Tag Archives: Bruno or Valentina

Let’s Talk About the Weather

If anyone ever asks me what the most frequent topic of conversation in my Uber is, I would have to say it’s the weather.

I know, boring conversation, right? (minus the Han Solo laser-blast here)

But think about it like this: you’re getting into a car with someone you have never met before. You hope they’re a good driver, don’t smell bad, but you don’t know anything else about them except what you read about them on the app. Since I don’t view the Uber app as a dating profile, I don’t have anything other than what Uber requires me to have (name, picture, from San Antonio, speaks English). I could add more but I don’t want any rider thinking they’re reading a dating profile.

Speaking of the weather, it is a safe topic of conversation as long as you don’t bring up global warming, which is not a political issue to me but to some morons out there it is. Problem is, morons like to argue that point and arguing with a moron is like pounding your head against a brick wall. So I stick to temperature, precipitation, and forecast. In the summer I also give out the spiel about wearing loose-fitting clothing and a hat along with staying hydrated, but that’s just good public service on my part.

A lot of passengers will ask me the following questions if they want to talk about more than the weather. Sadly, I have developed a set of pretty canned responses to them.

– How long have I been driving for Uber? About a year and a half now and it will be two years either in March or April (I can’t quite remember which month I signed on but hopefully Uber will give me something other than a congratulations and update to one of my badges).

– Do you like driving for Uber? I tell them yes because honestly I do. I tell them I like the flexibility and the fact that of all the bosses I’ve ever had, I like myself the best (okay, I do get in a little wise-cracking sarcasm but sadly that flies over most people’s heads).

– Are you from San Antonio? Yes, I am. I was born here though sometimes I fail to mention that I lived in Houston for eleven years (but we did come back to San Antonio a lot back then, too). But I’ve lived here in this city for thirty out of my forty-four years so I say that makes me a native.

Now sometimes I do get asked if I have kids or am married. I tell people I don’t have human children but two fur-kids that bark and meow instead (though I’m sure that may describe human children on occasion). I’m not sure now if I will reveal my marital status of single to a male passenger because I’m still trying to decide if I should use Bruno or Valentina as my imaginary spouse.

Now if I have tourists in the car and I’m downtown with them, I will play tour guide and that’s a lot of fun actually. Lately people have been complimenting the city on how clean the streets are. In fact, I had one gentleman tell me he actually saw someone on their knees cleaning a stain off the sidewalk. I didn’t ask what that stain might have been.

Gauging whether or not someone wants to talk in your Uber is something that drivers have to learn like navigating and driving at the same time. It takes practice and the ability to accept that some of your jokes will fall flatter than a turd hitting a hot sidewalk. Also, you have to be know when to be positive and upbeat because if not, someone could ding you for it. Yes, there is a pre-written comment a rider can use to show they didn’t think you were Mary Poppins-level of practically-perfect. That doesn’t bother me and it’s been a long time since I’ve gotten that ding.

I was recently asked by a rider how I got such a high rating. I replied that I just do my best to be a good driver and that my passengers were very kind and generous to me in their ratings. I really wanted to say it’s because I like living better than dying in a car crash, can be positive and upbeat even when I really want to be a sarcastic, irreverent wise-ass, and that if someone doesn’t want to talk I let the radio take over the silence.

I don’t mind having a conversations with someone and I’ve had lots of good ones over my 4200+ rides. I’ve come to realize I’m not as much of a lame dumb-ass as I used to think I was, too. I still lean towards shyness but I will say this, if I don’t make any attempt at conversation some wanna-be passive-aggressive wise-ass will ding me with a less-than-five-star rating.

And it’s not that I’m afraid of getting dinged for a low rating, but I’m still trying to raise my rating by another hundredth of a point. Sadly that hundredth of a point seems to be like an impossible quest for the Holy Grail minus the killer rabbits and knights who say ‘ni’.

Maybe I should talk about getting a shrubbery instead of the weather.

No Pity or Puke in My Car (Bruno or Valentina Instead)

(I am an Uber driver with a high rating, and sadly, a high tolerance for drunk or sober guys who won’t just sing along with the radio instead of pathetically trying to flirt with me. But at least they haven’t puked in my car, right? Read on to find out why puke may be better than dealing with their stupid drunken asses.)

So far, after over 4,200 rides no one has puked in my car. I’m forever grateful for that but last night I had two drunk guys (on two separate rides) pity-flirt with me by asking if I was single (and like a dumb-ass I gave them a straight answer they didn’t deserve) before they asked me for my phone number and if they could give me theirs in return (both requests which I politely declined). Their line of questioning was not intended to get to know me in some way or even be polite, but to just ascertain if I was single and available. I could smell the stench of desperation on them that had them flirting with an ugly old-lady of an Uber driver. (yes, that’s me).

