One of my craziest Uberlicious moments happened one afternoon when I picked up these young hood dudes with time to waste and treats to share! When I arrived they were sitting on the stoop with Pops who came down to cordially introduce himself. He apologized for his inability to join us on the ride, which, in hindsight, is hilarious considering the shenanigans that would unfold. The two homies, around age 21, got into my car with bags of Shake Shack orders they were taking around the way in the neighborhood to some young lady. As we rode, the one that requested the Uber was calling up girls promising them food and groceries, Chanel bags and Uber rides. When we got to his destination he announced that he was making this a roundtrip (meaning I should not end his ride just yet) before getting out to talk to a girl he’d just described as “thirsty.” His friend waited in the car eating his burger. When the guy was done smooth talking her and giving her the food, he got back in and continued eating Shake Shack with his boy. As we drove back towards their destination, he reached up to me. “Auntie, let me tell you about these thirsty chicks out here…” I looked back at him through my review mirror. “Are you talking to me????” chuckling that he’d decided that he was just gonna start calling me –his Uber driver– “Auntie” and tell me about these young chicks he’s dealing with. When I saw they were sipping on shakes in between stuffing fries into their mouths, I went into real Auntie mode. “Y’all bet’ not leave a mess back there in my backseat!!” I laughed, but was dead serious. “Don’t worry,” the more quieter, respectful, of the two said, “We aren’t making a mess.”
On the way back to where I had picked them up, the Uber requester gets my attention again. “Auntie, you mad cool! How much would it be to keep you as our driver for the day?” I smirked, “Check it out, nephew: If you want me to drive you two around all day, it’s gonna cost you $500… cash.” (Disclaimer: Given that Uber’s policy for drivers is that they aren’t supposed to take rides off the meter/outside of the app for cash, I didn’t expect him to make nor actually accept such an offer.) Neither was prepared to negotiate my rate. “$500….Cash?????” They back peddled on the offer. I laughed. “Yes, cash…. cause, in the words of DJ Quik, if don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense!”
The kid that had been doing the majority of the carrying on sat back. “Yo, where are you from?” I told him Los Angeles. They got hyped! “Ohhhhhh. Cali!” I threw up the “W” and they started rolling with laughter as we pulled back around to his apartment. “Auntie, I like you! You real chill and everything, can you take us a few more places… I’m trying to hang with you, I like your car! Call Uber and tell them you’re not available again ’til Nevauary!” That actually cracked me up but I wasn’t entirely for it. “Listen! I’m not driving you around all day unless it will be worth my while!” But I agreed to take them one more roundtrip since their original Uber ride hadn’t yet ended. Before we left, he ran back upstairs to get me some Blue Velvet cake to show his appreciation (because, apparently, he like to give girls food and Uber rides, but I’m the Uber driver). I accepted the cake and put it to the side as he got back in so we could leave. He goes, “You not gonna eat the cake??” I cut my eye back at him. “My name is NOT Anna Mae!!!” referring to the infamous scene between Ike and Tina Turner in What’s Love Got To Do With It. They thought that was hilarious. As we rolled through the neighborhood, he wasn’t calling girls anymore. By now, all of his attention was on me. “So, what are you doing later? You should come with me to the city to smoke hookah with my boys.” His invitation was entertaining for so many reasons, though I would hardly ever take him up on it. “I’ve lived in the Middle East where they got the real shisha,” I tell him. “I’m cool on the Manhattan hookah.” He’s like, “Daggg, you’re adventurous! What’chu doin’ later? You feel like driving to Florida???? I got a flight back to Miami! I can take your Uber and cancel my flight. Let’s get this Miami road trip poppin’!” As if, again, this is something that could actually occur, I tell him I’d really love to drive him to Miami, but I have plans. He responds, “You real fly, yo… you got a man??? Take my number, 1-800-Side-Nigga!” At that point I had to bust up laughing, more so at the audacity and ridiculousness of this entire trip. “When ya dude starts acting up, call me.” It was all in good humor, this young Uber passenger and his outrageous shenanigans.
I arrived at their destination around the way, waited as they talked to a few friends out front, and then brought them back to their original location again. By now, I had turned to the radio station I thought they’d want to listen to (I tend to stay on WBLS or 103.9) and this song I’d never heard of called “Uber Everywhere” came on. Young nephew got hyped again. “Ohhhhh, your theme song!” When I got home that night, I found the tune on YouTube and realized that this was in no way my theme! Pulling back up to their apartment building for a final time he offered me some banana pudding if I could wait to take them ONE MORE PLACE (while the meter was still running.) I laughed, “It’s TEMPTING! I do LOVE banana pudding! But I’m gonna have to stick with the Blue Velvet cake and end the trip here since it’s not economically viable to wait around for desserts!” Uber rides are more or less $.35 per minute while a trip is in progress. That means if a trip is, say, 10 minutes, it will cost the customer $3.50 in addition to the cost per mileage and base rate. These young dudes basically Uber’ed around Brooklyn for a good hour in my car, paying for the time (and my company)! I can’t make this stuff up. Most entertaining ride in a minute. It actually felt like an episode of Friday: Bed Stuy Homies!