time to issue a Red Card or at least call a timeout.

Score: Scotland 0, Prius 3

Despite my amusement, I worried he would damage himself or the inside of my car. “Just leave it. I’ll take care of it for you," I said. Due to frustration or possibly exhaustion, Scotland finally resigned and dropped the bag back on the ground. Despite my weekly gym workouts, it took all my strength, to hoist his bag into the back seat.

After getting back into the car and a bit of slurred discourse, I realized Scotland hadn’t entered the destination. He pointed forward, saying his house was just a few miles down the road, and he would tell me where to turn. I was in an easy-going mood and conceded. After driving a distance, I turned to ask if we were close and found a slumped, heavily snoring passenger. I nudged him to no avail. Trying harder a second time still didn't wake the sleeping giant. Finally, with a mighty shove, he regained consciousness long enough to tell me to take a right turn. I slowly steered the car down the quiet avenue.

Driving for several seconds, I needed more direction and he was asleep again. This time, I wasn’t gentle in delivering a well-placed elbow to his shoulder. He awoke long enough to realize we weren’t on the correct street. We drove in confused circles through the neighborhood.

Streets in Campbell can go for miles, and I was quickly losing my patience. Frustrated and desperately wanting to end this ride and get to the next, I asked, "Are we close?" No answer, just more snoring.

I had reached my limit. “Hey buddy, you have to tell me where we are going!” I loudly said. This startled him awake, and he looked up and pointed to the right. Amazingly, we had managed to find his house.

“Here's your home," I announced as we pulled up to the curb. Scotland looked at me cross-eyed, got out of the car and started to walk down the sidewalk aimlessly. By this time, the situation was almost laughable. Rolling down my window, I yelled, “You left your bag!” He looked at me with a blank stare, nothing registering. “Your bag is in the back seat,” I repeated. He then opened the front passenger door and looked at me blindly, as if I was playing a trick on him. “Nevermind,” I muttered.

I grunted as I lifted his bag out and handed it to him. He then stood there, bag clutched in his arms. Scotland had no idea where he was, how he got there or who I was. I turned the big man around, walked him to his front door and patted him on the shoulder. Swaying back and forth, he reached into his pocket and retrieved his keys. As I helped him open it, Scotland stopped, looked back at me, then at the entrance. “Go on in, it’s your house,” I said. Leaving him at his doorway, I figured he could sleep on the porch if necessary.

Tucking him in was not an option. You have to draw the line somewhere.
 
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