busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Saturday, August 16, 2014

    today is charles bukowski and madonnas birthdays, theyre 24 

    madonna

    last night i drove an 18 yr old kuwaiti kid from marina del rey to newport beach.

    hundred bucks.

    he sat in the front seat and told me about how in kuwait they’ll throw you in jail for life for having a beer

    if a girl dates a guy and they break up and dont get married then shes shunned forever

    that the worse thing you could do to you or your family is say youre an atheist.

    88 minute drive and the whole way was nonstop about the persian gulf, religion and politics as wiz kalifa bumped in the background.

    traffic was light, he had just been to six flags with his buddy, he wants to study engineering out here for college but it’s very hard he says for international students to get into a UC unless they have a 4.0 average.

    so, just like i did, he is going to take two years of junior college and transfer in that way.

    he says he loves LA, was not impressed by San Diego, was too young for Vegas, but thinks Dubai is the coolest place in the world.

    no offense sir, but their taxis are Bentleys.

    i dropped him off at a swanky hotel near fashion island and watched as cars unloaded with the most amazing young women in outfits i had not seen in hollywood.

    and i was, salaam alaikum, g

    and he was like alaikum salaam

  2. Friday, August 15, 2014

    Uber must include Tips in the App NOW 

    riders

    A while back when Uber started they incorporated something called “Tips Are Included”, which is cute and plausible back before the ridesharing company started slashing prices and raising their commissions.

    A year ago a ride from Hollywood to LAX in a taxi would typically cost about $70 and that same ride via Uber would cost about $50. The Uber ride would be in a cleaner car, a bottle of water would be available, charging devices would be there for your dying iPhone, and thanks to the Uber App after the ride was over the fare would be instantly deducted from the passengers’ credit card.

    Thus the ride to the airport was cheaper and “better” via Uber and the company could say the tip was included.

    A year later that same ride cost a mere $30 with Uber and in a few weeks it will cost even less. The company claims the price cuts will encourage more passengers to use the service which will give the drivers more rides and thus make everyone more money. But the truth is a driver can only make so many trips in an hour – and will more than likely make less money during those hours than they would have a year ago, even if there are more passengers.

    Why? Because It still takes time to get to the passenger and time waiting for them to get to the car and then time for the ride to be completed. Meanwhile Uber is smiling like a pig in [mud] because they are making the same (or more) commission than they did on each ride a year ago, they are now charging the drivers for use of the phone used to connect them to passengers, and other nickels and dimes end up in their pockets and not in the drivers.

    The tips are included. But they are all tips going to Uber, not the drivers.

    Now that the typical ride from Hollywood to LAX is considerably less, it’s time to stop pretending that the driver has this magical tip baked into the fare, because they don’t. Plus, by definition a tip is something the customer determines AFTER the service has been rendered. The cashless Uber model is ideal, and thus should be implemented into the Uber App so that if a passenger experiences a pleasant, clean, fast, enjoyable $27 ride from Hollywood to LAX during rush hour traffic and wants to flow their driver $5 they should be able to do it with a click of a button.

    But Uber has not allowed this.

    One can only imagine it is because there is no immediate business incentive for them to do it.

    But that is short sided. For if they can advertise that they have the lowest rates AND if they can attract and retain educated, intelligent, drivers BECAUSE at the end of the day the drivers are being rewarded financially, then the fleet of Uber drivers will maintain the level of quality it now sees.

    Once the profit motive leaves the driver ranks and the only people who can afford to drive relatively new cars around cities are those willing to work for close to minimum wage, the quality will drop and Uber will have shot themselves in the foot with greed.

    Now is the time to implement tipping while the quality of drivers is still here and the prices are substantially lower than taxis: who also get tipped.

