With age, comes wisdom and I’ve learned to accept I’m a Plant serial killer. I started thinking this might be true when I tried taking up bonsai as a hobby a decade ago.
First trip to Lowe’s. Prepare soil, drainage, plant, trim dead. second trip to Lowes. Prepare soil, drainage, plant, trim…dead. Third trip to Lowe’s- ok- maybe inside plants have to be inside and outside outside. Fourth trip to Lowes. Prepare soil, drainage, plant, trim …dead. Maybe it’s Lowes. “Cheap as plants”. Fourth trip to high priced nursery. Prepare soil, drainage, plant, trim…DEAD. Fifth trip to Lowes. Oh WOW, they SELL Bonsai. Maybe I’m a Bonsai idiot. Maybe I’ve done everything wrong. Buy two Bonsai. Take home.
DOESN’T seem like much time has passed and my two bonsai are looking like the abused cats and dogs from the Humane Society commercial and I hear Sara McLachlan playing in the background. Here’s my plants….Arms of an Angel. Dead
Sixth trip to Lowes. I’m looking at plants. Ready to pick one. I see a single tear ready to drop from a leaf. OMG. I’m a plant serial killer. I run from store.
I’m scared. Confused. House plants my friend has planted are immortal. Granted, she has an innate understanding of micro climates down to the half foot and is a witch but nonetheless – alive. Maybe it’s bonsai. Houseplants. Outdoor container plants. That’s the ticket
Seventh trip. Dead. Eight trip. Dead. I’ve got two Hostas by the front door that have come back for five years. Thank you Vishnu. Ninth trip dead. I don’t even plant them in the pots anymore, I just stick the store bought plant and it’s container in the ceramic pot, it makes burial easier. The equivalent of Plant cremation
Now I feel sad for the plants. I fight the urge to hunt new plant victims. But, every few months I need HVAC filters and have to fo to….Lowes. There I was, in that sea of blooming plants in baskets, yearning to dress up my front door, my backyard deck. I picked out this beautiful mandevilla running up a stake. Red flowers. As I hoisted it into my cart, I sensed it trembling in fear. A leaf jumped off the plant and over the side preferring suicide to its ultimate fate and suffering. And I got a variegated leaf thing cause I kept two alive for a summer awhile back.
I’m learning how to arrange silk flowers. The other plants in the neighborhood are giving me side eye
(If you’re new, Yes, this is the 5th in a series, but they all have different titles and there are two “Part Ii’s”. If you like puzzles, you’re off! If not Best clue- Part one is on August 11 2020)
My Registered Dietitian, or my Food Parole Officer, or FPO, said, How about try a smoothie – simple – frozen berries, banana, soy”. “Sounds great, I say, can you send me a recipe?”. “Sure, she says, turn on the microphone on your phone in your note taking app and I’ll dictate it.” Here’s what I got…. “OK you’re on one cup OK it’s got one cup berries berries cherries or blueberries cherries or blackberries and one frozen banana one cup one cup of soy milk she said it did it and then she erased it what else 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed. One tbls chia seed”.
Uh huh. Two suggestions when trying this dictation method. Both of you cannot talk at the same time. The microphone prints at a substantial delay from what it hears. Like you responding to your significant other.
“You should have a cooking show!”, she says. Yes! “Cooking with Guido!”, I shout. Imagine a cross between Tony Soprano and Joey from friends introducing you to Plant Based cooking. “Aaaaaaaaaaa (That’s a long “a” as in “Hey”, drawn out in a guttural tone. How youse doin. Tuhday, we makin like a Chinese stir fry. With veg only. Good fiber. And so now, I probably oughta mentions that this fixin your microbiome thing generates a lot of gas. I mean ALOT of gas. Like, Did your elderly Mom or Nona, when they would get up from the recliner, to go to the kitchen for some finnochio (fennel) have gas that sounded like a small hp Mercury motor boat motor that needed new spark plugs but kept chugging till they reached the fridge? Yeah, my mom did that. So, that kind of gas. Anyway, don’t go to church the first two weeks you eat plant based. Or sit near the organ where it’s really noisy. Oh yeah, so veg stir fry….” (More from Guidos cooking show in future blogs
Two weeks later the education chair from a professional association im in says “you should do a zoom cooking class.” “You have no idea,” I think.
