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Pictured below is a real receipt of an UberXL ride I paid for that simply took me and some friends from Point A to Point B in Nashville in the early hours of January 1, 2016. The surprising thing about it is, though, that before bending me over for nearly $400, Uber didn’t even take me out to dinner.
Up to this point, this usual Scrooge of New Years was having by far the most fun NYE experience of his life. It was a major blessing when my good high school friend Preston invited me to Nashville to party and to stay with his college golf teammate Myles, Nashville native and noted lady killer. Usually too cool for mainstream events with enormous crowds, I couldn’t have been more stoked for my night on the town in what has to be the most cliched New Years destination in the Central Time Zone.
With an extremely reasonable $10 cover, Wildhorse Saloon offered more Nashville pageantry than this noob to NYE could ever ask for. Rocking my classic 12-team SEC belt and fresh Bean Boots with my favorite flannel, I was in the zone. The line dance instructors could not have been more fun and charismatic to the diverse crowd. In the words of my favorite country song, we were flyin’ high, fine as wine, havin’ ourselves a Big & Rich time.
A round of Jager shot for the three dudes? Why the hell not? This is a judgement-free zone, and even if for tonight only, Jager is not totally lame.
“That’ll be nineteen-fifty.”
Yikes, that’s a momentum-shifter. It suddenly reminded of how my savage driving behavior had already put a $202 dent in my tight NYE budget for going 93 in a 70 en route to Nashville earlier in the day, so it was clearly time for me to lay low for a while and sit the next few plays out.
After venturing back to the blocked off streets in hopes of seeing the free Kings of Leon concert, midnight came and went, New Years kisses were exchanged, and my corny Snapchats continued failing to send (for the best).
Come 2:00 a.m., it’s time to hit the road — a part of our night nobody had thought through at all. Myles’ roommates were kind enough to drive us from the ‘burbs to downtown on the way there, so we sure as shit weren’t about to hit them up again for Round Two. It was time for the guest-of-a-guest (yours truly) to be the standup guy and swallow perhaps a few dozen dollars on the cab ride home, I thought.
Uber’s pricing system was made to take advantage of drunk and/or desperate twenty-somethings like myself on special occasions where the price surge is out of control: 7.6 in my case. The fact that our destination was 20-plus miles away, and the only ride available was an UberXL should have been a major cause for alarm.
Lesson learned: denial is a bitch. Not that any of us could think of any fathomable solution to the pickle we put ourselves into, but when cornered into such a shitty, pricey situation, don’t cave and just think “it’ll be alright.” If we’d spontaneously walked to Nashville’s finest hotel and gotten a round of steak dinners for the five of us, we would have been better off.
For all of our sakes, cheers to one day becoming a successful enough professional where half-a-thousand-dollar cab rides don’t even make you blink. .
Image via Shutterstock