  3. Sunday, August 10, 2014

    do you have any questions for me? 

    biggiepicked up a smoking hot black woman about three blocks from skid row tonight.

    i was summoned by someone claiming to be his brother. but i have a feeling she was a high class hooker and she was done for the night and part of her deal was they have to call an uber to drive her home.

    she was a little sad. emotionally. as we drove she asked me a lot of questions and finally she said, do you have any question for me?

    are you a man? are you a hooker? do you find the back of my head sexy? will the cubs really win it all in just two years after the rest of the kids develop in the minors? what the hell happened to obama? should i see boyhood or galaxy of the guardians tomorrow? will i ever be loved for my heart instead of all the time my abs and quads? will bey and jigga settle their problems? unemployments down the stock markets up gas prices are dropping: what does a president have to do to get a little credit?

    but all i asked was what she did for a living. i do makeup for a high end brand.

    she asked me what my wildest ride was. i didnt have a good answer.

    she asked me if i had kids. i said i have the best kids: a niece and a nephew who i dont have to take to band practice in the morning.

    she told me it was her birthday. she told me that not all women dress for women, some dress for men. she told me she only had one drink all night. she asked if i like to party. i said ive had my share of that, which is why i drive on weekends.

    we drove through hollywood and we talked about prince while listening to biggie, nicki, and then 2pac.

    you like prince she asked like a phone sex worker would say to keep the conversation going.

    of course i like prince? even racists love prince. thats like saying do you like the perfect weather we’ve been having these last 46 months.

    so i told her i like prince so much i named the two kittens prince and michael.

    as we got closer to her apartment she didnt really know where it was.

    exsqueeze me?

    suddenly i had questions but she said, “you have made this ride so nice. thank you tony.”

    and i looked back and somehow she was even prettier.

    even if i didnt know i shoulda just said, i know what youre doing and i just wanna tell you it’s gonna be ok.

  4. Thursday, August 7, 2014

    ubering is like fishing except you dont come home stinky 

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    hadnt ubered since friday night and i missed it. picked up a lady from a fancy house that i swore id picked someone up at before, but it wasnt this lady.

    at first i thought, maybe the man of the house is cheating on his wife and the first one i picked up was his mistress and this was the wife?

    this woman was demanding but in a fun way. “you’ll have to turn that off,” she said mentioning the katy perry music i had put on before i arrived. “i have a book on tape i’d like to hear if you can be quiet.”

    typically i might be offended by that sort of request but for some reason when im ubering i’m 1,000% the customer is always right. so not only did i turn off the teen dream but i handed the woman my aux jack cord so she could hear the book through the car speakers.

    “god i love uber,” she said. then rattled off all the reasons she is a fan.

    the only thing she wasnt crazy about was the surge prices which i said, well if you can just wait a few minutes when theyre happening they usually go away.

    in no time we were at her destination and she never ended up playing her book.

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    got beeped to go to a nice hotel in weho, picked up a gentleman and the first thing i asked was what sort of music should we listen to? he saw katy perry’s name on the screen and said, “got anything else?”

    i flipped through the Sirius stereo dial and said, how about some classic rock? Fairport Convention popped up and i didn’t think he would be interested and instead he was all, sure!

    i said, wow, most people don’t appreciate Richard Thompson.

    we start talking and of course the passenger is a famous canadian music radio host so the conversation moves over to Matthew Good, naturally. and i miss the turn to his stop, so i turn off the meter, sorry metre, drive around the block and ask to take his picture.

    reluctantly he gives me the thumbs up and i think to myself, it’s not gonna get any better than that tonight.

    and yep, it didnt.

  5. Thursday, July 24, 2014

    because Obama is in town some of the roads are blocked 

    dolores del rio

    the whiners whine about it which is boring and predictable but the rest of us use Waze and manage just fine.

    it was hot yesterday and will get hotter today because it’s the summer, the season we’ve waited for

    and the whiners whine about it which is boring and unpredictable because omg its summer whattya want

    which is to say fewer uber drivers were out there yesterday because who wants to be out there in the heat

    and the traffic and the road closures and etc: the answer is i do.

    because when there are fewer drivers there are more chances that you’ll get beeped

    as soon as you drop off your passenger, which is the goal of five star customer service.

    for some reason i agreed to something impossible yesterday at my real job because

    at the root of five star customer service is this phrase: yes. of course.

    i may need to renegotiate later today but i would like to see how close i can get to the crazy goal.

    why? because we who are Cubs fans appreciate it when someone says, yes we can do this.

    even if all signs point to: are you crazy fool?

    accidentally called these beautiful Dominican girls Black yesterday.

    they were all, you hear us speaking Spanish don’t you!