FPO helped me create a new food rule. Unknowingly. Last week, I asked which would be better- a steak, braised beef ribs in the crockpot, or a crockpot pot roast. With a look of alarm like I just lit one of her pants leg on fire, she said, “Don’t grill- charring very bad! Charred fat very carcinogenic!!!!! So one of other two. Just as a condiment. And two cups greens or veg with that!”. (When I suggest food choices that are upsetting she talks to me like a three year old toddler. Which, considering some of my food choices, is probably appropriate.
Nutritional yeast. Every time I say the word cheese, she looks left, looks up, then says I should substitute either avocado, if the cheese is a mouth feel thing in the recipe, or nutritional yeast if it’s a cheese flavor thing. I found it in the store. I even reached for it. Doesn’t it sound like something you’d go to the pharmacy and ask the pharmacist, “Hey, I’ve got nutritional yeast. Do you have something over the counter I could try or do I need a scrip?” It took 7 months but I finally bought a container. It comes in a Parmesan cheese kind of container. Also scary. Anyway, tasted good. Who knew. Def needs a better name then I saw on TV they brew beer with it. Gotcha
Today I said I was craving a hot dog, so I took one out of the freezer, microwaved it, cut in in half and stuffed it in a half of a flax oat bran and whole wheat mini pita with relish, mustard and nutritional yeast. This time we skipped looking left. Or right. And went straight to, “I think she’s going to vomit”. “Do I need to buy you one of those cute emesis trays they give you in the hospital do when you talk to me, you can actually turn around and retch a bit”
“pitas?”, she said. Let me see the ingredients. Ok. I’ll read them to you
These FPO’s are crafty persuaders. Crafty I say.
Mmmmmm….mm. Steak. Grilled. Charred fat. At the butcher counter in Harris Teeter Grocery store two days later I asked for the biggest rib eye he had. 20 oz. 2 inches thick. Marble like white Christmas snow just falling. And it hit me. My new food cravings rule. If I think of a food choice I know is. It good for me I think “if you knew if you ate that you would die tomorrow, but if you don’t you’d live another year what would you do? I went outside, turn on the gas grill and waited for it to heat up….
I couldn’t think of a catchy name for this new rule. My best friend Chris suggested “willful morbidity” but it didn’t have the “cant forget charm” I was looking for. Who is gonna buy a wellness book called “willful morbidity”. Can you help me come up with a catch title for my rule?
I recently got one of those emails from Amazon saying, “Can you answer this question from this member about this product you just bought”. Usually I have no idea, but his one cracked me up, so I answered.
The more I thought about the more I laughed so I posted it to Facebook. Later that day, a former neighbor turned realtor and I have this exchange.
I started thinking this might be a good part time job after retiring from practicing law – a “Real Estate Listings” writer on Fiverr.
“Ensuite bath consists of large soaker tub, sufficient to find even 20 minutes of blissful, quiet peace away from you ever complaining spouse, whiny kids and needy pets. Also include large walk in shower with multiple heads and nozzles for those days when… well you know – cause who could actually get that dirty. I mean like covered in mud dirty, not the “have a good time” dirty. Guests children’s bath has ample shower, full size tub and single vanity with updated finishes but best of all, an updated ceiling bathroom fan that will eradicate the most offensive bomb your teenage son, (or daughter) can leave which normally assaults your senses as it wafts down the hall. You’ll also save money on the doctors’ visits, thinking for sure, something has died in their colons.”
“Property is located in an upscale gated community where a well run and financed HOA takes great care of two pools, a beautiful clubhouse available for your parties, and gym. Property comes with tape measures to insure trash is exactly 18.5 inches from left corner of driveway, as your facing house, and exactly 6.3 inches from grass to bottom of trashcan lest you be aggravated by annoying letters from and HOA vice president who has nothing better to do that make your life a living hell and assess ridiculous fines you won’t pay.”
Property is located in a beautiful desirable neighborhood with a sought after school district. Previous owner has already litigated with existing neighbors distance of fence from property line, property line dispute, noise complaint, one law suit about a tree blocking the view, and an assault and battery civil suit involving an alleged altercation involving “you know who” for President Signs. Price includes transfer of law firm retainer and an introductory lunch with the lawyer for this property. (You’re always free to change lawyers.)
