San Francisco, California - One of the strangest aspects of public transport is the weird things passengers leave behind when they get out and Uber, arguably the biggest public transport entity in the world, is no exception.
So now we have the Uber Lost and Found Index, a look into the commonplace (cellphones, keys and wedding rings) and the extraordinary (lobsters, wooden hats and violins) things found by Uber drivers in their cars when passengers have left.
Some are understandable; sunglasses, wallets, chargers, IDs, driving licences and gloves are things we routinely handle during our journeys and it’s easy to put them down on the seat beside you and leave them behind in the flurry of getting out at the end of the trip.
But a 1.5-metre Nordic walking pole? A rubber mallet? A bullet-proof vest? These are just three of a long list of seriously oddball objects mislaid by Uber customers. How, we ask, do you forget your wedding dress, your smoke machine or your baby stroller – hopefully without a baby in it?
What’s not so surprising is that the largest number of left-behind items are reported on Sunday mornings, presumably having been forgotten on Saturday night - but we can’t understand the spike in lost skateboards on Mondays!
Or why more people lose their swimsuits on Tuesdays than on any other day of the week, although it’s not such a surprise that Sundays see a rise in the number of lost wedding dresses – we like to think that maybe they’re being left behind by runaway brides.
We’re not going to make similar comments about the unusually high number of briefcases that get forgotten in Uber cars on Fridays, or the number of people who leave their Tasers, their paintings, their jewelry boxes, their chairs, their kites and their copies of ‘Crime and Punishment’ behind.
But our sympathy goes out to those who forgot their paycheques, their Valium, their engagement rings, their portable hard drives, their braai tongs and boerewors, their garden gnomes, lottery tickets and vibrators.