But like a lot of women who want to stop unwanted flirting, I am tempted to invent a significant other to shut this kind of crap down in the future. I’m tempted to invent a husband named Bruno who is a former pro-wrestler turned former nightclub bouncer (but secretly a big cuddly guy who loves dogs and cats), or a wife named Valentina who is a former KGB agent who can kick someone’s ass like the Black Widow (and who looks like Scarlett Johannsen because I think she’s really hot).

But sadly, I didn’t come up with the idea of inventing the kick-ass spouse when dealing with these drunk assholes. Instead, I had the following train of thought go through my head that I will share with you here now:

One, why in the world would I give my phone number to a guy I’ve just met and conversed with in a way that was not flirting on my part?

Two, I am under no obligation to flirt and drive with a male passenger who thinks he’s God’s gift to women drunk or sober. I will silently refer them to the Goddess so her bitchy henchwoman Karma deal with his ass when he least expects it.

Three, I’m NOT flattered by this kind of attention. This is the kind of unwanted attention I’ve gotten from guys over the years that thankfully doesn’t happen very often. To them, I’m like the leftovers way back in the fridge that a guy thinks might still be edible even though I’ve been on the shelf for a long time.

I’m under no illusions that I’m a physically-attractive woman. I’m lopsided, overweight, and my hair is very short, short enough to where a car full of drunk people were wondering what my gender was (mercifully that was a very short ride). I’m almost beginning to think I’ll take puke on my floorboards over this kind of bullshit. At least puke wouldn’t talk like a dumb-ass to me and can be cleaned up.

I’m sure some good-intentioned person would tell me to be nicer but nice doesn’t get a woman jack-shit in this world. I know being mean will get her a pissed-off reaction but it’s not being mean if a woman is being honest and trying to tell people to fuck off without dropping an f-bomb on them. This is why I don’t like to Uber after midnight as it just becomes drunk patrol, and I can’t cart drunk assholes to jail like the cops can. Sadly, in one way I miss being on the phones because on the phone you could make rude gestures and silently mouth bad words about the asshole you were dealing with on the other end of the line. I haven’t figured out a way to do that yet behind the wheel.

But with this new year one thing is certain for me: I may keep my mouth shut in a real-life public capacity (and behind the wheel of my car) but with my writing I’m letting it fly and land where it does.

Oh, and please don’t tell me I’m not ugly and all that. Fact is, it would take surgery and five pounds of stainless steel in my back to straighten my spine so I don’t walk like a drunken version of John Wayne (or so I’ve been told). I’m losing weight only because for some reason I still haven’t been able to figure out my metabolism has kicked into gear. And I keep my hair short because I don’t want to fuss with it, and when it grows out it tangles up and becomes a grease-pit that can have me looking like a zombie-reject from ‘The Walking Dead’.

Also, I don’t put myself down or crack jokes about my looks to get attention or have pity heaped on me despite being told that. I put myself down and crack jokes because I can do it like no one else can, and because my looks don’t define me as a person. If I treated people like shit and hated animals then I’d deserve pity and unwanted shit-poor flirting. But I do my best to treat people well and I love animals more than people sometimes.

So if I don’t want a drunk guy flirting with me like I’m week-old leftovers, what kind of guy do I want?

Well, first I’d like a guy who my dog approves of because if my Darcy doesn’t like a guy he’s out before he even makes it to the batter’s box at home plate. Looks aren’t important except in my fantasy-life because a good heart and a kind soul will always shine through. A sense of humor and a love of wisecracks and bad jokes is essential because I’d hate to have to explain every single sarcastic quip to a guy. Hence, he can’t be dumber than a bag of rocks and drunk-flirt with female Uber drivers. If I find out he does that, I’ll tell Darcy so she’ll give him the cold doggy shoulder (and if he pisses her off I’ll let her growl and snarl at him enough to make his asshole pucker up tight).

Finally, please know I’m not giving up on myself either in terms of finding a guy my dog will like and I can have a conversation with that involves bad jokes and smart comebacks. Looks don’t factor into it but if he looks like a potential long-lost Hemsworth sibling, or the long-lost sibling of one of my other celebrity crushes… well, I won’t complain about that.

And as my father used to say, if you want ‘pity’ you can find it in the dictionary between ‘piss’ and ‘puke’. I don’t need any of those so I’ll just keep on driving along in my life (and hope I never break my no-puke-in-my-Uber streak).