(Considering the fact that I have, more than once, accepted rides from strangers that were not purporting to be gypsy cab drivers, and have yet to be sold on the internet, my above answer should be taken with a huge ol' block of salt.)
Anyway. I clearly know better.
But Sunday night, after spending the better part of the day sick and sleeping, I stumbled off a bus and pretty much into the arms of a nervous looking fellow who asked me if I'd just gotten off that bus.
"Are you looking for a ride?"
I glanced at the huge mass of keys in his hand. "Well. I need a cab."
"Where are you going?"
"That's pretty far."
"Come on. I can take you."
Somewhere in my brain, a little voice was chittering what the HELL are you doing??. But to say, "Oh, never mind, I'm suddenly feeling rational and I think I'll wait for a real cab," seemed somehow rude. So I continued to follow this guy, after confirming that I could pay him $20 and that was all. (A non-murderous cabbie would have charged me closer to $30, so hey! Bargain!)
We walked up to a rough looking silverish car. I immediately forgot to memorize the license plate as he offered to put my suitcase in the trunk. "No no...with me is fine," I replied.
"Ok, but you have to get in on my side because the other door doesn't open.
I. AM GOING. TO DIE.
I crawled into the car, whose roof liner was draping down in the way only those of us that have driven POS cars can visualize, and slid across the seat to sit behind another woman.
"That's my girlfriend, Sally." Sally was, I'm guessing, in her late 40's and looked like she was in desperate need of a cigarette. My first thought was, 'Oh, good! We have a chaperone! I'm not really going to die!' Then I remembered House of a Thousand Corpses and was back to being pretty damned sure I was, in fact, going to die, and started being glad I'd worn shoes with very thick heels, because I was probably going to have to use them as self defense.
My murderous cabbie pushed my suitcase up against my hip, leaving me nicely trapped in the back seat, and got into the driver's seat. We agreed on a route, and I made sure to have my hand on my phone.
And then he took an unexpected turn off the expressway. Oh crap. CRAP. I was right and I'm gonna die and Lurk will never forgive me CRAAAAAAP! "Um. Whatcha doing?"
"Oh! I'm sorry!" he said nervously. "I wasn't thinking. But I need to get some gas, so I'm gonna stop here."
(I know. You're all thinking EXACTLY what I was thinking. "Dusti's gonna die, and she's a total dumbass.")
I admit I thought about saying, "Ya know, Sally, this has been a lot of fun, you guys are great, but I'm just gonna walk home," and making a run for it. But that still seemed rude. And I couldn't decide if I was just being crazy or not.
Murder-Cabbie put a few dollars of gas into the car and returned us to the highway. "Sooooo...you drive cabs a lot?"
"No, I'm a plumber and I was just laid off."
"Oh, that sucks."
"So did you have a good trip?"
(Ahh, here's my chance to tell them I'm not worth mugging!) "Well, I lost my purse this weekend.."
"Oh no! Did you lose your ID?"
(Oh HELL, now they think I'd be a great victim because no one could identify me! SHIT!) "Not all of it, no."
"Well, that's a shame."
The closer we got to my house, the less likely it seemed that I was going to be attacked/robbed/murdered, and - sure enough - they brought me to my house with no problems.
..Sorta. I mean, we didn't go directly to my house. Because I didn't want to have to explain to my housemate later that those maniacs outside were the murder cabbies that had chosen to not kill me the other night, choosing instead to come back, rob us, and sell us and the cats on the internet.
Still. I learned my lesson. No more gypsy cabs..because, really, seriously, this had all the markings of being a horrific damned story.
Also? I probably need to travel with an adult.