Two issues ago, I playfully reminisced on the lovely uber drivers that populate our humble town. With a word count and ambivalence to putting effort into my writing gradually increasing, I left the article with one final story. Finally, the time has come. Please, hold your applause.
Anyone who’s gotten towed knows that it fucking sucks. Earlier this year while heading back to my car, I remember seeing a tow truck literally towing my car in front of my very eyes.. How does getting towed relate to Uber? Well, today I will be discussing the day that led up to my fateful encounter with the most fascinating Uber driver I have ever rode. And please, I beg of you, do not take that out of context.
It was a splendid September morning, and I was getting breakfast with a dear friend, relishing in the store bought Grundle danishes when a sinister idea crept into my head. It was a half-hour before my class– why not participate in the age-old tradition of the wake and bake? It’s Friday, let’s get slutty and silly! As someone with pretty mediocre time management skills, this was my first mistake. After we woke and boke, we realized we were going to be late. The only solution? Driving! Only slightly toasted and through the power of girl-gay solidarity, we whipped towards Lafayette.
It was here, believing we had finessed the day, when our second mistake transpired. We parked on a side street that explicitly told us no parking,the spots being reserved for vendors. We were too late to worry about semantics of this sign. Giving it the benefit of the doubt, we pretended to assume by “vendors” they were referring to students who were vended these spots. The logic was faulty, but what were the odds we were actually getting towed? Apparently, very high, and I’m not referring to me and my hag.
As we make our way towards the spot, I could just feel it deep down in my hole that something was wrong, and my hole never lies. Naturally, of all the cars illegally parked, we were the sole car to fall victim to the arch-nemesis I would make that week, Susan the parking enforcement officer. My mind was scrambling, racing from thoughts of the cost of the ticket to getting to the place where my poor subie was being held captive. Amid the chaos, I remembered the fact I had a little police station rendez-vous that involved getting fingerprinted for my job! Random, right? I assumed my very real and valid adult problems and got fingered by the cop in a printing sesh that I never expected to be so weirdly intimate. Finally, time to get my girl.
Once we got safely into the Uber, we slumped down, exhausted, discombobulated, and still high! The man was the perfect level-headedness that my friend and I needed, listening to us recount the tumultuous hours we had spent awake. Eventually, the car fell silent, all was okay until my friend asks the driver how long he had been Ubering for. Judging from his response, the answer was much more loaded than either of us were ever expecting.
His initial answer is simple, 5 years, but his reasoning for this profession caught me completely off guard. Apparently, this cute little dude had been saving up all his money, set to retire without a problem until, disaster strikes. Mans’ identity is stolen right under his nose. Neither me nor my friend were remotely prepared for him to share this with us (talk about a trauma dump). Pressing for more info, we discover that out of the blue, this poor guy’s entire saving was hacked and stolen right under his nose.
This weird mix of emotions swirled throughout me. Initially, I thought he could at least go to sleep knowing that he didn’t fall for a Nigerian prince scam; I know, sue me. But seriously,, I couldn’t help but feel immense sympathy for this poor little geezer turned chauffer, hauling some bastard like me just trying to get his car back after getting towed for illegally parking post 9 am bong rip. What are our lives? What have I done for the universe to put me in the back seat of this man with a life more complicated than I can begin to imagine?
Admittedly, this conclusion is less a story of the whacky world of Uber and more another opportunity to talk about myself, but maybe its an excuse to look at every person we encounter with an open mind, free of assumption. Make that extra step to get to know people past the surface level, you never know where small talk may lead you. Also, do not rip bong before class if you are ass at managing your time that shit cost me 150 big ones!!!