We’ve seen the scene in the movies often enough – someone hops into a tax and hollers for the driver to “follow that car!” – but did you know it happens in real life, too?
Well, lucky for you, there are actual taxi drivers out there ready to share their stories!
15. I would have done it for free.
I’m actually a taxi driver (bike taxi/pedicab). I was hanging out a corner when a coworker of mine got a ride across the intersection.
Suddenly a guy walks up to me and tells me to “follow that cab, but keep a distance”. This guy looked current or ex military: demeanor, haircut, attitude… has one of those earbuds like the agents from the Matrix. Exuded the vibe of being very professional/competent and not giving a fuck at the same time.
So I was born for this moment. I read all the Tom Clancy books as a kid, all the books about spycraft during WWII and the cold war, every spy movie ever made, etc. I kept about 100 yards distance and then would accelerate when they went around a curve anytime they were near a light or intersection (I have all the lights memorized) to ensure we would make the same light but a little later than they did. At one point a car pulls up alongside and another guy switches places with the original guy and we keep going. After about 12 blocks the pedicab pulls over ahead of us and the guy tells me to pull over. Hands me $20 for a $12 ride, although I would have done it for free just to live my 9 year old fantasy.
Probably just local cops, but I can dream
14. What are you screaming about?
Friend of mine is a taxi driver and this has happened to him. An elderly man rushed inside his taxi and pointed out loud to follow a red Toyota. This man never explains why to follow, just tries to franticly call to somewhere. My friend asked multiple times if they need to call police but the man just waved no and pointed to follow the car. They circle around the town finally ending up to a front of a house where the car followed parks. As the car stop, man says “Hold on a moment, I’ll pay!” and jumps out of the car. An elderly lady steps out of the red Toyota and the man, apparently her husband, starts to scream “Why did you left me at the mall??!!”. Woman is waving her hands screaming back “What are you screaming about, you are here??!!” and walks inside the house like nothing has happened. Man returns and pays the drive, being sorry about it all at the same time.
My friend thought they were following a burglar or something, but it turned out the lady just forgot her husband at the mall. Funny situation in a way, but sad in a way too as my friend said. Dementia…
Edit: sleepy typos
13. He pulled over and refused.
A personal trainer at my old gym did this. He saw a guy shoot another guy in the head and jump into a car, so he got into a cab so the shooter wouldn’t get away.
The cabbie followed the car for a bit until he learned that he was following a murderer, then he pulled over and refused.
Turns out, the shooter was an undercover police officer, who sped away because he thought the victim’s friends would get to the scene before the cops.
I followed the car. It stopped in a suburban house. Dude went into the house. They were his family and didn’t have room for him with them. ¯\(ツ)/¯
11. I hope you were well paid.
Been driving a cab for about a year now, usually working the 6p-3a shift. My dispatcher radios me to a house 5 mins till the end of my shift. Short 2 minute drive later (small city) I pull up in the circle driveway as a car pulls out the other end and speeds off, the largest man I have ever seen in my life comes barreling out of the house like a fucking bull and jumps in my cab “did you see the car that left, follow it”. I caught up to the car and followed it out to the highway, as soon as it got on the highway the car put on its hazard lights and floors it. The mountain of a man in the back seat “my wife is in labor and my father-in-law is driving” tells me to catch up and he’d give a $200. So naturally I floor at it going about 90 mph in a 45 zone. His father-in-law happened to be the city police chief and had called in an escort, looked in my rear view mirror and see 4 cop cars about a mile off and catching up quick, I panicked and almost started to slow down when he told me they were an escort. Sure enough 2 of the cops go speeding past me like I was in park, keep in mind I’m still going 90 mph. The other two pull behind me as we still had 2-3 miles to go, another minute or two passes and we come squealing up to the E.R., two nurses already waiting outside. He thanks me, hands me the money and jumps out of the car.
TL;DR got a police escort with a pregnant women’s husband and made $200
10. So, I started driving.
Not entirely related, but I once had somebody jump into my car and I wasn’t even a taxi.
I was driving down the street in Boston and was stopped at a red light, minding my own business. Suddenly, my passenger door flung open and someone climbed in. Completely shocked, I didn’t even have time to react. For some reason it never entered my mind that I should be alarmed or concerned about this trespasser, so when I saw that it was an elderly lady I just remained calm. Without skipping a beat, she said in a thick Russian accent, “you take me home, please.” So, I started driving.
I asked where she lived but she just said “keep going, I tell you when to stop.” At that point it dawned on me that she probably had dementia and that she likely thought I was someone she knew, or maybe even a taxi. Nope. After a few minutes of conversation it was abundantly clear that this woman had simply picked the first car she saw, gotten in, and requested a ride. During the 10-minute car ride she asked about my life. I was in college studying psychology at the time, and when I told her this she said “you make good psychologist, very nice boy.” It put a big smile on my face. My grandparents had all died either before I was born or during early childhood, so I don’t think I had ever had an elderly person say something like that to me. It felt nice.
Finally we reached an apartment building and she told me to pull over. When I put the car in park she turned to me and said “thank you driving me today.” I assured her it was no problem at all and wished her the best, and her parting words to me as she climbed out were “very good boy, good luck with studies.” After pausing for a moment, I drove away and just kind of let it be. It was such a nonchalant and comfortable interaction that I resisted my temptation to immediately text friends to tell them what had happened. It felt like that would have cheapened it, or turned it into a novelty. It was just so natural and I went with it.
