Uber Tales, A Tale of Two Different Conversations, Edition:

A couple of days ago, I had two different conversations that were as different as topics discussed and how well they went.

First off was picking up a lady at the airport who started spouting that this pandemic wasn’t as bad as people said it was and that we were too afraid of this virus. I told her we weren’t afraid enough and over four-hundred thousand people are dead because of that. That shut her up fast on that topic and then she started talking about just taking vitamin-d and everything will be alright. I almost asked her if she was trying to sell me something but I didn’t. I think if I had pushed it she would have gone full-on Karen on me because she struck me as a Karen-type, pushy know-it-all.

Before 2020, conspiracy theories could be humorous and I wouldn’t really respond to them. But now they’re getting people killed and I can’t stay silent in the face of those deaths and all the families grieving. And if you don’t like this, too damn bad. That line about not being afraid enough probably cost me a measly tip but it was worth it to stand up to someone on principle.

Luckily, my day then took a turn for the better when I picked up a guy a couple of hours later for a cross-town run. He was friendly and early on he quoted a line from the movie ‘Bull Durham’, which I immediately recognized and we were off to the races. We quoted and talked about that movie for a while then he asked me if I’d seen one called ‘Long Gone’.

I went, ‘Oh heck ya!’ and we were off the races on that one. ‘Long Gone’ was made back in the mid-80’s for HBO and starred William Petersen and Virginia Madsen. It was about a minor-league baseball team in the early 1950’s in south Florida. William Petersen played the manager of the team and Virginia Madsen played this really hot and sassy beauty-queen he got together with. The movie has a ton of quotable lines like ‘Bull Durham’ though my favorite is from a scene where William Petersen’s character panics and asks her if she’s pregnant. To which she replies, “Unless there was a star in the East last night, no.”

My mother was fond of quoting that line at doctor’s offices and such because as a woman, you get asked if you’re pregnant or think you might be a lot anytime you go in for a workup or for surgery. When I went in for neck surgery, I was in the pre-op ward and I was tired and not quite thinking straight when I said that in reply to being asked if I was pregnant or thought I might be. I brought the house down and had every woman in that room laughing her ass off when I said that line. I then told them I wasn’t the original on that but it’s a good one to use, ladies.

I always say in almost four years of Uber driving the only thing that’s predictable is the unpredictability of the job. Yes, you will have conversations go in totally different directions just like your routes will. You’ll meet people who will make you laugh your ass off, and people who will make you want to ask them what they’re trying to sell you and what planet they live on. But yes, there is a possibility that you’ll get a day where you have to shut down conspiracy theories on one ride and quote old movies on another.

I’ll take the old movies, thank you very much.

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