The photo of this yard truly does not give this oasis its due. Olympic size swimming pool with wave machine on one end, outdoor kitchen with grill, smoker, green egg, and one coupon for next years outdoor cooker trend; patio, pergola, kids jungle gym, with the trial lawyers seal of safety approval, a particular species of lawn grass imported from asia and genetically modified by Dupont Chemical to avoid any bugs, rot, browning, need of water, or care but is nonetheless compossible and recyclable and considered “green grass””.
“You will not believe the kitchen in the recently renovated and updated home. Brand new appliances, flooring as in rest of open concept home, two tone cabinets color coordinated by a color specialist who only provides opinions after drinking shroom tea and getting her fee in advance, open shelving, a VERY loooong island providing seating for 5 on one half (size does matter honey), double ovens, a 5 burner with grill gas stove, microwave and sink in island with touch operations faucets. You will be able to microwave take out food and leftovers to beat the band, and we guarantee you will never have kitchen envy for at least five years when watching HGTV”.
Any realtors out there? Can I make a side hustle doing this?
This trip down the rabbit hole of website editing to the realm of 30 freaky minutes with a WordPress “Happiness Engineer” was quite a ride. She asked if our session met my objectives at the end, and I said, “This was the best thirty minutes since my one week with an actress spring break freshmen year of college in 1976”. I digress.
How I Fell In The Rabbit Hole. This site is powered by WordPress which “is a platform for self-publishing that is popular for blogging and other works. It is owned and operated by Automattic, Inc. It is run on a modified version of WordPress. This website provides free blog hosting for registered users and is financially supported via paid upgrades, “VIP” services and advertising.” So says Wikipedia. Last year, a friend said, “You should turn these humor posts into a book”. What a nice compliment I thought. Recently another friend said, “You should turn these blog posts into a book. I’ll be your book tour manager.” Once is a compliment, two is a sign from the universe so I thought, “i need to download these posts into a word doc for editing”.
Notice the WordPress Description does not say “financially supported by helping bloggers”. In anything involving WP’s ever expanding “revenge of the nerds” website editing and management tools, I should have anticipated this would be harder then holding a “Don’t wear a mask rally” at CDC Headquarters. Ok, so to avoid your boredom, the descent into Happiness Engineer went like this. Tried to download posts from website but WP Only downloads in XML format (which is a nerds acronym for “works like a teenager”. Sensing my 76 posts were not actually 377 pages I googled download to Word document. This required a plug-in. The best plug in for this is called Aspose. I am not joking. The “plugin” to download your WP content is Aspose. Which sounds equally bad pronounced “ass-pose” or “as pose”. (Emphasis on either syllable.). Take a moment and give thanks you don’t work for a company called “Aspose”
“This widget requires an upgrade to a business plan membership of $283”. “WP is financially supported by….”. Alright, this is a non paying hobby so yeah, <sarcasm> “Great deal!”. I’ll save you the slow waterboarding torture of installing the plug in, trying to get WP support chat to help and being told they’re not “plug in experts” (of course not – you need to date the redhead with the tattoo sleeve) and THEN – a pop up offering 30 minutes with a “Happiness Engineer” for the ONE TIME ONLY discounted price of $49 lit up my screen and YES- sold. I’ll happily pay you $49 to show me how to make the $283 I just paid you work. (And people bitch about my legal fees)
We were scheduled for noon today. I was on zoom as instructed promptly at 11:55 awaiting my very prompt “Happiness Engineer” Kathryn”. We started by her asking me 7 questions in one sentence which just taught me that my usual parlor trick of answering every question in one sentence in the order in which they were asked which strikes people as either impressive or funny does not extend to seven questions. We then spent a fair amount of time discovering their prior instructions for these sessions contained in 4 emails and three texts (they must get ghosted for appointments more than a bumble date at Suck and Blow motorcycle bar in Myrtle Beach SC) do NOT contain the following. “We conduct these sessions using screen share which we prefer to do on the device where you primarily administer the site. Unless that’s an IPAd because sharing an a iPad screen is an enormous pain in the Aspose so we’ll ask you to boot up your laptop that your IT Deleted Zoom on, only to finally share our (her) screen which we could have done in the first place.”
