TORONTO – This week, an Uber driver nearly drove his car into oncoming traffic, then made brief eye contact with you in the rearview mirror while chuckling about it.
Rather than pulling over, or even remarking how he nearly terminated several lives at once, the driver laughed one more time, said the word “Whoopsie,” then shrugged, as if to say, “Mondays, right?”
As you focused on deep breathing exercises to slow your heart, the driver offered you a bottle of water and made a vague comment about how he’s been driving for 36 hours straight and still hasn’t broken even for the night, as if to excuse how he came extremely close to pulverizing your body.
After taking a moment to reflect on the fragility of life and choking down a desperate sob, you asked if this has happened before. The driver giggled, nodded, and asked if you plan to check out any concerts this summer.
The Uber driver then hopped on a phone call to chat about the weather, then, as an afterthought shared a hearty guffaw about how he nearly reduced his car and everyone in it to smoking, bloody heap of metal.
As you texted your mother to apologize for not calling more often and inform her that you will definitely make it home this Christmas, the driver asked you if you have an alternate route you’d prefer. You swallowed the urge to sarcastically reply, “Yes, why not drive through those buildings?” and instead took a drink of water from the free bottle provided, noting how this simple pleasure is easily overlooked on days when you don’t almost perish.
For the rest of the ride, the driver whistled a jaunty tune and asked which is your favourite Shrek movie, as if invigorated by his brush with the afterlife, while you subtly buckled your seatbelt.
At press time you rated the driver five stars, but refused to leave a tip or compliment.