On June 22nd I addressed the summer future of DOL. While the Pandemic is far from over, I still have to go back to work. After I have my appeal hearing with unemployment next week I'll unwrap that whole mess, but until then it's gotta stay in my, some select family/friends and all the uba passengers I've told my sob story to brains.
Since the roads have been taking the majority of my time the last three weeks, I figured the least I can do to try and keep DOL afloat is bring back the Uba Chronicles to tell you some of the interesting people and situations I've come across since my return.
If you're interested in seeing my growth as a writer/the OG Uba Chronicles here (1) you go (2).
Covid life is all about adjusting. Of course I don't like having to wear a mask when I'm driving, but as we all know I'm a do the right thing guy; so I'm rocking a mask in the whip and you better have one on too otherwise you are not getting in (unless you have it in your hand and we're trying to do a quick pickup to not block traffic or you're someone later in this blog).
It's kinda wild to think about the risk I'm putting myself in. Every ride is like a game of Covid Roulette. How tf do I know these people aren't getting picked up from a Covid party? I mean if you're actually going to bars right now you basically are, but whatever I'm in America where money matters more than people, so if you're gonna pay me and the surges are still alive like Eddie Vedder (and not 135K Americans) then where do you need me to go?
On most rides things go off without a hitch. I am out here to make money. Plain and simple. Please do not feel obligated to have a conversation. I have that I'm cool with silence in my profile for Jah's sake (written like that b/c of character limits).
Like you, my brain only has so much space.
So I don't remember every little detail of what goes down. Luckily, I have the notes app and talk to type to bang out talking points and details for a future blog.
I never know who is going to enter my vehicle. If they wanna talk I'll fucking talk, oh I'll talk. I've spent the vast majority of the last four months (and the rest of my life) alone so I'll bite and use uba as a chance to work on my interpersonal skills.
Without further ado here are some of the most notable rides I've had since my return to the roads on June 18th. Mid blog P.S. These are not in any sort of order.
I've Never Had This Happen Before
I try to almost exclusively drive in Newport because it's usually busy with quick rides which means more money for ya boi. But since I live all the way up in the Creative Capital, I'll chase the surge elsewhere too.
Last week I was making my way to Newport, but stopped in Warwick to get gas and vacuum my car along the way. Since it was surging I turned my meter on and directed rides to Newport in hopes of catching someone OMW down.
My first ride of the day was supposed to be like 18 minutes (I'm a diamond driver so I get to see) with a decent surge. I don't remember exactly, but it was at least $4.
When I'm about five minutes away I get a call from a passenger. This happens more often than you would think so up to this point I'm not alarmed. When I picked up the call the dude I was supposed to pick up in a very calm way told me his uncle just died and he needs to cancel the ride. Woah.
I don't know if he was in shock or if he actually did it, but I have never had this happen before so naturally I was definitely taken aback; especially by his calmness. Talk about a bad start to MY day! (that's a joke relax). Since I'm a hashtag good guy told him I'd cancel so he doesn't get charged, said I was sorry, he said thanks and we never spoke again.
I'll be honest, I really didn't want to cancel. It fucks up my rates and my ability to see how long rides are going to be. People die everyday. That doesn't change the fact that my cancellation rate has to be 4% of under to retain my diamond status. Since that's V hard to do and I am constantly flirting with 5% or higher I'll be honest (internally) I briefly hesitated. On the other hand, it's hashtag good guy life and a hashtag good guy doesn't worry about that when someone (potentially) dies. I'd be lying if in hindsight I was wondering if this was some long con to avoid a $5.25 cancellation fee and if it was I just have to tip my cap. TBH I hope it was so this guy who I don't know isn't actually dead. Hashtag good guy.
I Don't Want To Be Rude, But....
One of my favorite parts about driving for Ubaa is getting compliments from strangers. While I have little to no confidence because of my weight, teeth and penis size I still enjoy being told positive things about me; regardless of whomst it may come from.
While in Newport I picked up a white lady who was anywhere from 37-53 years old with blonde hair. She had a single dread lock in the middle of her head like a leash to make it easier to potential pick her up for weird sex stuff because she def put off those vibes.