She then asked if I liked my “theme”. (The appearance WP gives to your site). I said I didn’t. She asked how I picked it. “7 years ago when I started I spent a long depressing Saturday afternoon looking at your other 1376 themes to pick one. “Would you like one more modern”, she asked. I said, “I was married once, just tell me what to do please”. (Kathryn is not a fan of Ex wife jokes -FYI). She pulled up the “recommended themes on her IPAD screen numbering maybe 20 (thank God). Sensing she was reticent to give up her therapist patient manner of asking questions I blurted out “what’s your favorite. “Twenty Twenty” she said. “Cause this year has gone so smashingly well!” I busted out laughing. (Kathryn loved all the pandemic plague jokes which makes me wonder if she finds disaster so funny how can she not like marriage jokes – same same) But yes, I shit you not, in some staff meeting at word press, “twenty twenty” passed muster as a theme name. Ya’ll clearly need a WP humorist to attend meetings to make fun of you guys. (I’m available).
At this point I decided to mention that her references to my chocolate chip cookie pic was actually an oatmeal raisin cookie pic which then descended into a joke about “raisin lives matter” which I’ll spare you and said one of my categories should be “too soon”. So even though I have a large list of new WP themes to suggest to you, WP And the world, I’m going to save them for my closest friends, who alone get to savor my “too soon” jokes. I hope you enjoy my new twenty twenty theme. I’m $332 in and I still don’t know how to make Aspose work. In WP. (Kathryn, notice you can find this post under the category of “too soon” and I love you).
Have you heard of the “gut microbiome”? If not, take quick peak at the 12,900,000 result of that term as a Google search and come back. Ok? Good? So you know your gut microbiome is integral to your immune system, weight, digestion, mental health, and probably every other system in your body. What you may not know is what it feels like to dramatically change your gut bacteria buddies by what you eat. I have now come to know and love them as a boisterous, loud, demanding, annoying, cantankerous bunch of terrorists. I mean friends
Within a couple of weeks I noticed my skin “youthened” (we have a word for aging – why not for getting younger?). My arms which long had dry skin had started developing the kinds of sores, marks, and coloration ive always associated with 90 ear old men. Or corpses. The dead kind Disappeared. All of it overnight. “Cool”, I thought. (Actually, it was more like “Holy Shit”!!!)
Likewise, “digestion”. Mine was already great but let’s just say I passed Jamie Lee Curtis on the activa yogurt track and left her standing still. Eat some oatmeal Jamie.
Swelling, bloating, inflammation gone. Almost overnight. Now, mind you, I’ve been crawling towards better health for a decade- quit smoking, diet sodas, took up regular exercise- but nothing compares to feeding your “good” bacteria buddies and starving the rest. If you’d like learn more in an easy approachable medical science based way, I reccomed the book Fiber Fueled https://theplantfedgut.com/book/
This really became apparent to me when I heard my dying sugar eating bacteria, say, in their best “Mr Bill voice” (for you missing this SNL reference see here https://youtu.be/ZgpEVzCUr3s) ….”Oh noooooo, we’re dying … need a doughnut, some cake, something…..oh noooooo. I felt a little sad for them really. Now I’m not “on a diet” so I’m not restricting myself from anything but these “good bacteria” are pretty sneaky in that they change your appetite, cravings, and desires. In 8 weeks, I’ve given them half a yellow cake with chocolate icing and 4 Apple fritters. I’m no monster. But they’re still crying.
Here’s the “icing on the cake”. Ok, maybe the nutritional yeast on the veggie burger. After a lifetime of being the poster child for “not a morning person”, I’m waking up earlier it’s more energy and less a desire to go back to sleep. I’m amazed
While on the one hand I’ve spent hours reading vegetarian vegan recipes, shopping for Asian and Indian spices and condiments, rearranging my pantry I’ve been surprised how much I’ve loved the veggie curries and stir fries I’ve learned to make. Like the one pan “basmati ice chickpea, cauliflower, spinach, green curry” casserole dump pictured above. I now consider myself a meat eater who identifies as a vegetarian. Think of it as I’m wearing the make up and clothes but am not getting the surgery.
There are some serious downsides. The good bacteria don’t like weekend binge drinking. Or French fries. Or tequila. We’re negotiating.
I mentioned to someone last night after an 8 hour drive from Washington DC to Charlotte NC West across I66 and south down I81 that at my age, I stopped at every rest area. Except one. They suggested I should do a blog on Rest Area Reviews.
