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  • Day1

    Uber

    September 24, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    I needed to go to my bank before noon so quickly grabbed an Uber car. Okay well first of all I've been hanging out in San Francisco and I have to tell you since that's the birthplace of Uber, and I've actually been to the Uber building, a sign-less stealthed out place next to the Palace Hotel on Market St, which no one who even drives for Uber has ever been to, that the Uber car that I called to pick up at the airport last night that I got into would never pass for acceptable in San Francisco. It was a beat-up old Ford 500 with scratches all over the top of the trunk lid and the doors were all dented up. There was too much crap in the trunk for my suitcases to fit and peanut shells all over the floor of the ratty old interior. But anyway the driver was nice. And being from Maine, none of that bothered me. I just loaded my stuff into the back seat. But what did kind of shock me is something that might be interesting to native Maine folks. It's something you wouldn't think about and then I never thought about but now that I've been away I have a different perspective. My Uber driver was playing the radio and the station WCYY. The radio was blurting out "Maine's only alternative station!" (see photo).
    Now, granted this is something to be proud of and thank God that there is an alternative station in Maine. Frankly, I don't agree with their boast, but that's a different story that goes way back with me. Back to the story I'm telling: it's a bit scary that there's only one alternative radio station in the state of Maine. Even if that's not true and there's one or two others. That's still kind of scary LOL, to people from out of state! Look I'm just saying. If you've ever had the curiosity as to what out-of-state of people really do think about Maine, well there's a hint. And Maine continually continually engages in this kind of behavior. Just Google "Maine's only" lol. You will find Maine's only summer games Olympian , Maine's only 24 hours a day news team, Maine's only five-star chef, Maine's only Curling club... (thank God)... Maine's only USDA poultry facility... Maine's only bookmobile... Foot Golf Course... Garage door showroom... Okay I could go on and on STOP! Okay it's the 42nd most populous state, and losing population... let's not rub it in! Easy with the "Maine's only" thing. Of course if you know me well you know that 20 years ago I came up with the related "one in Portland" concept. Is there a Baskin Robbins in Maine? Yeah there's one in Portland. Major Airport? Yes, one in Portland. Strip club? Orange Julius? Chuck E Cheeses? Yes, one in Portland. On and on. Now I'm more open-minded and can tell you that there's a five-star chef in Kennebunkport. LOL. Yes, at that White Barn place certain family members of mine like to go to. Maybe next time someone goes you could suggest that they go easy on the " Maine's Only" boast. Besides, last I remember, most people thought of Kennebunkport as part of a New Hampshire anyway. And what the heck is a five-star Chef anyway? I don't think that means it makes them as good as if the chef were GAY, in any case!
    And more than only one gay chefs exists in Maine. So if the chef at The White Barn Inn is gay they should advertise that instead.

    My friend asked me if I'm excited to see all the things that have changed since I've been gone. I said well last time I visited the only thing that had changed was there was a new Best Buy in Augusta. They really honestly looked at me like I was completely lying to them. Kind of had a come on " let's be reasonable " face.
    Well there's a big new development that I guess got approved for the Portland Waterfront area and that will be done in 10 years so there's something. I have not actually visited downtown Portland I'm sure there's plenty of new things there or at least I'm hoping. But I'm very much a symbol of the past as I walk down Congress Street. Because I never even knew that the city took the dog man's dogs away from him. And that probably happened years ago. I'm glad I don't drink any longer (for 9 years) or else I'd make a fool out of myself.
    Okay so the other Uber incident happened on the way back from the bank when we lost cell service completely. This is the kind of thing that also scares people from out of state. I currently carry a T-Mobile phone something that a Mainer would would laugh at. Okay well I also have a Verizon phone, and my Uber driver had an AT&T phone. All 3 phones lost service completely at Northport... A place I used to work. This is not exactly the Backwoods folks. But I've never really experienced in all my Uber travels in Oregon, and California complete loss of a cell phone signal. This is when Uber stops working. I guess I've turned into a huffy puffy out-of-stater because I just got out of the Uber car and started to walk away , and I was ready for the 2-mile walk back to Motel 6. I don't need no stinkin' Uber. Especially one that seriously broken because it is completely relying upon the concept of cell phones working all the time in their business model to work . And at Northport, three of the four major cell carriers fail.
    Okay so I'm walking down the road now to my Motel. I bet any Mainer can probably tell you what happened next can't you? That's right... My Uber driver would have nothing of this behavior on my part. And was following me as I walked down the sidewalk at 3 miles an hour in her car. Unwavering. There was no way I was going to walk it didn't matter that she was not going to get paid, she was going to get me where I needed to go and that's just how it was! This is Mainer behavior. I knew resistance was futile. Kind of like when I was bicycling in cherryfield 20 years ago on a 50 mile ride and a grumpy old lady insisted that I eat some of her cranberry cake. There was just no saying no. So I got back in the car and she got me back to my motel. That's just how life should be.
    I got her an extra Amato's Italian sandwich but she didn't want one. Trying to give it to her was also futile. Well let me put it differently: she's not going to have lunch with a client it's just not how a Mainer would do things. I could tell she was starving and wanted a Maine Italian very badly. But I could sense that she was going to drop me off and then go back to Amato's, that's just how it goes. Mainers differentiate business and socializing and would rather eat alone in their car. Am I right? Once a Mainer always a Mainer. And just because you do something for someone doesn't mean you need anything like money or a sandwich in Maine.
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