I had my first bad Uber ride and it was a doozy. She picked me up within five minutes of the requested ride on the app. I took it as a good sign. Once I got settled in the car I was immediately transported back to my youth and driving with my great grandmother. Before they took her license away driving with her was either all gas or all break. Nothing else. When you finished a ride with the woman you were seasick and sore, every time.
It snowed overnight and I knew traffic and travel in general would be a struggle today so I left with plenty of time to get to O’Hare. I wasn’t feeling well after the brief trip through our neighborhood so I noticed too late that she was getting on the wrong highway ramp. I told her as we were about halfway up and she got really rattled. She hit the gas as if speed would make up for her navigational error and the car began to fishtail.
Time really does slow down in those situations. I clearly remember thinking “it’s OK we are going to hit the guardrail but I am a five minute walk from home and I can start over. My driver had other ideas that probably included keeping her car safe from said same steel rail. Instead she over-corrected to the left which sent us spinning into traffic. Two full revolutions and during the second one she took her right hand off of the wheel and began to cross herself.
That’s when I snapped back into reality and began screaming for her to put her hand back on the wheel and take her foot OFF of the gas. We came to rest sort of in the middle lane of the 3 facing oncoming traffic and she was in a full panic. She reached for the shift lever as if to put us in reverse and I barked out instructions again. The oncoming drivers were swerving and slowing so there was an opening to get straight back to the ramp and head in the correct direction. Luckily heading northbound on that particular road isn’t very popular (real life friends this is Palatine to 53) from where I live so the move was flawless.
She merged onto the highway and we went up to the next street to turn back into the right direction. In the three minutes it took we were headed back past the site of out spin and there was a huge accident. One vehicle had flipped completely on its head and it looked like five or six total in the calamity. She began crossing herself like crazy and neither of us spoke about her obvious culpability in that whole mess.
After she calmed down she got real chatty. I’m not sure if she thought I was going to report her or if there was some guilt flowing out with the adrenalin but she could not shut up. Probably best because I was fending off motion sickness and her constant chatter was keeping my mind off of an internal evacuation.
I’m at the airport now. Everything is delayed. I sent the required I love you test to my immediate family just in case this is my day and that was just a warning shot pr preview. The sweating and shaking as well as my side order of nausea have all subsided. As soon as I finish thumbtyping this I am going to find something really bad for me to eat. I have no idea how to end this because I am suddenly exhausted.