Bumming a ride when laziness calls

Dec. 18, 2003, midnight | By Dan Greene | 17 years, 6 months ago

The art of getting a free, easy ride

It's a Friday night, and as usual I'm all dressed up, and I have someplace to go. I could really go for a movie right about now. But something's not quite right. Of course! I have no way to get there.

The bus is slow and occasionally odorous, the subway is too much of a hike, and the parents are nodding off, leaving me twiddling my thumbs. Unfortunately, I have not yet perfected thumb twiddling as an effective mode of transport, which leaves me with no choice: I have to bum a ride.

The situation

Don't get me wrong, I frequently enjoy the subway and the bus during the week, but on the weekend, they're too out of my way. Metrobus after dark sounds risky to me; those are werewolf hours, after all.

The problem is, I'm very lazy. I skip the peanut butter in my peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich because it's too much of a hike to the cupboard. If there is ever an opportunity for someone to perform a task for me, like driving or chewing, I'll take it.

"Dan, as a 16-year-old junior," you may be asking, "shouldn't you be driving yourself by now?" Well, think of me getting my license as the equation Y=(Lazy) 2X, with the variables extreme laziness and gravity towards the couch dictating when it will happen, which is to say, not now.

The strategy

My usual plan is to sit on my living room couch watching Sportscenter until I can snatch a ride. The second part of the plan involves staring alternately at my address book and the numbers stored in my cell phone, searching for a potential transporter. The whole process generally takes a half hour, not counting snack breaks.

Once I think I've located a victim…err…friend that would want to do something tonight, the next challenge is to get the phone. This requires more skill than you would think—usually I just wave my arm until I knock it over, or until my sister walks in, shakes her head in disgust and hands the telephone to me.

I don't have any seriously car-stingy friends, but I do have lazy friends, so persuasion is an issue. Unfortunately, it's hard to cleverly persuade your friends to give you a ride, because the conversation never diverges from the same basic pattern.
"So, how about you pick me up and we go to [insert enjoyable location here]?"
"Well, I don't know."
"Come on…"

Those two comments will repeat ad nauseum until one party gives in. It's like an epic clash of wills where no one wants to put forth any effort. Which makes it not very epic at all, now that I think about it.

This is strictly for phone-based requests. Face-to-face appeals allow for more theatrics. Puppy-dog eyes can help, but that's a one-use trick. The best bet is to make it look like your life, nay the very existence of the world depends on your getting to the mall to pick up your pre-ordered videogame.

The storybook adventure

Bumming rides is like a storybook adventure, but instead of castles there are couches, your steed is a borrowed ride, your dragon boredom and the damsel you must rescue an overpriced movie or an overstuffed burrito. I get to where I need to be, we all enjoy some good company, and no one gets attacked by those nasty bus werewolves.

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Dan Greene. Dan, alright fine, VJ, is proud to be a senior at Blair and a member of the best paper. Ever. He's really funny, trust him. As managing sports editor and ombudsman he enjoys sports and ombudsing. Dan also enjoys literature, soccer and crude humor. One … More »

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