My Life With Uber: Part 4 – From the Bird’s Nest
Man, what a busy week in the Ubersphere.
Between the first week of school, fraternity rush and the Mayweather-McGregor fight, there were lots of folks using Uber. Here are just a few of the encounters I had.
YOU'RE GOING WHERE???--Just last week, Uber started notifying drivers when they have a request for a trip of 45 minutes or more. And, that's what I saw on my app when I got the notification. It was at the Lafayette airport. My passenger got in the vehicle and I tapped to get the destination.
It turned out to be a great trip. My passenger, Andrew, was from Scotland. He had flown in from Houston. He worked for an oil company and was away from home a couple of weeks at a time. He asked a lot of questions about the area. He said his dad had visited the area (also on business) years before and was looking forward to trying the food.
Food is always a good subject. We talked about the making of boudin and he wasn't fazed. After all, they eat haggis in Scotland, which is made from (as he put it) the bad part of a sheep. He said he didn't care for it all that much but really fancied "black pudding." It's made of pork fat, pork blood and a high proportion of oatmeal. It's eaten for breakfast.
Yum, yum. Come get you some.
At the dropoff, he asked if I smoked and I said yes. He offered me a cigarette from the pack he had brought. The "lights" he had were like smoking a Marlboro Red. Nice guy. Good conversation. And a long trip back alone.
WAIT...YOU'RE THE VOICE??--I had a late pickup at an upscale local restaurant. When I arrived, my passengers were the only ones left. And, they were taking advantage of the desolation to having a little make out session when I pulled up. As is frequently the case, I was asked if Uber was my only job. I said no and said I was in radio. The woman asked "do you work at Townsquare? I said yes and he asked if I did anything with the University. I told him about my affiliation. "You're the voice?" she said. I said yes. She said SHUT. UP. And I laughed. She said it again. Then she mentioned she knew someone from around here who was upset about ticket and tailgating prices going up. And I asked, oh you must know ****** too. She was amazed I got the name right. We had a laugh about that as well. That made the time pass until we got to the hotel, where the make out session presumably continued.
PERFECT PITCH---I picked up three people at a local bar and they were headed downtown. Now, that happens a lot. Bar hopping was popular way back when. It still is. But during the fifteen minute trip, every time someone would say something, there was a young woman who sang the previous sentence. She did it again. And, again. And, again. Finally I said, "you're going in the blog." She asked why and I told her. She didn't even realize she was doing it. She then asked about the blog and I told her how to find it. If she reads this, I can here her singing now..."I'm in Jay Walker's bloooggggg."
SATURDAY NIGHT BOUDIN???--I picked up three couples Saturday evening in River Ranch. I'd say they were in their late 20's, maybe 30 ish. All six were very smartly dressed, especially the three women. But after they got in the vehicle, I hit the destination.
Don's Specialty Meats?
I confirmed that's where they were going and they said yes. Now, I don't ask a ton of questions, but my curiosity got the best of me.
They said they were heading to an engagement party. But this wasn't a stop for cracklins on the way...they were really going to Don's. Then someone recognized my voice and we had a great conversation. They asked if I was going to mention them on Twitter and I said "absolutely" (and I did). And, I told them they'd get a mention in this piece as well. They liked that idea.
Well, unbeknownst to me, there's a building behind Don's where you can have a gathering or a reception. That's where the engagement party was.
But I still bet boudin and cracklins were part of the fare.
A CAJUN BASEBALL REUNION--Saturday, as I said, there were a lot of trips from one house to another to watch the fight. I picked up two guys rather late in the festivities (but still before the first bell). As is often the case, one recognized my voice. He introduced himself and told me the guy sitting behind me was Ronnie Matte.
Matte pitched for both Mike Boulanger and Tony Robichaux. And we told stories the rest of the way, especially the rivalry with South Alabama and the total difference in the personalities of Bo and Robe. As a pitcher, he had some Emerick Jagneaux stories as well (Jag was Bo's pitching coach.) And we spoke about the coldest game I ever broadcasted. It was South Alabama in Mobile and he remembered it well. They had moved the game from a 7:00 Friday start to 1:00. The only problem was, nobody bothered to notify either Don Allen or myself until about 8:30 that morning. We made quick arrangements and were wanted in three states by the time we arrived at Eddie Stanky Field.
It's hard to believe that was 23 years ago. Good times.