“Thank You Uber-Man”

In general, Ubering can be pretty blah. Yes, you can meet nice people, but let’s be honest, most people are just interested in where they are going. But when it’s great, it’s great.

I had a fare today worth noting: It was a kid in the Goose Creek area of South Carolina, who, if he didn’t get a ride, was going to be shit out of luck with his job at Taco Bell. I find this out right after I accept the fare and he calls me.

Traffic is miserable getting to this kid. I message him constantly to give him my progress. When I finally arrive at the destination on my app, it turns out to be his friend’s house. The kid and his friend emerge from the house, give each other high fives and a bro hug. Finally. He gets into my car and tells me that he has to stop at home first to get his uniform.

Immediately my nose begins to tingle at a smell that reminds me of pretty much all of college.

“Dude,” I say, “make sure you air yourself out before you go into work. You smell like a Bob Marley concert.”

“Fuck,” he says, “is it that bad?”

“Let’s just say you are giving me the munchies by just sitting in the back seat.”

So he goes into his house to change into his uniform, and I sit in my car and wait. He comes out after about 10 minutes and gets in the back seat.

“Better?” He says.

“Nope,” I say. “Worse even.”

“Fuck,” he says again. “I knew I shouldn’t have had that hit when I was changing.”

He seems like a genuinely nice kid, and I figure, who can really appreciate the importance of Taco Bell better than someone stoned to the gills? This kid will make your Gordita Crunch Wrap crunchy because it’s the right thing to do.

We finally get to the restaurant and I pull up behind the dumpster out back where no one can see us. “C’mon man,” I say while getting out of my car and going to my trunk.

“Wha?”

“Don’t want to see you get fired today. Arms up, close your eyes and hold your breath.”

The kid does what I ask, a Pieta behind a Taco Bell, and I proceed to spray about a half can of Febreeze on the kid. No one is losing their job on my watch.

He slowly open his eyes, moves his limbs as if he has been paralyzed, smells the front of his shirt, and then his pits.

He cracks a smile between the red eyes and the acne.

“Fuck yeah!” He says. “Thanks Uber Man.”

And so a hero is born.

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