Is That Pepper Spray?

Is That Pepper Spray?

The Threat of Pepper Spray Can Be as Good as Using it

I have never needed to use pepper spray, and hope I never will. However, it's always accessible, in the little compartment of my car door, within easy reach. When the crazies come out at night, when the drunkards need a ride somewhere, when the wasted folk decide it's time to call it a night, it's comforting to know it's there.

I started carrying pepper spray after reading about the assault by a Taco Bell executive on an Uber driver in Newport Beach. For those who didn't hear about it, an intoxicated rider violently attacked a driver after being asked to leave the car. The driver managed to pepper the passenger, and the man was arrested and terminated from his job the following day. The entire incident went viral on YouTube. Watch the video here. The scene is disturbing, and represents the inherent danger drivers face when picking up passengers who are drinking.

Most trips at night are benign and relatively predictable. On Fridays, you get the end of the week trifecta: airport, dinner and cocktails. Assuming a driver lives in San Jose, longer trips early in the evening are desirable, preferably to SFO airport or San Francisco. The "City" is bustling and there is more money available there. On the other hand, you don't want to venture too far later in the evening, as the likelihood of getting a ride back is minimal.

Despite your best efforts, you often find yourself in far away places as the clock approaches midnight. Here is an excerpt from my upcoming book that describes the experience:

Evenings bring out people looking to have a good time, and many of these riders are gregarious and talkative. The night also brings out the working class, undesirables, and the professional partiers.

However, if you drive till last call or later, which I did for almost a year, you cannot help but see the seedy side of the city and the creatures that thrive in this urban environment. Suffice it to say, the nocturnal crowd is usually a bit more colorful.

Colorful can be fun. I once was "forced" to sing along with a couple to a song on the radio. Read my post, Sweet Music to my EarsIt can also be a pejorative word, due to the different types of passengers you transport compared to daytime. I have had a working girl negotiate a deal with her prospective customer, a schizophrenic who had a conversation with 4