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The Story I Tell The Most

Trip length: 56 minutes. Trip distance: 4.8 miles. Fare: $21.37 (Surge: 1.6x) Year: 2015 Song of the trip: “Forever” by The Charlatans UK
I pull the car up in front of La Victoria Taqueria on San Carlos St. between 3rd and 4th. It's right off the San Jose State University campus, and a short distance walk from the strip of bars over on 1st St, and it's open until 3 a.m. most nights. The name on my phone says Taylor so I don't know if it's a guy or a girl I'm picking up. Kids these days. Better than the tech bros, I guess.
There's actually enough space for me to pull in front of La Vics and wait, so I bring the car up against the curve and turn the blinkers on. Most of the time, Lac Vics pickups are college students who need a lift home, and they're short drives, so you can get a number of them in quick turnaround during surge pricing. But sometimes you gotta wait.
The timer is on. 2:18 a.m. Five minutes until they're officially a no show, and I can s…
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Times I've Almost Gotten Into A Fight, Pt. 1

Trip length: 18 minutes. Trip distance: 1.1 miles. Fare: $9.82. Year: 2015. Song of the trip: “Enjoy The Silence” by Failure
So this doesn't look great, I gotta be honest. I'm outside of The Brass Rail in Sunnyvale, waiting for someone named Dale, and it's 2:25 AM, which means the place has been closed for almost half an hour now.
Opinions of The Brass Rail vary a great deal, but I've never been in there, so I can't testify to whether or not it's any good. It's a bikini bar – there are a number of these places scattered over the Peninsula, but I've never really understood the appeal. If you want a strip club, go to a strip club. If you want a bar, go to a bar. But these bikini bars are a weird half-way zone between the two, and they don't seem to satisfy either desire if you ask me. But they've been around since 1960, so I suppose they must be doing okay for themselves.
I've been out here three minutes now, so this Dale fella's got tw…

Volume Is Always A Concern

Trip length: 8 (or 14) minutes. Trip distance: 1.4 miles. Fare: $9.02. Year: 2017 Song of the trip: “Dad I'm In Jail” by Was (Not Was)

Sometimes I make the wrong call on whether or not to pick up a fare. Every time I show up to a location, I have to make a snap judgment - is this safe, or is this going to be the kind of fare that gets me into serious trouble?

99% of the time, it's a very easy call to make. Some people going out for dinner in nice clothes, some people in clothes that used to be nice coming home from the bar late, people going to or from a concert, people with bags full of groceries to take home, people going to or from the airport... It's almost second nature that they're just people and the situation isn't going to be dicey.

And then there's the 1%.

It's a well-known fact I hate 1%. One percenters, 1% odds of failure, you name it... just the number and the symbol are enough to give me the jitters.

So I suppose I truly should've known bett…

A Beginner's Guide To Strip Club Etiquette

Trip length: 32 minutes. Trip distance: 16.3 miles. Fare: $19.48 Year: 2016 Song of the trip: “Hey Boy Hey Girl” by The Chemical Brothers
The Nissan rolls into a tiny space in front of one of the frat houses, and I'm already a little nervous about this fare. The San Jose State kids are a mixed bag at best. Sometimes they're fine, but they also have the potential to be hot messes. Still, it's early enough that I don't feel like I need to worry about it too much. I stab my finger at the big button on the dash board to turn the hazard lights on and glance at the clock. 11:35 pm. The five minute timer is on.
I turn it off almost immediately, though, as four guys move to the car with intent. They don't really look like the frat type, but then again, I wasn't in a frat, so who am I to judge? One guy opens the front passenger door and says, “You my Uber?”
“I dunno. You Arturo?”
“Ayup. C'mon boys, let's go.”
The four of them pile into the car as I swipe the…