Monday, July 9, 2007


I made a mistake on my last ride. It was a guy going from a residential address near downtown out to his house in Chula Vista. He was drunk, and carrying a motorcycle helmet (too drunk to ride home). He said he would give me directions, and things began well. The mistake was starting the trip before getting an exact street address. I know better, but the guy seemed so coherent I decided to let him direct me.

On I-5 southbound he fell fast asleep and was difficult to roust. He told me to take 54 east, which I did. I checked to see that he was awake, and went a few miles. When I asked which exit, since he didn't volunteer, he said Telegraph Canyon Road. I didn't recall that road crossing the 54, but since I don't use 54 often, I figured it would be okay. Sure enough, 54 ended without crossing the road.

I pulled off and asked for the exact address. Surprisingly he knew it, or he knew some address. There was no way to tell if it was right.

I used Google Maps and found where the guy messed up with the directions. By then the meter was $55, and we were sitting in a 7-11 parking lot, about $25 from his actual residence. I told him the fare was getting expensive, and if he needed an ATM, now would be the time. He went inside, then came out, stuffing bills into his wallet.

Me: It's going to run about $80. Did you get enough?

Him: $80? I only have $40. Why is it $80?

Me: Because you gave me bad directions.

Him: Oh.

Me: So you'll need to go in and use the ATM again, right? (Talking to drunks is just like talking to little kids.)

Him: Ahhhh, this is all it would let me take out. I don't have any more money.

Me: Well, I'm not taking you home for half price.

He handed me the $40 and took his helmet out of the back seat.

Me: So, how are you getting home?

Him: (shrugged)

Me: Can I call somebody for you? A friend, relative? Do you have a roommate?

Him: No, there's nobody.

The 7-11 cashier was outside having a smoke by then, and was watching us with amusement. When he saw me climb into the cab, and my customer wasn't, he wasn't so amused.

Cashier: You can't just leave him here.

Me: Yes, I can.

Cashier: No, you can't.

Me: Yes, I can. He's a nice guy. You'll get along well, I'm sure.

As I drove away I heard some yelling, but couldn't make it out.

1 comment:

forman said...

oh bother. too bad there is no way to find out what the price would be if he hadn't given bad directions. good thing the guy was so nice.

i keep thinking i should get gps one of these days, but i'm waiting for the city to put in some sort of convulooted(i can't spell that word) system. after that system fails to help me, i'll buy the damned gps.