What a great idea- I thought. With a demographic ranging from the pregnant, to parents with young children to the enlarged prostate age group, this would be a real useful page turner. So here’s a test
“Virginia Rest areas offer a variety of architecture and interior design for the discriminating rest Area aficionados. The true rest area connoisseur will appreciate the thought and design that has been invested in these oasis’s of elimination.
I suppose the iconic Va rest area is the Virginia for lovers design.
What is provides in instagram and FB posting app (because who doesn’t want a selfie in front of the “LOVE” sign after a hearty bladder emptying), it lacks in interior design and modern plumbing. Think your elementary school bathroom design.
Greater appreciation should be had for the more modern “convenience store design” where expansive motion center doors open to a white Center lobby with gleaming vending machines offering water to soda to every trans fat, artery clogging, nutritionally deficient snack known to Man. The actual bathrooms are designed by that famous airport bathroom designer, Toilette D’Aeroport, where washing and the other stuff are separated, al in small gleaming white style.
I admit my favorite is the Virginia cottage style design, where a walk around the building to find your door is not necessary, they being closely and conveniently located in the front of the building. What is May lack in architectural sophistication it makes up for in bath design with extra large brown and black faux marble tile, new soak plumbing fixtures and those wonderful motion Center faucets that only work if you do aerobics in front of the sensor while chanting Haitian voodoo spells.
A true lesson in not judging a book by the cover.”
So, do I have a best seller here? Should I have dreams in going viral? What state should be next?
Have you been inundated the last week with e mails from every business or office you’ve done business with letting you know, in the most sincere tones, all that they’re doing to keep you safe and protected?
“Here at Gary’s Groceries, we’re following all CDC recommendations. Because all employees are either wiping down surfaces or repetitively hand washing there are no employees available for check out. Hopefully, getting your 9 packages of toilet paper home is not urgent. (If you need 9 packages of toilet paper this afternoon, Covid 19 is the least of your worries
Ok, so the first few from my grocers, doctors, and favorite restaurant were appreciated, even if they contained zero useful information. But, today, I started getting the from companies who’s possible connection to covid 19 is between tenuous and non existent. Clearly, someone in marketing woke up and like an over excited dog salivating at the site of a squirrel outside the window said, “WOW- a legitimate excuse to spam anyone who’s on our mailing list!”
This is an exact quote but I have changed the name of the company in a refusal to give them any name recognition. “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact people around the world and more specifically, here in the USA, we want you to know that Gagagig is here to service your digital forensic needs with the highest level of security and availability with secure, remote-based technologies like RemoteStreem. “. Admittedly, this caught my attention. Wait, what? What does covid19 readiness have to do with “digital forensic needs”. Is the information I’m trying to forensically discover going to get sick?
“At Gagagig, we have always recognized the potential risks associated with service interruptions due to adverse events, such as the current COVID-19 situation affecting our customer obligations. Being able to respond quickly to rapidly evolving situations such as this pandemic, while maintaining uninterrupted service is part of the Gagagig ethos. We currently leverage a range of best-of-breed technologies and out of an abundance of caution during COVID-19, we propose the use of RemoteStreem.”
Ok, so who was in the room when ya’ll we’re naming your chief product? I guess “EasyDribble” and “DataPotty Training” didn’t make the cut for some reason? I think I’m going to start referring to my urological out-put as I age as “RemoteStreem”. Anyway, to save you from the rest of this BS e mail, the sales pitch somehow relates to recent travel restrictions and their thing has something to do with remote data acquisition. I hope Gagagig knows that if I ever needed their service, I’d buy it from someone else. If I get a Covid 19 readiness e mail from the Girl Scout Cookies I’m going to be very sad, indeed
Growing up, my parents had three holiday treat, cooking traditions – homemade Sicilian pizza, strufoli and this fruitcake. I make the pizzas every year, the strufoli is just too much damn work (I just learned in this process the oldest brother made it every year and never sent me any) but the fruitcake recipe was “lost”. On a lark, I asked my middle brother, Richard, who is the volunteer expert family archivist (he scanned and organized all family photos after my parents died – literally thousands of hours of work – thank you again) if he had the recipe. He said he didn’t have it on the computer, but maybe in the basement. After two days of searching- he FOUND it!!! Best Christmas present ever and I became so excited about trying to recreate this taste and smell experience from my childhood.