She’s unlikely to be alive at this point, but I hope she enjoyed the rest of her days. Godspeed, Russian-grandma-I-had-for-a-day.
Yes, but it’s usually followed by “I’ve always wanted to say that”.
8. I wrote a statement.
I was in New Orleans once and a cab i was in got sideswiped by a drunk driver. The drunk driver then took off. I told the cab to follow him which he did. We ended up in a parking lot and we watched them go into an apartment building. Cabbie had the station call the cops. I wrote a statement for the cabbie and he called me a new cab while he wanted for the cops.
7. Weirdest summer.
I drove a taxi one summer in a party resort.
One night, 2 guys jumped in and yelled ” follow that car”, which was another taxi that I knew the driver of and I obliged. Turns out, one of their mates was drunk af and decided to just go to their hotel w/o telling them. They only saw the guy leaving the club drunk and they thought he was going to a strip club without them. He was actually going to their hotel, as he was hammered.
Another time 3 girls jumped in the car and said follow that car. The car in question was a black sedan, tinted back windows. Yet wasn’t that shady imho. We follow the car for 15 minutes, leaving the resort going into a forest. The girls start freaking out, as one of their friends( also a girl) was seen stepping into that car. Yeah, turns out, that she just hooked up with some guy in the club they were earlier and she was about to suck his D when we pulled up next to them.
6. Once a cheater…
I asked a taxi driver that question many years back. He said that happened on 2 separate occasions and both times, a wife was trying to catch her cheating husband committing adultery.
Update: i have been getting a lot of comments on whether the husband cheated on the wife twice. I’m not sure about that but the story that I was told was 2 different couples. Also, one of the wives actually caught her husband meeting his mistress.
5. Nothing serious.
Oh god I have a really bad story for this
I used to drive a taxi for my uncles company. A guy gets in my taxi, says “just follow that car” and reassures me its nothing serious. Except when the other car stops, he gets out and runs to the car we were following and drags the guy out and starts hitting him in the face, hard. I got out and was yelling at him and calling him an asshole for lying to me, and he got all in my face and threatened to beat the shit out of me too, said a bunch of racist slurs at me, then ran off.
The guy who got punched had his nose broken. The weirdest part is that he had no idea who that guy was.
4. I thought I was going to die.
Ooh I’m not a taxi driver, but I was the passenger for a story that is similarly clichéd.
Back when I was an actor/active drug addict/alc*holic (what’s the difference, I know) I had a director threaten to recast me a week before the show if I was late to rehearsal again. To put that into perspective, recasting a major role after rehearsals have started is generally unheard of, and almost unthinkable so late in the rehearsal process. She was REALLY fed up with me.
On this particular day, I was running late as usual and had five minutes to get to rehearsal. It was a 10 minute walk or a 5 minute drive.
I flagged a cab, hopped in and said “I need you to take me to this address and, if you can, I need you to step on it.”
The driver smiled wide and said “I’ve always wanted to hear that.”
Cue him putting the pedal to the metal. Within 10 seconds we were approaching 65MPH on a 30MPH city street, weaving through traffic, clipping yellow lights too close for comfort, and generally whipping this cab around in an extraordinarily haphazard and irresponsible fashion. I was stunned; wide-eyed; in absolute shock and terror; unable to process that he quite literally heeded my request or that this was actually happening. I thought I was going to die. It was the best cab ride of my life.
I was two minutes early to rehearsal.
3. He just took off.
I did that once as a passenger. We said it as a joke. We were in a group of 6 and couldn’t fit in a single cab. So I went into the second cab and said, “follow that cab.” We expected the driver to laugh it off and ask for our destination. Instead, he just took off and followed the first cab.
2. Emergencies mean different things to different people.
I left my flute on a bus. I was not about to get my ass whooped for forgetting my $1000 silver hollow stick on my way to orchestra practice.
I like this question a lot. Since there aren’t that many relevant responses yet, I checked out some older threads. There were some good responses in them, which I figured I’d share here:
/u/raleighstark said here:
My dad used to drive taxis for a short while and he once gave a man a free ride because the first thing he said upon getting in the taxi was “follow that car”. My dad always wanted someone to say it to him and was overjoyed
/u/Mr_Good_Konsumer said here:
I’m not a taxi driver, but a police officer. I was moonlighting at a club and a fight broke out inside. The bouncers had an unusually hard time getting this one guy out of the club. I went inside to help and he took a swing at me, he then took off running out of the club down the street. I gave chase, but this guy was fast, I didn’t have a chance at catching him. I chased him maybe two blocks and saw a taxi sitting in front of this other club. I jumped in the taxi and told the driver to follow him. We caught up with the guy and as we approached him, he was attempting to flag us down. I told the taxi driver to stop for him and as he opened the door there I was, he was too surprised to do anything but stand there. I placed him under arrest and called for another unit to come pick us up.
/u/_taxi_driver_ said here:
Often I’d get people hopping in and saying “just follow that cab” without giving any real destination. They just had too many people in their group for one taxi. That’s not exciting.
But one night I picked up four guys having a bachelor party and one had left their phone in a taxi earlier in the day and had been tracking it using another’s phone. 45 minutes of speeding all over the city, cutting taxis off that might be the one with the phone while four grown men hop out of my car in the middle of traffic and swarm the unsuspecting drivers to inquire about the missing phone. Must have scared the hell out of them. We finally found it. The meter said $60. They gave me $120. Not the most exciting story but definitely the most fun fare I’ve ever had.
I’ve never wanted to be a cab driver so bad in my life!