  6. Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    every now and then a beautiful young lady with enormous fake 

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    will come into my uber, sit in the front seat and either take pictures the whole time

    or touch up some intricate and fascinating make up design while yapping it up with me.

    today her name was melody and she was a welcome relief because the previous passengers

    well, they werent my cup of tea lets say

    melody somehow picked up on that while she worked the pencil

    i bet you get a lot of jerks in here, huh?

    we were at a stop light. i said, all of my passengers

    are the most wonderful gentlemen and ladies

    and then turned to her when she laughed.

    you could probably write a book, she said, focusing into the compact mirror.

    i could but one should probably just work super hard to be great at their job.

    well youre doing that, arent you?

    part of the job is getting people where they wanna go, true, but part is doing it in a safe environment

    she was all, yeah, i guess so.

    and i said, i mean this isnt the nsa or nothin

  7. Sunday, July 20, 2014

    one reason driving around the city all night is addictive 

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    is because if youre doing it right, you learn every night.

    the biggest lesson i learned last night was patience young jedi.

    patience.

    at my real job we recently had reviews which made me think about

    what are my weaknesses there.

    so that made me think about my shortcomings on the road.

    and the most obvious one is chilling while waiting for the ride to start.

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    maybe people dont know that we’re going crazy inside when we rush

    to pick them up on a busy street or at their home

    and it drives some of us a little koo koo when they see us, wave

    and dilly dally on their way to the car.

    or worse, never appear until you call them

    and they act like youve interrupted something in their lives.

    this week i had one party who called me from the In N Out line

    and another from a big raging party.

    i was so mad waiting and waiting. i thought, why wouldnt you call me later?

    but when they finally got in the car, they were so wonderful.

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    the very last ride, though, tested my newfound enlightenment

    it was past 2am and the dude wanted to go home but first get drive thru.

    often at that hour the lines are loooooong

    and if i have patience problems waiting to get a ride going

    i have 99 problems waiting to get food from minimum wage workers who dgaf.

    but things lucked out and it was mellow but as we were halfway there

    he squeezed the drink too hard between his knees and it spilled

    all over my back seat, the same one i had just gotten detailed.

    in my head i was all, you cant blame him, hes drunk and you coulda said no.

    and he goes, wow, almost all of it spilled on your black floor mats.

    thank you Jesus.

    new rule: no open food after 1am.

    i did 15 rides on friday and 16 on saturday.

    everyone gave me 5 stars. everyone.

  8. Saturday, July 19, 2014

    a hot girl approached my car holding a soft serve ice cream cone 

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    she said can i eat my ice cream in the car?

    and thats how the day started.

    picked up a swedish second grade teacher on summer vacation with the prettiest eyes

    i was all, ive been to sweden. she was all, where? i said, in perfect swedish, Jönköping.

    she was like I’M FROM Jönköping!

    i said then you get a free half bottle of water.

    like new.

    we drove to the airport and i took her luggage out of the trunk and said Hej då! (which is adios in swedish) and her eyes got super big cuz apparently no one knows how to say caio in her tongue out here.

    she said the people of LA were super cool to her and i was all duh

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    picked up these sweet kids from a baptist church in santa monica. they had just eaten pizza and played pinball.

    on a friday night.

    i told them they were going straight to heaven.

    drove them to their aunt’s apartment near the 3rd street promenade.

    on the way i said, oh i shouldnt be playing this Eminem, how about some gospel?

    ive got elvis, hank sr., mahalia jackson

    the guy up front was all no no no, i hear gospel from the time my aunt wakes up till i go to sleep

    PUT BACK THE RAP.

    i laughed and said, see you in hell, piasan

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    got beeped in downtown from three young people over at the angel city brewery.

    they said it was so crowded in there that they never got a beer.

    i was like werent able to get drunk in a brewery? sad trombone! let me turn off this bob dylan.

    they were all oh no dylan is awesome.

    turned out they were Disney Imagineers. they make the theme parks cool.

    i told them as much as i love disneyland, ive never been to california adventure.

    and one of them told me id like it and i should try some of the adult drinks they serve there.

    i was all, lemme tell you about my buddy todd. and boy did i tell them some things.

    namely about the one time i was setting him up with a smokin hot babe but he had tickets to the disney convention

    and he told me, sorry tony the girl of my dreams does not know you, and she will be at this convention.

    they laughed silently but covered their mouths when they did it.

