Nov. 11, 2022

Uber Chronicles

We are infamous for arriving and departing shows in an Uber. We will not drink and drive, so to avoid stress, worry, and being unsafe, it is just worth it to us. Is it costly? Sometimes. Luckily, we live fairly close to all our frequently visited venues, and frankly, the cost of a DWI is way more expensive than what we have paid in Uber over the years.

As you can imagine by the amount of shows we go to, we have a lot of interesting Uber stories…

Pre-covid, I would jump in the front seat to have a taxicab confession-like conversation with the Uber driver (without the cameras). It was usually Ken, our friend Mike (Der Kommissar), and me. Most of the time I walked away with light-hearted feelings that I just learned something new about someone or made someone smile. Sometimes though, I wish I had not engaged in conversation and wished I could crawl into the backseat with the guys and mind my own business. One guy said all he does is play video games and wishes he would die. What the hell do I do with that? I am not equipped for this conversation at 2am (or ever, really). I asked him if he needed help, and he said no, he was not going to harm himself, he just wanted to die. Alrighty then.

That was probably one of the last times I jumped in the front seat, and sadly, between Mike moving away and Covid happening, it just never felt the same to have taxicab confessions…not from the front seat, anyway.

One of my favorite Uber rides involved Ken getting yelled at, and it is so funny to me because he is so polite. It was summer, and a guy in a minivan had come to get a group of us. The side door opened, we all got in, and Ken shut the door. I think Ken used every ounce of his strength to close that door, he did not do it intentionally, but it slammed so hard. The Uber driver was immediately set off, and screamed from the driver seat, “HEY, TAKE IT EASY MAN!” After a few very long, very quiet minutes, I couldn’t contain my thoughts any longer and asked him if he was cold because he was wearing a winter hat when it was at least eighty degrees outside. I was trying to break the tension, he all but told me to shut up.

One night, it was snowing so badly everything should have just been shut down and canceled, but it was not, and we lived downtown so we were close to everything. We ended up getting in the car with this maniacal driver – she was doing eighty on the highway when people were stuck in snowdrifts. Ken and I were holding each other’s hands tight that night.

Just recently, we ordered an Uber after a Photo City show. Our Uber drove up and we hopped in. She rudely gave us the option of wearing masks or riding with the windows down. It was forty degrees outside, so we opted for masks (fine, whatever), but then she insisted on leaving ALL the windows down anyways and aggressively drove us home like she was doing us a favor. It was frigid, and I spent two days trying to comb the knots out of my hair from the wind (my long, curly locks do not like that level of wind). I guess I should not complain though, Ken’s poor bald head was blue by the time we got home.

Then there’s the iconic bag burps. We had an engagement party to attend at a winery about an hour away from us, so we decided to rent an Airbnb for the night. On the way out, we decided to stop at this cute little restaurant for lunch. We made our way to the Airbnb to get ready, and both of our stomachs started gurgling. Uh-oh. We headed out because that is what you do when Ken is the best man in the wedding. After the engagement party, the wedding party decided to head over to the casino. I was not feeling good at all. I told Ken I thought I needed something to eat. Everyone accommodated my request, so we separated, all got food, and met at a table to eat. I could not do it. I could not even smell the food. The groom offered up his hotel room so I could rest, and that just felt weird. I could not rally, and sadly, we ordered an Uber back to the Airbnb. In Ken’s lap was the food we did not eat, in mine were Ken’s best man gifts. Welp, turns out I do not take too kindly to back country roads, turns at 20 mph, and an upset stomach. The Uber driver took a wrong turn and performed a U-turn at what felt like 30 mph and that was it. Effortlessly, I tipped my head down and vomited in Ken’s gift bag. Ken did not realize what was happening at first, until the wave of (his words) hot chicken noodle soup smell made his way to him (I did not even have soup, or chicken). The Uber driver had not a clue, and I managed to get everything in the bag and save our five-star rating. The groom is now Ken’s boss, and if you are wondering, I washed off his gifts, especially since one of the gifts was cufflinks he needed to wear for the wedding.

We pride ourselves on our Uber rating, which is why Ken is now reluctant to order an Uber for him and bellicose Dr. Popper (Kris) anymore. It was MDF in Baltimore, the rain was coming down in sheets, everything was flooded. Ken and Kris finally found their Uber and were trying to make their way back to the venue in the pouring rain. Kris insisted the driver drive on the sidewalk since the street was flooded. Pedestrians were screaming, the Uber driver was mad as hell, and Ken got a shit rating. It took us three years to get our rating back up to five stars.

Speaking of rain – our worst, scariest Uber ride happened in the pouring rain. It had rained for days, everything was water-logged, huge puddles everywhere, streets were flooded. We went to a show at the Montage and ordered an Uber for the way home. Our apartment at the time was so new the maps had a hard time locating it. Unbeknownst to Ken, the wrong address was sent to the Uber driver. After about fifteen minutes of driving, we realized we were in a bad part of town at 2am, nowhere close to home. We did not say anything thinking maybe we were rerouted because of the rain or an accident. Once we realized that was not the case, Ken spoke up and explained what had happened. The Uber driver freaked out - bad. He proceeded to scream at us, threaten us, told us he had other rides to pick up, and ‘offered’ to dump us on the side of the road in the pouring rain, at 2am, in a bad neighborhood. Ken had to pay him cash to get us home because he refused to accommodate us any other way. That same night, tragically, a kid lost his life crossing the street leaving the Montage after attending his first metal show – while his dad helplessly watched.