My mother told me never to get in a car with strangers.

Last Saturday, I didn’t listen to her wise advice. My friend and I got into a black Chevy Malibu with a Lyft driver for a wild ride to the Oakland airport.

At first, we were happy when our driver showed up. Nine others couldn’t find us! But our ride went quickly down hill.

For those not familiar with Toad’s furious driving – visit Disneyland or watch The Wind in the Willows. Or simply read on about our wild ride on the East Bay freeways!

First, our driver didn’t take the most obvious freeway on-ramp. “Did I say we wanted to go to the Oakland Airport?” I asked. He nodded, and found another on-ramp. All was well. I leaned back against the seat. I even reached into my purse and pulled out a tip.

But wait!

Given the choice to stay straight to the airport or curve to the right for the Bay Bridge to San Francisco – HE CHOSE THE BAY BRIDGE!!!

That was it. We were going to miss our flight.

But no worries!

Before we could speak, our driver swerved back across the median and got re-situated on the correct freeway. We didn’t (really) come (very) close to crashing into those bright yellow barrels lined up at the base of the freeway overpass.

Everyone makes mistakes, I thought. We’re headed in the right direction now. I held the tip in my hand.

We neared the airport. THEN…red tail lights started flashing up ahead. All the cars in every lane were stopping. BUT WE WEREN’T!!

My friend gasped. We braced ourselves for impact. Our driver slammed on the brakes. “Sorry,” he sang out from the front.

I started silently praying that we would survive this wild ride and arrive in one piece.

The airport exit couldn’t have come too soon for me – but apparently it came too soon for our driver. He didn’t get over. “There’s the exit,” I said. (I might have been talking quite loudly at this point). The car crossed two lanes and zoomed off the freeway.

Large signs overhead pointed to the airport. Somehow our driver missed them and took another road that curved to the right, away from the terminal. Now, my friend leaned forward. In a no-nonsense voice (she’s a retired teacher), she directed him to the terminal.

I was ready to kiss the ground when the Chevy pulled up to the curb and I stepped out. I slipped the tip back into my purse with a trembling hand.

I wrote to Lyft about our wild ride. I assumed they would pull the driver from their rolls. Instead, they assured me I would never be paired with that driver again.

So watch out Bay Area Lyft users! You might be in for a wild ride.