Funny Blog, Syracuse Commentary, Ubservations

PIH Ubservation # 1: Drunks Are the Best Tippers!

Have you ever been the one person in your group that stays sober for whatever Godless reason while all your friends are getting bombed? Well, now I’m that guy every night I drive – but with complete strangers doing all the heavy lifti…drinking and providing brief, but memorable moments (at least for me…) in the back seat of my Lincoln!

Since I’ve started Uber driving, I’ve made the leap from being a weekend wino and “Johnny cocktails” to shuttling home throngs of weekend winos and “Johnny (and Janey) cocktails.” I drive primarily during the PIH (Primetime Inebriation Hours) of 9 – 2 in morning or later, so, yes, THESE ARE MY PEOPLE! Like the gift that keeps on giving, these safe rides home to the countless booze hounds participating in America’s favorite pastime has provided a bottomless wine barrel of thoughts and insights for me to share with you! Today’s saucy revelation: Drunks are the Best Tippers!

Case in point #1: “Drunky McJuicebrains.”

A couple of months ago around closing time, I head over to the Gathering Lounge in Liverpool, a quaint, local dive, to pick up “Mike.” I navigate my way through a gaggle of happy-go-lucky cocktailers in the parking lot – swaying, bobbing and weaving in a strangely hypnotic rhythm, immersed in mini-clouds of their own cigarette smoke, loudly talking over each other (probably solving all the problems of the universe) – and park in front of the entrance, chaotically strewn with strings of discolored Christmas lights.

“Mike” emerges from the bar with a man, who I will call “Drunky McJuicebrains” draped over his shoulder. He clumsily opens my passenger side door (trying not to drop “Drunky” onto the pavement) and pours him into my back seat saying to me, “I don’t know this guy, but he lives right down the street so do you think you can get him home? I’ll tip you..” “Drunky” grunts some nonsense as if trying to reassure me that he’s ok. Although I’m worried that this could turn into my first rider “incident” (if you get my drift), I admire that “Mike” was kind enough to call an Uber for the dude. The ride is short: 3 minutes to the apartments on the same road. “McJuicebrains,” – a middle-aged, slender white guy with disheveled thin brown hair and a pot belly; wearing a too short, faded brown leather jacket; wrinkled, white button-down shirt and khakis – attempts conversation from his fetal position in my back seat. It sounds like some combination of hillbilly Cajun (think Farmer Fran from The Waterboy) and alley cats in heat. “Looks like you had a good time tonight,” I repeat the entire ride, “Let’s get you home safe.”

I pull up to his apartment complex, park, and jump out to help him out the car. I grab his hands to get him upright in the car, angle my shoulder under his right arm, and lift him as gently as I can to his feet. “Drunky” grips my shoulder to steady himself. Like a human weeble-wobble cemented at the ankles, he lifts a finger to (I think) signal me to wait. He reaches into both pockets presumably to find his keys (oy vay…), and starts fumbling around, relieving his stash to the ground. First, a couple of receipts, then a packet of gum, some change…his phone, several crumpled up bills, and finally, a Budweiser key chain with keys! I’m literally in a Yoga Warrior One position anchoring him with my one hand while scooping up his belongings now littered around his feet with the other! I’m sticking shit back in his jacket pockets, and as I straighten out his crumpled currency to neatly place that back in his shirt pocket, “McJuicebrains” has a moment of semi-clarity. “Givemathat” he says (the first semi-coherent words he has uttered…) I hand him the bills and he holds them at arms-length, both hands grasping and flipping through the $22 in front of him, staring intently, like an expert marksman lining up his target…then he hands it all to me… “Than que…5-stars!” he blurts out.

“Drunky McJuicebrains” can’t walk…

 He can’t talk…

He can’t see or stand straight…

BUT… somewhere deep inside “Drunky’s” alcohol-embalmed carcass, the carnal instinct to TIP, reigned supreme!!!

As the son of uber-social Irish Catholic parents, this act of drunken kindness does not surprise me. My father, “Big John,” was the quintessential bar room benefactor. With his big barreling laugh and a twinkle in his eye, he would regularly sprinkle the bar with those golden “beer or cocktail” chips for his buddies…and they would reciprocate in kind! His “go-to” defense after he came home pickled on a Saturday evening after supposedly only going out for lunch with the boys was, “I wass jus going fer one, but then Jack or Pete or Don or Howard or Garbo or Danny or (insert names here) bought a round, then Jack or Pete (repeat) bought a round…I dinda wanna to be rude!” Yes, my mother was a Saint!

I think this drunk tipping phenomenon has been best explained by immortal cartoon philosopher Homer Simpson when he quipped, “Here’s to alcohol! The cause and solution to all of life’s problems!” Or, perhaps more to the point, “Drinking makes everything better!”

Case-in-Point #2 -#5

““F@*&ked up Fred” gave me $20 for a 6-minute ride from Haefner’s to his home. He was elated that two-half his age-hostesses invited him to the bar’s open Christmas party…I didn’t have the nerve to tell Fred that it was an open party and that I was 99.9% sure didn’t have a shot! Even at those odds, “F@*&cked up Fred” would not be denied the opportunity to bask in glow of the all-common alcohol-induced delusion provided by the loveable, Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber, “So you’re saying there’s a chance!”

“Slurry Susan” tipped me ten bucks on a ten-minute ride home from the Clinton Street Pub. She literally apologized to me so many times for being drunk (she must be Irish Catholic!) that I started to wonder if her brain was frozen on this single phrase from whatever icy cocktails she was consuming!

“BSD (Big Swinging Drunk) “Bakari” threw me a twenty from his gold money-clipped stash for a 7-minute drive from a buddy’s house. Man, I know “Biggie Smalls” is gone, but somehow, Notorious BIG ended up reincarnating in this dude! We were “big pimpin” in my linkin’ the whole ride home (yeah, yeah I know Big Pimpin is Jay-Z song so keep your pants on). As you would expect, he topped off his help with a show of dough!

And then there are the payload of guys like “Labeled Louie,” “Game-cocked Kyle (wearing his South Carolina Gamecocks garb)”, “Shot for shot Stewie,” and “Thank you sir may I have another Anton (SU frat guy).” Their generous tips were, both, pre-destined and exponentially enhanced by the only generosity factor more powerful than drinking: sex! They all had equally inebriated women on their arms!

So, what might you take away from this rambling Ubservation?

Have a couple two, tree cocktails before you hop in my car! Let the power of the generosity juice flow, and the love for your Uber driver grow!

Let’s take this one out with the words of wisdom from one of my favorite, awful movies of all time Cocktail.


I am the last barman poet / I see America drinking the fabulous cocktails I make / Americans getting stinky on something I stir or shake / The sex on the beach / The schnapps made from peach / The velvet hammer / The Alabama slammer. / I make things with juice and froth / The pink squirrel / The 3-toed sloth. / I make drinks so sweet and snazzy / The iced tea / The kamikaze / The orgasm / The death spasm / The Singapore sling / The ding-a-ling. / America you’ve just been devoted to every flavor I got / But if you want to get loaded / Why don’t you just order a shot? / Bar {and my Uber car} is open!

P.S. I have written 90% of this Ubservation three sheets to the wind after celebrating my high holy day, St. Patrick’s Day, all afternoon…Drinking really does make everything better!

Please follow and share my site, with everyone as this ride has room for as many who wish to journey with me! Look for upcoming posts including “Like Fight Club,” “Strippers, Playas, and Women of the Night,” “Uber Smack Talk #1″and “South Side Shuffle.”

All names in this blog have been changed to protect passengers’ privacy

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