Pretty sure I’m going to Hell after that Uber experience
When two priests got into my car while I played Teyana Taylor
Writer’s note: This post was first published on Medium’s “Tickled” on June 17, 2021 and will now be permanently housed on Substack’s new “Tickled” column.
Blame it on the third season of HBO’s “Insecure.” Blame it on me going into panic mode wondering about my mortgage payments after quitting my full-time, well-paying job. Blame it on me trying to find any excuse at all to never pay for gas on my way from the North Side of Chicago to the South Side of Chicago. All three were valid reasons for me insisting on becoming a Lyft and Uber driver in the same week in the fall of2018. I already loved road trips, especially going back and forth to college, so this seemed like the easiest job ever to me.
However, during the car inspection with Lyft and wrestling with the navigation on Uber, I wish somebody from the inspection center would’ve pulled me to the side and given me one piece of advice: Create a ride-sharing playlist. For some strange reason, I thought that I could keep my real Spotify playlist going as I drove around the city and just press “next” when I got to a less-work-friendly song.
I realized that didn’t quite work out how I thought when I started counting the amount of times Janelle Monae said “shit” and “fuck” in “I Like That.” I’d never even paid attention to the Electric Lady’s lyrics this carefully when I was driving solo dolo. Still, the young man in the backseat was headed to a soccer game. If he could handle kicking a soccer ball around the field, he could handle these lyrics.
I didn’t even feel so bad when an older, white woman got in my car and was noticeably uncomfortable with Ne-Yo’s “Good Man” but shrieked “IS THAT LIONEL RICHIE?” as soon as she heard Lionel Richie’s “Do It To Me.” I could’ve told her both songs had the same energy, especially after she started fanning her shirt and whooping about her memories of going to his concerts as a young girl. But she was so into the Motown singer, and I didn’t want to mess up her daydreaming.
However, the final straw (and the reason I’m surely going to Hell) is totally Teyana Taylor’s fault. I’d settled in on a jazz playlist while riding around waiting on passenger alerts. I was happily enjoying the beautiful instrumentals of Herbie Hancock’s “Chameleon” while cruising around downtown Chicago. In my defense, if Hancock’s song wasn’t 15 minutes long, I may have been better prepared when two passengers in all white got into my backseat — wearing robes. I smiled and greeted the two priests with a happy “Good afternoon.”
And that’s when my Spotify playlist switched to a new song — Teyana Taylor’s “W.T.P.” (Note: Stop reading long enough to play the first 30 seconds of this song.)