Weekly Round Up and Uber Bits, Finally-Drying Out Edition

Yesterday was the first day in like two weeks that I didn’t drive in the rain. Driving in the rain is a pain in the ass for several reasons:

  • Drivers in San Antonio aren’t very good on dry pavement but on wet pavement they’re a hundred times worse. Either they drive a hundred miles an hour and flip their cars, or they drive twenty miles an hour (on the freeway!) and back traffic up for miles.
  • Drainage is not a priority in city infrastructure and never has been so puddles and low-water crossings are a given.
  • Grass will still be mowed even when it’s wet and muddy because people are stupid and don’t give a damn about allergy suffers like myself.

I told a guy yesterday as I took him home to cookie-cutter suburbia after he said he had to mow his grass that it could wait because his grass wasn’t going anywhere. Grass and other chores won’t run off if you won’t do them though God knows I wish they would just say: “Fuck it! I’m running away.” If that was the case I’d pack them a bag of snacks and send them on their way. And another thing, the movie ‘Cinderella’ set totally unrealistic expectations about what forest animals were capable of doing.

Speaking of Uber… sometimes I have to wonder why my passengers make the request of me to drop them in the back of the building. Sometimes I know it’s a back entrance for employees but when it’s not I have to wonder: are they trying to avoid their Lumbergh-like boss? Or trying to see if their girlfriend/boyfriend is there along with their side-piece? Or if the loan-shark they owe money to is waiting for them? Yes, I do think creatively about my passengers but I’m sure there is a story there sometimes, too.

As a writer, being an Uber is a pretty good job to have because I get to hear people talk all day long (though not every passenger talks). I talk with them, they talk with each other, or they talk on their phones to someone else. I’ve heard at least half a dozen languages spoken in my car and some of them I still don’t what language they were. I’ve heard banal conversations, dumb conversations, and some that are a bit awkward though nothing filthy and disgusting (no, that was just one time with my masturbator-dude). But hearing lots of different people talk is a good way to help write dialogue or get a feel for what’s going in the world beyond screaming news headlines and the dumb-ass brigade on social media.

Now I’m grateful to have satellite radio back in the car because although local radio can be entertaining, hearing the same old commercials over and over can start turning a brain into jell-o. Here the majority of radio commercials were for heating and air-conditioning outfits and personal-injury lawyers (Jim Adler, aka ‘The Texas Hammer’ was always quite entertaining). And local traffic was pretty much always the same, too with the idiot brigade crashing at the usual spots around town. And the music… corporate radio at its finest (though the disco played on KONO-FM here made some passengers happy though they were surprised to hear that in the first place- I didn’t tell them disco never died in San Antonio).

Another thing that contributes to my imagination and diverse character voices is motel-living. I’ve seen and heard a lot of interesting stuff living in these over the last few years. One time a group of young men set up a recording studio in the room next to mine and had to be told to keep it down more than once- talk about recording on a budget. I’ve heard screaming arguments that just made me want to just say, “Dump this asshole and get on with your life.” I think a guy did that after he and his lady moved out then he came back alone for a while. And yes, I’ve seen a body carted out of a room. And seen the cops come by a few times and people hauled off in the back of cop cars (and I saw this kind of stuff living in apartments, too so don’t give me any grief like my father would have over being ‘unsafe’.)

Another thing about living in motels and apartments is the stray cats you get to know. Every place has them and people are pretty good about taking care of them. But yesterday, the little female that had kittens a few weeks ago got into it with a dog that got off-leash and she died. My neighbors are taking in her kittens and maybe the dog got out accidently but still… My Darcy was traumatized by dogs charging off-leash at her and to this day she doesn’t like dogs that bark at her or are off-leash. And don’t even think about defending letting a dog go off-leash outside of an enclosed and secure space.

And tonight for the first time in a long, long time I’m planning to do a Saturday evening Uber run. Hopefully evening people are just as nice as they were before all this pandemic-shit started. I’m not staying out late but I want to see what it’s like after the sun goes down for a while. Hopefully I’ll hear some stories about various shenanigans people get into.

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