My parents made this amazing Fruitcake recipe every year at Christmas 50 years ago when I was a kid. When I say amazing, people who liked fruitcake said it was amazing. It made no fruitcake converts. I never remember somebody who hated fruitcake trying some and saying, “OMG- I like fruitcake NOW!” But as fruitcake goes, it was good. Moist, rich and a good jigger of rum was included in the baking and poured over it every other day for a week after baking.
So, I dutifully took the recipe list and made a shopping list -most were common items, self rising flour, sugar, spices. Two interesting learning items in what turned out to be an exercise in food archeology – 50 years ago you could by 8 ounces of “junior baby” food “prunes with tapioca”. Having not been down the baby food aisle in 35 years, first surprise- it’s in the pharmacy. That scared me a little. Why is baby food now with the drugs? Admittedly, the food selections were a little high in fruits. That’s a lot of Sugar but ok. Second, while you could get prunes (which I assume makes the cake more moist) none with tapioca. I had to google “Tapioca”. It’s actually a plant- like a starch- acts as a thickening agent. Why I wonder would you give a baby prunes- with a thickening agent. If this was a thing 50 years ago, this explains a lot about our current political environment. Also surprised that publix had candied fruit for fruitcakes. No citron though. Also had to google citron. Did not know that citron is the original citrus fruit from which all other citrus species came from. (I may have to do further research on that- it still seems like suspect info) Decided lemon peel would do. Amazed to be leaving store with all ingredients.
My parents made this case in a deep round smooth springform pan with a tube in the middle. So, I go to the Litchen works chain store thinking buying a pan and som Empty Tim’s will be a breeze. Nope. Nada. They had no tins. Salesperson shows me last 10 in, 2 inch tall spring form cake pan. Bought a center “hole” thing. Ordered a deeper pan and find from Amazon while still in store
On way out, salesperson asks if I found whatever else I needed and says yes. She leans over and in her best CIA whisper says, “that lady who wanted the springform was very angry you got it – she said she was in the store before you!” Wait. What? Is that a think now? Can I show up to target at 6 am when the store opens and park my ass in a folding chair by check out and ad folks come by pluck things from their cart saying , “I was in store before you!”. I told the sales person the grumpy lady should use Amazon like I did.
A female friend just posted, “I keep watching tiny house nation and can’t help but think I really don’t need as much space as I’ve had in the past.” Really?!?! I comment: “I keep watching it thinking, “I need to be able to get farther away from the bathroom after I’ve used it without having to go outside”.
If you haven’t seen this TV show, the description from the website says “Drawn to the prospect of financial freedom, a simpler lifestyle, and limiting one’s environmental footprint, more buyers are opting to downsize — in some cases, to spaces no larger than 300 square feet — and this series celebrates the “tiny house” movement. Hosts and renovation professionals John Weisbarth and Zack Giffin travel across America to show ingenious small dwellings and their creative inhabitants. They also help families design and construct their own dream minihomes.”
Lest you think 150 sq. ft. is roomy, the average burial crypt is almost 40 square feet. So, these folks are taking the average trailer which a pickup truck can tow and on that trailer, erecting a structure which holds a kitchen, bathroom, living room, dining room and bedroom in a space big enough to hold about 5 caskets. I mean, the average person has a storage unit that big to hold all the crap they shoulda tossed in a dumpster in 2003.
I watched this show for awhile. In fact, I was fascinated. I live in a 1200 sq ft townhouse condo which I previously though was kinda small, so I was fascinated to see the things they do to save space except I was a little horrified to find out how much they rely on empty body cavities for storage. That’s just not right.
Anyway, there were two things that made me realize I could never live in a tiny house. First, in all the episodes I watched, the average couple who were downsizing from an average house had to reduce all their possessions including cookware and tools to one suitcase. One suitcase. I mean, I’m a guy but if I’m going somewhere for a week, I’m taking a two suiter and a carry on. But permanently?