While I'm driving she kept saying how beautiful my hair is (it really is, thank you!) and asked what products I use. Of course I replied Tresemme and she said the following "why can't women have as nice as hair as mine?" (talking about me)
While I love the compliment and obviously have luscious locks, I think the easy answer would be that I have fantastic hair because I have never once attempted to ruin it with dreadlocks. The next white person to look good in dreads will be the first. I don't think this is a gender thing as much as it is a you ruined your hair thing. I also wash it 85% of the time I shower, never straighten it and haven't used a blow dryer in years if that helps.
Wrong! (but of course, I did not correct her)
I don't want to sound like a complete pussy who avoids confrontation at all costs because that simply isn't true. I LOVE telling people no they can't get in when they don't have a mask because I get to play God, but in this instance I just didn't feel like correcting a stranger.
Getting paid to listen to music and people watching is a dream. I've been on a mini The Smiths bender because I'm somewhat pretentious and was listening to "This Charming Man" when I picked up a woman who I'd guess was in her 40's from the beach.
When she got in my car I turned down the music briefly to confirm she was who she the right person and that her destination was correct. They were and she said "I like your music you don't have to turn it down, I love the Cure"
Speaking of Music; Part 1
I play what I want to hear. I will take customer input, but at the end of the day it's my car. For safety purposes lol I'm in charge. I usually play an album straight through or put on a playlist, but sometimes I'll just go full send and put in on shuffle. Are we going to get the Strokes or Lady Gaga? Maybe some Tom Papa? Playing "weird" shit to get a reaction out of people is my favorite part of this gig after making my own hours.
When I picked up these two 20 something chicks to bring them to the beach they already had on their masks like angels so I didn't have to drop my "MASK UP!" speech. A funny thing about ub life with masks is noticing people singing along to the music. I was rocking out to Taking Back Sunday like I have since 5th grade when Number 5 With a Bullet (deep track) came on. I was about to switch it when in my rear view I saw a mask moving and heard a timid "We're gonna die like this you know" in the backseat. Since I have a 4.90 driver rating, I knew this wasn't in reference to my driving, so I said "you can sing if you want" turned that shit up and belted out at this point "are you positive? ABSOLUTELY SUREEEEEE" with a stranger. It was beautiful, just like I'm sure she was under that mask.
Speaking of Music; Part 2 & 3
Like I said, straight through albums are the move so I'm not touching my phone as frequently. The Arctic Monkeys are one of my all-time favorite bands and their first two albums are two of my all-time favorite albums so I'll let you connect the dots......I play them a lot in the Pontiac!
The first story is not that big of a deal, but a textbook example of the perfect ubaa ride.
I picked up this couple from Hotel Viking and brought them to dinner at Castle Hill. That's about a 16 minute drive. During this ride I had the Monkey's second album Favourite Worst Nightmare playing. They said they loved them and this was one of their favorite albums, so I turned it up on my $5.55 blutooth speaker from 5 Below.
We listened from like "Teddy Picker", to "This House is a Circus" because I skip "Only Ones Who Know" about 60% of the time.
Not a single word was said until I dropped them off. It was lovely. No need to small talk when good tunes are on.
The NEXT day I get these same people, this time it's to the train station to bring them back to wherever they were visiting from (since it didn't come up). I get a message from the passenger OMW to get him saying he can't wait for more Arctic Monkey. So I played Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not in basically its entirety in silence apart from the occasional attempt at singing in a Sheffield accent.
The next AM story is not nearly as fun. I was OMW back to Prov from Newps and stopped in Cranston to bring some dude home. I was playing Favourite Worst Nightmare and the guy started talking about how he saw them with his dad in 2009 (jealous) back when he was alive (not jealous).
As someone who struggles with small talk this is where things got a little more large and I really didn't know what to say. What do you say in that situation? I don't know if this guy died in 2010 or last week. I just said sorry for loss and he talked about how he used to take him to shows of bands that he liked even if he didn't really like/know them just to be a good dad. At this point I have a small tear in my eye because I have an incredibly complex relationship with my old man and it triggered a lot of shit.
We just kept talking about music and how I have tried for years to learn an instrument. I bought a nice acoustic guitar in 2012 after my GF and I broke up to get my mind off her. Then we got back together later that year and the nut broke (off the guitar) so I've had a semi-broken $400 guitar in my closet/friend's basement the last 8 years. He told me to just get a $200 Yamaha and before I could be like nah, bro I'm poor the ride was over.
