1. Sunday, May 27, 2018

    had lunch with a passenger 

    started out as it usually does, i picked her up at her hotel in beverly hills, she said she needed to go to a specialty curtain boutique.

    the hotel valet guy loaded some luggage into her trunk. but we were going the opposite direction of the airport.

    whatever. im not there to pry.

    but who are we kidding, im tony pierce. all i do is pry.

    she was a nice white lady in her 60s with a big coat on and a big purse. not at all snooty or snotty like youd think a lady coming out of a 90210 hotel would be. which is one of the nice things about life: the little surprises.

    before we made it a mile she was talking about weed and howard stern and i knew we were going to be friends.

    turns out she has several homes. a summer home in the Big Sky country, one in Palm Desert and condos here and there.

    not only had she done well but her husband and his family came from wealth – but you wouldnt know it from her clothes

    her attitude or her likes and dislikes.

    she seemed very much a mature hippie who was grounded enough to have sifted out the baloney

    and smart enough to appreciate the things that matters.

    in her case it was honesty, joy, good relationships, and quality.

    so when we made it near the Pacific Design Center she said, i will be going to the airport in an hour or so, i would love for you to be my driver. how do we arrange that?

    i said, i would like that too, but i can’t make any guarantees that i will be around here in an hour, my next ride might take me to orange county for all i know, but here’s my card. call me when you are ready to rock.

    i circled back to the academy because i needed to pee. and when i was reading the uber facebook groups someone mentioned that there was no surge on Uber X, and wasnt that odd because this was Memorial Day Friday and typically the surge would be 2.0-2.5x

    then someone asked is it a glitch?

    so i switched the app from Select (the luxury rides) to X (the typical rides) and holy guacamole it was surging at 3.6x. sometimes when a glitch happens it bumps all the drivers off the platform for a moment but then the uber computers see passengers hailing cars but no cars so the surge jumps up — and quickly — and any driver who can get online will get a ride at more than triple the fare.

    so i promptly pulled up my pants and ran to the garage and while i did i got a ping nearby at the glorious 3.6x rate.

    because i knew i had this nice woman probably calling me, i didn’t care when the new ride was going to be not the longest. who doesn’t want to make an extra $10 on a little jaunt?

    that guy was cool. his face seemed odd like maybe he was a burn victim. and i did pick him up near a bunch of doctors offices. and along the way he asked if we could stop by a gas station for ice and i was all, only if you invite me to the bbq. and he said, bring the whiskey and your on. we laughed. i got him to the spot. he got the ice. we got to his pad and as i was driving back toward WeHo she called me.

    i’ll be there in 10 minutes i told her and i was. but along the way i saw he had tipped me $5, meaning i made $16 on that little break, and i got to take a leak. thanks God!

    picked her up and she was all, make sure you take La Cienega. i said i will go any way you want, this is your dime. and we talked about her Tesla and how she saw the Beyonce show at Coachella because a friend of hers does the art there and had some extra Artist passes and we talked about how she has been married since she was 20 and theyre still together and we just had the best time.

    as we approached LAX she asked, so what will you do now? i said, i will probably go to In n Out then cruise down the 1 towards Santa Monica and see if i get lucky.

    she said, In n Out? my plane doesn’t take off until 90 minutes from now. Care if I join you? and i said ahahaha not at all!

    so we went to the drive thru and she gave me $20 and hopped out to go to the bathroom and she hopped back in and we got our food and i thought she wanted to take it on the plane. but she said, you can pull over here.

    and she tucked a napkin into her shirt like charlie chaplin would do and we ate in the car watching planes take off and land.

    and i gave her back her $20 and said you have been such a delight, please allow me to pay for the burgers.

    and she said you are SO GOOD I MUST PUT YOUR NUMBER IN MY PHONE.

    and when i looked at the app, she snuck a great tip in there.

    and thats how i started my memorial day weekend.