I thanked my driver for finding me. I immediately recognized the smell of weed (which is legal in AZ as a recreational substance now) and Pink Floyd was playing. We were going into the thick of rush hour traffic, so both seemed appropriate.

My driver and I talked about the genres of music we didn’t care for. I explained my distaste for contemporary country and hardcore rap where everyone says their own name because that’s the only way to know who is performing a piece – they all sound the same. We talked about country rap – aka CRAP. We talked about misogyny in music. My driver said that he thought that the treatment of women used to be a lot more fun? Subtle? Less in your face? I didn’t agree really, but didn’t want to get into a downward spiral. All I can think of is Motley Crue and Poison and Van Halen, and their behavior wasn’t an ode to women, that’s for sure. I don’t want to give the impression that my driver was harsh or clueless in any way. My feeling was that he was pretty easygoing and generally decent. After testing him a little, I would say that he would be safe around women.

My driver said he had a funny story for me. He said he got a ride, so he arrived at the pickup. His fare, a young woman, came out and asked if he could wait about 5 minutes. He said okay because he could wait that amount, no problem, it’s basically how Uber is set up anyway. She wanted to change her clothes. He couldn’t help but notice that she had on a pretty skimpy outfit, so he figured she was going to change into something less bold. As she was changing, a man approached him and kind of draped himself in the window. He asked my driver where she was going. Then the young woman came out and stood in her doorway, watching the exchange. The man said nah, she don’t need to go there. My driver understood that the man was her pimp, so he offered to cancel the ride. The man said yeah, good idea. Then he gave my driver $25. My driver immediately took off. He wasn’t going to stick around for the rest. Now, my driver wasn’t especially animated when he told the story, and I wasn’t hanging on every word. I think he realized that I saw it as tragic rather than funny. I think it’s also one of those things that you don’t believe it’s happening until after it happens and you mentally do a sort of review.

My driver and switched to talking about what it’s like to drive nights and weekends. He gets a lot of drunk people. There have only been two who have full on thrown up in his car. One was a petite young woman who had the hiccups and was traveling with her friend. He knew the hiccups were a bad sign, but her friend insisted she was good to go. And by good to go, she meant that her friend was really good at projectile vomiting. Another one hit mostly the door, luckily nothing went into the window track.

I wished my driver a good night. As is the case with a lot of drivers, he was going to be making a hard push in order to make a big bill payment on time by midnight. This is what the draw is for Uber. The money is nearly instantaneous.