It’s a classic move. You want to go somewhere but you’ve got more than four friends, which is too many friends for an Uber. But you grab an Uber anyway, and tell the driver: “I’ve just gotta pop some luggage in the back. No, no, you stay right right there in your comfortable driver’s seat—I can sort it—thanks, thank you.”
So the driver pops the boot and some friends climb into the back. It’s a classic, highly frugal move that young people have loved for at least 10,000 years. But Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp have only just discovered it—and they’re angry.
“Partying teens are risking life and limb to save a buck by travelling home in the boot of ride share cars,” wrote The Leader, which is a pretty lo-fi publication for Melbourne’s “Bayside” suburbs.
“One Bayside mother, who did not want to be named, said she was horrified when she arrived to pick her daughter up from a party and saw a group of girls piling their friend into the boot of the full Uber car in front," reported the paper. "The practice is thought to be happening most weekends.”
So obviously, The Leader didn’t publish the story for readers like you. They published it for people over 40, with adolescent children, who are still getting used to the idea that Ubers exist and still aren’t entirely sure what Ubers actually are. So naturally the readers—as well as the editorial staff of The Leader—don’t understand why people might want to ride in boots, and that’s fine. It's OK. It’s not their fault.
So look guys, teens don’t ride in boots because it’s cheap. Teens ride in boots because it’s fun. In fact, riding in boots is incredible.
For the person in a boot, most of the the ride happens in semi-darkness, punctuated by the soft glow of the brake lights. The purr of the engine is warm and sedating, and you smile because you can hear every word of the conversation in the car. “Can you take this corner a bit faster please, Mr driver sir,” says Sean, sitting up in the passenger's seat. And the driver hits the accelerator and the Gs jam you uncomfortably against the spare tyre and the wheel wrench and you smile harder and try not to laugh.
“Sean, you fucking asshole,” you giggle to yourself in the dark.
And for anyone in the car, knowing your mate is in the boot is hilarious. You ask your driver lots of questions about the type of boot carpet they like the most, and whether they can turn up the bass. And you get one of those Uber drivers who likes bass, and they dial it up until you’re hearing the music through your colon. And you laugh because you know your mate in the back is getting pummeled—and that brings you closer.
And finally you get to wherever you’re going and ask the Uber driver to pop the boot once more. Your rattled mate jumps out, and you give your Uber driver five stars. And everyone staggers away laughing hard and relishing a certain high that writers for The Leader will never know.
And that’s a shame.