Out and About (from behind the wheel of an Uber)

Ever since the great San Antonio Snowpocalypse of 2021, people have been getting out and about here. Every week since the great Winter Storm, business has been booming for me and my fellow Uber drivers. It’s nice to see people out and about even though they still drive like the biggest dumb-ass assholes like they always have and always will. I’m going to try and take advantage of this busy time and scrape up as much money off the streets of San Antonio as I can because in four years of being an Uber driver, there’s always a bust after a boom.

Now why are people out and about more than ever?

My pet theory is the great Storm made people finally snap and want to run out of their houses and apartments screaming like crazy. A year of working from home, social distancing, and having the best excuse to avoid socializing with jerks finally wore out for so many. So when people snap here they seem to do two things: run out and buy all the stuff that you don’t use to wipe your butt with, and go get a shot and have a twenty-four hangover afterword without the booze and puke.

I also think the change in occupancy at the White House and Congress, and the rapidly-increasing availability of the miracle shots has a lot to do with it, too. Also, sending out a lot of money to people so they can spend it and have businesses hiring again and so damn desperate to hire that wages are going up gets people out and about, too. Because let’s face it, tax cuts for the wealthy and inept handling of a pandemic didn’t bring people out in droves unless they were in Florida and had already fried their brains on sunshine, booze, and other chemical substances.

But the good thing here is people are still wearing masks a lot. I think mask-wearing is something I won’t let go of any time soon because I like the ability to mutter nasty comments about dumb-asses and assholes they can’t hear. It feels good to vent on these bozos yet be kind and hold back my aerosol droplets that may or may not contain covid-cooties.

A year ago, the streets and highways of San Antonio were almost empty. Parking lots were empty except for H-E-B, Wal-Mart, and all the home improvement stores. But in the neighborhoods I drove through in the afternoons, I did like seeing families walking and biking. I hope that continues because it’s good to get outside and soak up the sunshine and exercise, too. Hopefully people won’t get back on the nutso rat-race of go-go-go all the time but I don’t think that’ll happen. It’s such an act of defiance to live a life that isn’t an endless rat-race because peer pressure is still such a bitch.

Dear people who still think you have to give in to peer pressure like you did back in high school: You don’t have to like you didn’t have to back then.

But I do think there is a change happening. When I first started talking about creating a house on wheels and living on the road, people’s replies to me were like hearing I was the neighborhood crack-head. Now people reply to me with a ‘heck ya’ and that they’re seriously considering it, too. Because although we’ve had a change in administration at the federal level, the state levels are still full of opportunistic dumb-asses with Texas and Florida trying to one-up each other every five minutes. And too damn many people won’t get a shot to save their lives and other people, too. And too damn many people can’t think their way out of a toilet bowl and believe conspiracy-theories and racist right-wing propaganda either. So I don’t think we’re out of the woods just yet. I think there’s a good-size light at the end of the tunnel we’ve been slogging through these past four and a half years but I still have enough cynicism to believe the light might be on an oncoming train, too.

I like seeing people out and about, though and even the dumb-asses on the roads and highways because it means people are still both smart and dumb. I don’t think it’s so much the Universe likes balance but the Universe tells us that because of free will, people have the ability to choose either to do the right thing, or try to see who can be the biggest dumb-ass. There will always be dumb-asses but as my father used to say, don’t let them ruin things for you.