I thanked my driver for finding me. He actually drove past me three times in the parking lot before I could flag him down. He was very zippy. When I got in the car, he told me I could take off my mask if I wanted to, but I explained that I was too medically fragile because of all of my rare diseases. He said, well, in that case, I’m going to put on my mask. He proceeded to strap a woman’s red thong on his face. He told me how another rider called in to Uber to report him, so he sent a shot in to show that it complied with requirements. This entire time I’m doing an internal eye roll, but I’m keeping my poker face. He tells me that this passes muster with Uber, and that’s that. So for the entire ride, I get him in thong panties on his face. It’s not that I believe him on the reporting thing. It’s that it’s obviously going to continue this way.

I asked my driver how long he had been driving, and he said four months. I asked what he had done prior to driving, and he said he was a certified firearms instructor and COO of his company. He explained that in fact he still teaches. So he teaches non-weapons classes (control without using weapons), non-firearms classes (which can include batons and tasers), and firearms classes. My driver said he is one of only five people in the state who is certified for all of the possible certifications in the state to teach.

My driver also let me know that he set up a side driving business so that he has multiple cars in his “fleet” – one 14-person limo, a high-end SUV for the Uber/Lyft elite calls, and then four other regular Uber/Lyft cars like what he was driving. So six cars total in his group driving for him. I have heard of this before so I didn’t have any questions while we were talking about this, but basically everyone leases a car from him and then they make the money back.

I asked my driver if he was from another state (he didn’t strike me as a native). He said he had been in Arizona for 30 years, but was from Michigan originally. I told him that I had live on Mackinac Island for a while. He was very excited about that. Then he told me that he attended Interlochen, which made me perk up. I asked what his area was, and he said voice, and also piano. I told him that I was always frustrated at how the arts are taken for granted and pushed out. He repeated the sentiment. The really unique thing about this ride with him was that he wasn’t listening to music; he was listening to thundershowers and birds chirping. That has never happened in anyone else’s car. So I’m going to say that’s his artist’s side coming out, though he may have buried it a little because of these other things he’s been paying attention to. Firearms and the arts don’t usually make good bedfellows.

I brought up the building next to mine and that it’s an organization that is set up specifically for artists and making rent affordable for them, and it’s rooted in Minnesota. We spent the rest of the trip trying to remember which suburb in Minneapolis his wife was from (not the same as me). I figured it out, and when I told him it was a little snooty, he said his wife was a little bit of a princess and it makes complete sense. We had a good chuckle.

Freda With A Gun tote bag

Old Revolver Patent Apple Watch Band

Attempted Murder (Crows) Hoody