The second reason was their use of “composting toilets”? What? The first time I heard it I though- “uh, have you heard of sewage systems?” Apparently, if your home is a burial crypt on the back of a trailer, you don’t have sewage hookups. (Don’t they have them for RV”s???!). Then I discovered many of these folks were CHOOSING compostable toilets so they could live “off the grid” or “reduce their carbon footprint. If you’re one of those people who fought composting meant egg shells and coffee grinds and food scraps and THAT was a little gross, well lemme tell ya. If you think I’m making this crap up (pun intended)- here you go- Tiny House Toilets
But here’s the real reason – we all have those “days” where we are convinced that whatever has just left our body is proof of alien life (and not in a good way) or that we may be solely responsible in some way that eating romaine lettuce or at a chipotle restaurant has become so dangerous. You know I mean EVERYONE- this is why every public bathroom has a heavy wood or metal door and a bottle of some kind of air freshener somewhere in the bathroom. Now imagine you’re having that kind of day, or worse yet, you and your significant other are, and the farthest away you can get is 3 burial crypts.
And, we haven’t even considered that tequila party you threw where you served burritos and refried beans, salsa and hot sauce Or, that friend of yours that eats at Taco Bell three days a week.
Our Lyft driver for our second ride of the evening hit a pedestrian and did not stop. I quipped, “Good call, cause we would have had to get another Uber ride, and would have been late for our next stop.” Out third Lyft driver barreled at 55mph towards a car stopped at a red light when my friend quietly said, “red light”. In case you don’t know, one sign of anti lock brake failure is all wheels shuddering violently which you can still feel while airborne in the back seat hurtling toward the front seat with significant G Force. These two incidents caused me to realize, (besides the fact that terror causes instant sobriety); that there should be some instruction for experienced riders since most of what is on the Internet is about the “basics” of using ride share services. TRIGGER WARNING: This may test your boundaries of political correctness. (“Uber” is used herein generically to represent all rid share services)
Question 1. Your Uber driver pulls up and you notice there is already a passenger in the front seat, even though you did. It select “share a ride”. This passenger has their feet bound at the ankles with duct tape, their hands bound behind their back at the wrists and a gag tied in their mouth. Do they have to split the fare with you, or should you just let them ride for free wherever you’re going and pay the trip fare yourself? If you answer is no, they have to split the fare, should you cover the tip for your portion of the ride? Is it ok to ask the Uber driver to temporarily remove the gag to ask for their e mail for the fare split?
Question 2. Your Uber driver pulls up and has a handicapped tag on their rear view mirror. Do you inquire as to the nature of their handicap? (This happened with rear end crash driver no 3 last night). What if they are wearing sunglasses at night and have a white and read seeing impaired cane? Would a seeing eye dog on the passenger seat change your answer? What if the seeing eye dog had its own steering wheel and paw brake controls? In our case, we did not say a word until we realized his phone GPS had Braille. This was unacceptable because he had to take a hand off the wheel and this is distracted driving.
Question 3. You’re in your Uber when you and your friend notice thumping and knocking coming from the trunk and listening closely, a muffled voice crying out “Help me”, repetitively and loudly enough that it is interfering with your conversation. Is it ok to ask the Uber driver to get the trunk passenger to be quiet, as you would ask them to turn down the radio? Is the ride share question the same as no.1., or should you just pay the whole fare since they’re in the trunk, and not a “seat”, per se?
Question 4. Back to the Lyft driver who hit the pedestrian. (Honestly, it happened so fast I’m not sure they’re was contact). So, our driver is making a left turn onto a four lane highway and he pulls out into the median, continuously looking right when my friend says, “Pedestrian”, The Uber driver looks left jus tin time to see his Ltd front headlight is about a foot from the pedestrians left hip. (Before you feel sorry for the pedestrian, he was jaywalking, at night in dark clothes, so he probably deserved this). Pedestrian leaps in the air, making a perfect quarter turn to get his left hip out of the way. It is in this moment while he’s still in mid air that I realize he must have some Olympic skating experience as this move is so familiar. He then sticks the landing, on his feet, and turns toward us when I notice he is not smiling. I know from watching olympics of all types he’s supposed to be smiling. Frankly, he looks pretty angry to me. As the driver is pulling off, should I have rolled down the window to suggest he have a happier face on landing in the future. Our driver took some time to explain how this was all the pedestrians fault. Were we obligated d to point out that not hitting at fault pedestrians is a good raving skill. Yes, we didn’t think so either.
In the few years I’ve been doing ride share, I admit to not wearing a seat belt much. That all change last night. If you also don’t wear a seat belt in Uber’s, this is a public service announcement that’s you go ahead and find out which trauma surgeons, orthopedic surgeons and plastic surgeons are in network for your health plan,