Speaking of Music; Part 4
Last weekend the second of six singles from Alanis Morissette's diamond international debut album Jagged Little Pill was already playing when I picked up four (sorry) drunk chicks to bring them out to some restaurant that I cannot remember because that information was not left on my notes app. What I can remember is how smashed these chicks were and that didn't stop them from belting out the lyrics to "Hand in Pocket". We've all sang drunk before. The accuracy of the lyrics goes down with each sip, but I gotta dip my metaphoric cap to these ladies. They fucking CRUSHED "Hand in Pocket" which is not easy to do dead sober.
Much like "Ironic" (the third single from Jagged) there are a LOT of moving parts that are not repeated. Didn't matter if it was giving a high five, playing a piano, or hailing a taxi cab (LOL FUCK TAXIS!!!) they got it right with 100% accuracy.
What's most notable about this ride is not the lyric accuracy that would make Wayne Brady proud, it's the next song.
Next on shuffle was "Roses" by Outkast; one of the most fun songs in the history of humanity. You simply cannot write a script like that to go from "Hand in Pocket" to "Roses". You just can't.
Sure, one of the girls saying how she hates the term "poo poo" kinda made some blood go back to the rest of my body, but I'm not letting that ruin this incredible version of carpool karaoke that puts that fat pussy James Corden to shame.
You really run into some funny mother fuckers while behind the wheel. I brought these two Tony Siragusa lookin bois about three miles, but between me up front and them in the back this car had easily 1,200 lbs of USDA man meat in a 14 year old car.
It took them a solid two minutes to get in and out of the car, I wish I had video footage of it. If you've ever heard the idiom "it's like trying to get 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag" (idk how often that situation occurs) them getting into my car was that personified. One dude straight up couldn't bend his knees and had to weeble-wobble his way in and out. They called themselves mayo jars and were so goT damn funny its a shame I don't have any other quotes.
They were so fat and ridiculous that I didn't even notice they weren't wearing masks. It was like Phil and Don Vito without the sexual assault (at least in my car). Normally, I've been on top of that these last few weeks but I was so worried about bottoming out that it just slipped my mind. Since it was a short ride and they had legitimate difficulty getting in and out of my car I let it slide. I asked them if they'd be okay with me taking a photo for my blog and I got a big fat no which is actually okay because now there isn't photographic evidence to proof they were mask-less. For all you know I could've just made all that up and totally didn't drop them off at Rusty's.
If you don't have a mask on as you're entering my car I will ask if you have one. 90% of the time they do and they throw it on. The other 10% of the time you'll get some douche who refuses or says they don't have one. Tough titties. You cannot get in.
One of said douche's was named Chad with two D's aka Chadd. It's like he was out of central casting for fuckboi douche. I wonder if he earned the second D or just has the worst parents? Of fucking course the dude who refused to wear a mask was named Chadd and you best believe I had a smile on my face (under my mask) when I denied him entry.
When you're driving with ubaaaa the fact of the matter is you're going to deal with a lot of drunken people being stupid and/or annoying. Being a substitute teacher I've got experience in drowning people out. When you throw in the mask effect it's not always crystal clear as to what's causing the issues. Some people may try to whisper fight to avoid me hearing, but obviously that just means I'm going to listen harder.
I picked up this, (at least at the time) couple and when they got in my car I could already tell things weren't going great. Not shortly there after since you can still see eyes I saw (and heard) the girl crying while the scumbag boyfriend who was not on par physically with her was huffin and puffin about her crying. I didn't get all the details, but it was involving him adding someone on facebook so you can tell they already trust each other and have a healthy thing going.
Just once I wish I could yell shut the fuck up. One day I will. #hiredozo.
Major Karen Energy
I don't love this internet "meme" because one of my favorite mothers on this planet is named Karen, but if you're familiar with the internet this bicccc had some serious Karen tendencies.
With ubaa you don't have a ton of control with what rides you get. You can deny rides, but that messes up your rates so it's best to accept as many as you can. Sometimes you may get a ride that is only two or three minutes in length but over 20 minutes away. It makes zero sense, but a lot about this app makes zero sense.
So this lady called me to ask to cancel her ubaa since I was like 15 minutes away and they were only going down the road. She didn't mention any deaths so I wasn't playing around. I have zero sympathy for you lady! I used my best serious adult voice to explain to her how ubaa works and that I'm not cancelling because it will mess up my cancellation rate and potentially strip me of my diamond status.
