Uber Tales (7)

Uber Pains

The unfortunate business of the spilt fish understandably left me slightly unnerved when it comes to the smells emanating from my person and car. An Uber driver does not want to be cited for appearance or personal hygiene, yet there it is. A permanent stain on my otherwise impeccable record, if you don’t mention ‘Professionalism’ (1 Report), ‘Navigation’ (1 Report), ‘Attitude’ (1 Report) ‘Altercation’ (1 Report). Can you even imagine my good, lamblike and diplomatic self to have a fucking altercation with one of my paying guests?

Like all human endeavours, even the most pleasant ones like casual sex with an old lover or Uber driving, have their downsides. There are some aspects that I find unpleasant. The major one I have is sore feet from brake and clutch use, but even that becomes minor in comparison to the sore point of the less than 5-Star rating (72 cunts). That hurts deeply and I can often be heard lamenting the cunts out there out loud. “You can’t, you cunt!” I wail in the solitude of my car that gets valet treatment at least once a week. Yet, the cleanliness issue was raised and I blame the fish.

The problem was that when I became aware of the fish issue, the proverbial horse had bolted, if you’d forgive the slightly mangled image of a fish on a horse. Something fishy was going on. I took my first call when it was still dark and the smell of fish only became apparent when my guest was already on board and the car heated up. I hoped that my long overcoat would keep most of the smell in and out of the nostrils of my guest who was sitting on the back seat. It didn’t, but it reminded me of farting on Parisian buses in winter and having the smell seep up pleasantly around my neck, blotting out the farts of others who no doubt did the same.

Beggars at every robot. Somehow that bugs me. The little curtsy, the little wave of the hand indicating a need to eat. Did they all go to the same finishing school? I mostly roll up my window to indicate my disinterest in their desires, but sometimes I take pity and engage: “There is one of you at every robot. During a normal day I stop at every robot. Do the math.” I lie of course. I hardly stop at any robot, but some do. I time them to catch them green.


The shoes that finally worked. (Pic Jacqui Fryer)

Speed bumps are on a par with beggars when we’re talking about things that mar my near perfect daily existence. It would appear that the Joburg city council stood first in the queue when Satan handed out speed bumps. Not only are they numerous, they come in variations that can make you hit the roof of your car if you don’t take care. Most of them are invisible too with their faded reflective paintwork in the cross-shadows of Joburg’s bare wintry trees.

Standardisation was not on the agenda when Joburg decided to distribute its vast booty of speed bumps. Some are big and nasty, some are small and nasty and some are just nasty. However, you also get some that are menacing looking that are quite user-friendly, but you won’t know until you have traversed them. “Holy fuck, fuckety, fuck, shit, cunt!” You don’t need even the faintest touch of Tourette’s to cry out in astonishment as you hit one of the nasty and invisible buggers at speed. ‘Inappropriate Remarks’ (1 Report) must’ve come from there. Maybe I should leave out the ‘holy’ next time. The religious types are very tetchy these days.

Neck and neck with the speed bumps are potholes and missing manhole covers to make one want to invoke Jesus, Allah and all manner of deities in the most inappropriate manner. It is as if Satan himself put them there to make an atheist monk invoke the names of said deities in vain, as do their adherents.

But back to my burning feet. I try most of the shoes at my disposal, including my worn and tatty slippers, but the issue remains an issue. The other day I drop someone off at the Mall of Africa and decide that enough is fucking enough. “I’m going to buy new shoes. System maintenance demands it,” I tell Myself, who bleats something about fruitless expenditure and cash flow management. I pick a pair of godawful gaudy lime green Slazenger sneakers from Game’s godawful gaudy range. The balls of my feet are aflame, it feels and I hasten back to the car to try on my new acquisition. I also need to have a crap, but my feet come first. I’m reminded, belatedly, of my friend Vince’s adage that at our age one shouldn’t trust a fart. I fart. I sigh. If there’s something I really hate, it’s driving ‘dead’ kilometres. Thinking of the unfortunate incident with the fish, I drive the 26 dead kilometres home for a shower.

I’ll tell you about the ‘Mistimed Trip’ (1 Report) and the death of my motherfuckin’ bitch, bitch, pussy Aux cable later.

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