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    then there was this one.

    we had to go from santa monica to downtown LA.

    waitress actress and occasional lyft driver so she sat up front with me.

    it’s amazing how quickly you can cut through the bs with some people and immediately start having

    super not safe for work, detailed, funny, TMI conversations.

    none of which i can reveal here because i just screwed up and showed you her picture.

    her boyfriend ordered her the uber and i was near the beach and after a while i called him

    and said, does she know what my license plate is?

    he said, no. i said, does she know what my car looks like? he said no.

    i said, theres about ten cars out here, is she like me, psychic and can see into the future?

    he said Whaaaa? (it was loud where he was).

    i said, tell her my plate number is XBI666

    he was all SBI what?

    and then she just magically ran across the street waving at me and i was amazed.

  9. Friday, July 18, 2014

    I love my passengers 

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    But damn are they stoned when it’s time to get to my car.

    They will literally see me and keep talking with their friends like this whole thing is something to savor, or milk.

    No, when I arrive it’s time to come to me. It is time to start the trip.

    Right now some girl is at her trunk doing god knows what. I’ve been here 5 minutes. Maybe 6.

    Another pair called me when they were in line at the in n out. Of course I got there faster than they got their burger. I’m a pro. We are all pros.

    There should be a law.

  10. Tuesday, July 15, 2014

    a bit muggy in LA yesterday so i wanted to change after work 

    flag at the los feliz post office

    i have this theory about LACMA on the miracle mile: people around there loooove using uber.

    i have another theory about that area: because it’s central, you never know where people are going to ask you to take them.

    people on the wessside are in their beach bubble. same for those in weho.

    lots of drivers dont like going to DTLA because many of the rides are to other parts of DTLA.

    but right around Park La Brea the rides can shoot off into any part of town. which i love.

    got out of work, parked by the LACMA park, made sure i had water for the passengers, wrote down my mileage in my little book, replied to a personal email and boom got pinged.

    the rider ended up being a stand up comedian from Australia. from Brisbane.

    i was all, my favorite aussie band (other than AC/DC) is from Brisbane. ever hear of The Grates, i ask him?

    i’d say only about 1/3 of the aussies i talk to have heard of them, they’re a small band but they had some hits.

    because life is beautiful he had heard of them, he had done stand up at their Tea Room

    and best of all he wanted to go to a club about a mile from my house.

    so basically i was driving home with a good guy and getting paid $18 for the privilege.

    no ones getting rich being an uber driver, and it’s not making anyone quit their day job

    but that weird hippie dream of “one less car” is a possibility especially when i was hoping to go that way anyway.

    we listened to AC/DC and talked about Aussie Rules Football, a sport he played a few years back.

    he told me the NFL likes to recruit punters from Australia who have played Aussie Rules.

    got home, changed, ate a little, texted a pretty girl who texted me right back.

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    drove over to universal amphitheater and saw there was already an uber at the turnaround

    so i camped out by the hotels and continued texting her.

    ive never been bad at phone conversations but thank you al gore for texting.

    she sent me some pictures and said some things and whats this a beep.

    a gentleman from down the hill at the metro station was requesting a ride.

    we went to burbank. he works at a a high end department store, in the mens section.

    i said, i dont dont wanna buy a blazer, but im 187 years old, i probably need one at my age.

    he said yep, we have blazers startin at $550 going up to $5,000.

    i said, maybe i dont need a blazer. he said, you can get one at H&M for $99

    then get some good shoes, a white dress shirt, and some clean jeans and youre set.

    then i got a big guy who said today was his Sunday.

    i said you must love football season then because Sundays are your Saturdays.

    he said, well, i try to lay low and spend as little money as possible.

    which was a little confusing because why wasnt he taking the bus then?

    dropped him off near the 5 and didnt feel like driving any more.

    went home, met the new neighbors, swimsuit models, passed out with all the lights on.