She kept saying she didn't want to have to pay the cancellation fee and that she was going to fight it. I told her I hope you do (sarcastically in my head), but I'm not cancelling. I have a job to do and if you want to cancel, you can cancel; otherwise I'll be there in 15 minutes. She cancelled, and did end up getting her cancellation fee returned, but it felt nice to be a man and put my foot down!
Brows on Fleek
As previously mentioned, I love compliments and have selective memory (hence why I'm low key repeating graphics). Sometimes I'll drive people multiple times and not remember who they are. It's nothing personal, but when you're doing over 100 rides in a week with the soul purpose of making as much money as possible you may forget some faces (ESPECIALLY IN MASKS!)
I had this couple that I drove (and forgot about) at some point during the last three weeks. Last weekend I picked them up again; this time with the girl's parents in the car.
Other than the fact that the mom and girlfriend complimented my eyebrows (suck it dad and boyfriend) nothing too noteworthy happened, but I figured I'd let you know they said I have fantastic eyebrows and that they recognized me specifically from them (only the girlfriend obvi in this situation).
I Picked Up a Covid Survivor!
That reads like a Youtuber making a big deal over nothing and that was intentional.
On Monday (I actually remember yay!) I picked up a couple in their 50's to bring them to dinner. During the ride we started having a conversation about Covid and how I'm handling it as an Ubaa driver. Then the gentlemen mentioned how both he and his wife are "in the health care field" so they have been dealing with C firsthand.
We spoke about the importance of masks and how scary all of this is because of the unknown and politicization of the big C.
After we opened up to each together since he kept calling me brilliant (he was American, not Australian so he actually thought I was brilliant) with my takes on how we should be handling the situation. He then disclosed to me that he had Covid in March or April (don't remember that part) but never felt super sick and only got tested because of his job. I was obviously a little scared. I know people who have had Covid, but haven't seen them yet. Here I was with a Covid guy in my backseat. It's like being around an AIDS patent in 1982, you really don't know wtf is going on. Am I at risk? There's so much hysteria and false information flying around.
He told he was fine now and my fear went away because worst case scenario I get it and die. Then I don't have to stress about staying alive/not being a failure to my dad/finding love.
My favorite part of our ride together was when he finally disclosed he's a male nurse (no judgment bro I'm a fucking ubaa driver/blogger) and slipped a 10 spot on my front seat without making direct contact with my body (which is not easy considering how large I am and how small my car is).
Fake KFC Radio
On Monday night I picked up three people on the Wharf and since the fellas were bigger folks they naturally had a sense of humor. One of them asked me if I wanted some raunchy jokes, but in a better way than that and of course I obliged.
He said he'd start slow and gave me a simple 1-10 scale. I said okay, four and was then asked if my mom and girlfriend swapped bodies and the only way to switch them back was to have sex with one of them who would I pick?
This is clearly a KFC radio question and since I worked in a restaurant for five years in college/post graduation I have answered every would you rather under the sun. From the tame to the stuff you really don't want your mom to read so mom can you please stop right now?
Others on the ride included would you rather:
"Have your dick shrink a millimeter every time you had sex or your ass hole expand a half inch every time you shit?"
"Have a shot of your dad's cum or a glass of your mom's period blood?"
and lastly the dreaded, worst would you rather of all time.
Of course I played along and had a great time. I then disclosed that I run a blog for the sole purpose of getting hired to write at Barstool and that this story will definitely make the cut. I even caught a new IG follower. Since I don't trust my mom to stop reading I am not going to get full gross here as I would like, but you have a brain and likely understand why some stuff is in bold. This is it for the third volume of the Uber Chronciles. I will be back on the roads once I finish editing this blog, so hopefully there will be a volume four in the near future.
So you may answer one way, but here's ya boi's logic. Mom I swear to God if you're still here...
I don't have a girlfriend, but if I did I am 1000% having sex with her body with my mom inside vs the other way around. You just go doggy or choke her and pray its quick (it almost always is).
Both drinks are fucking disgusting, but I'm going with the the smaller amount of vileness and the last time I checked a shot is less than a glass.
As for sex vs pooping I should've gone sex because I shit wayyyyyyyyy more than I get laid. Likely on a 3,00: 1 ratio over the course of my life. But I'd rather have a loose b-hole over eventually losing my wiener, but that's just me.
As for the last one, Dad is the only answer. Pretend it's prison, plus you're not looking face to face.