Dr. Uberstone, I presume?

Last Saturday, Connie and I took our first Uber ride—and what a ride it was. Our driver came to America from Iraq over ten years ago, but had only been driving two weeks for Uber. He typically drove past every stop at least once before realizing he missed it and turning around.

We’d probably still be in California had it not been for the other passenger he picked up (after driving past her, of course). She’d lived in LA for twenty years and proved to be an extremely gifted and talented navigator. Mr. Driver yakked non-stop from Hollywood to LAX, giving us his entire life story whether we wanted it or not.  Connie said he reminded her of Leonard from “Much Nothing About Ado,” (see page 119 in The Perils of Heavy Thinking).

Upon arrival at terminal 4, I presented our navigator, now officially dubbed LA Woman, with a signed copy of Perils as a token of our appreciation for getting us to the airport in time to catch our flight.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the navigator who will safely direct you to the correct photo prompt is the unflappable TomTom Garmin Wisoff-Fields.  If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF  Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright - Jean L. Hays
copyright – Jean L. Hays

Born in the 1950s, Gidget’s coming-of-age party occurred during a period of turbulent social change.

She loved the freedom of the open road, all-night parties, and smoking. God, how she loved to smoke.

As the years rolled by many of her friends settled down, took the slow road. Some even complained about her smoking. Said the fumes burned their eyes, made them cough. Gidget laughed from her rearview mirror. Losers.

One day her mechanic came with bad news. “Pistons busted, valves burned, and you’ve lost all compression. It’s the end of the road, Sister.”

Refusing to listen, Gidget buried her head in the sand.


72 Comments on “Dr. Uberstone, I presume?

  1. Hilarious once again, Russell. Poor Gidget. I once bought a ’57 Chevy in 1960. I had to be careful to step lightly on the gas or she’d take off like a frightened rabbit. I was warned by the man I bought her from. He sold her because he needed the money. I also knew she was reaching the end of the road when she also began to smoke heavily. 😀 — Suzanne


    • Once they start smoking, the cost to keep them on the road goes way up. Gidget also preferred high octane gasoline, which made her a little tipsy at times. She loved the good life.


  2. Laughing out loud over here! Smoking definitely causes Car-cer. Har de har har.

    And I’m glad you survived the crazy Uber driver. I doubt they’ll last long if they fail to stop at both stop signs and at talking.


    • We couldn’t hear the motor for the mouth. I had gotten good feedback on Uber, but all I got from this guy was something to post on the blog.


  3. So, what was Gidget smoking?
    Sounds like quite the Uber trip. Can’t wait to see the commercial. You may be moving to California for a new career.


    • Medical motor oil. It’s legal there with a prescription.
      It’ll be 3 to 4 months before they’re done editing and start airing the commercials. They took a bunch of still too, so I assume there will be magazine ads.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Poor Gidget, smoking is a sure sign you’ve blown a head gasket. Head in the sand is all that;s left to do, especially for an art display. At least now she’s immortal!
    Interesting Uber trip, made a great story!


  5. I once bought a company car that had come to the end of its life. I asked the Transport Manager for an opinion on its general condition. “It’s breathing ‘eavy”, he said, “but a good motor”. Always a sucker for a heavy breather I bought it. It was a synonym for “a pint of oil is needed every other day”. I think it was second cousin once removed from Gidget. They’d have made a great pair. Nice one Russell, I always know where to come for a giggle.


    • I’ve owned a few of those oil guzzlers. I could have easily written about Gidget having a drinking problem along with her smoking. Thanks for the kind words, Sandra.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Traveler,

    Gidget’s going to have her head buried in an oxygen tent with all that smoking.

    I’ve had a few lemons in my lifetime. My first car was a 1971 VW Beetle. It developed some irritating problems like the heat only worked in the summer and it would stall at intersections…in the middle of them. I was convinced this German car was Hitler incarnate and knew there was a Jew at the wheel.

    Then there was the 1985 Ford Escort wagon, the embodiment of Fix Or Repair Daily and Found On Road Dead.

    You’ve made me laugh.




  7. As usual, I loved the intro as well as the story.

    You surprised me with this one; I didn’t realize Gidget was the car, rather than its driver, till the conclusion of the tale. Well done! I love to be surprised.


    • Thanks for the nice comment on both the intro and the story. I tried to leave it open-ended for as long as possible.


  8. You are a master, Russell – the punchline is a perfect destination but there are giggles aplenty along the road. Poor Gidget.


  9. Oil be damned. I once drove leaving behind a trail of smoke on the freeway. Fortunately did not have to bury the car anywhere. They build these lemons tough.


  10. About twenty years ago, when I needed to go to Disney Studios for a meeting, the driver took me to Disneyland instead. It sounds like it was his relation who took you to the airport. Lucky that you had a navigator so you avoided going to the less than Magic Kingdom.

    As usual another clever tale, Russell that nicely illustrates aging and denial and makes me think of Sally Field.


  11. Great metaphor here. We have smoker friends; their heads are not visible.
    Enjoyed your taxi ride story. Great that the driver made it to the USA and has a job. Maybe he’ll learn navigation skills with time.


    • I’m sure he’ll eventually learn the way to the airport. But he does need to learn to talk less and focus more on where he’s going.


  12. Uber is a funny and remarkable LA service, for sure! I’ve had some of THE best drivers, and saved a fortune… and then you get some drivers that really make you wish you’d called a cab! Bravo for you two for taking an adventure.

    Love this story, Russell… LOVE it! Humorous, witty and touching. I didn’t see the car hook until the midway through the 3rd paragraph– Very clever, my darlin’!


    • The Uber ride was quite an adventure and made for a good intro.
      Glad I wasn’t too obvious with the car. I was afraid I’d give it away too soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. What a fun read, intro and story. Gidget could be car and driver, smoking is trouble for both of them and the mechanics of either won’t be too pleased. Time to bring on the replacement parts.


  14. I’m pretty sure I was following Gidget the other day, hard to tell, my eyes were burning. Sounds like you had an adventure in Hollywood, no doubt your block-buster sequel will include the tales.


    • Yes, there are those like Gidget still on the road. Yes, we had a great time. I look at every trip as an opportunity for new writing material.


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