Archives for category: Carpooling

A few months ago, a comic asked if I would tape a show they were planning on doing in Crowley, LA. Soon the day came and we headed out on the road. Things started out a bit hairy, because I met the guys at a gas station where they’d just got rear ended by a lady in an MG. Fortunately, we weren’t held up too much.

I got to spend the next five and a half hours with two comics that I have met in the past and would consider friends, but we weren’t great friends by any means. All that changes when you’re trapped in a vehicle for an extended amount of time.

I first met Anthony Torino and Bobby Henline at the first location of Corridor Comedy Club. We had talked briefly, as most comics do at comedy clubs. Off and on over the next year we’d see each other and chat for a bit. I had taped a couple of shows for both of them, which is why they’d asked me to tape the Crowley show.

Over the course of the almost 400 miles, we talked about just about anything and everything one could talk about. There were moments where we just sat there. And there were lots of moments when we cracked jokes – we’re comics, what can I say. We got to know each other better, and because of it, I feel closer to both Tony and Bobby.

On the way back to San Antonio, we picked up another comic, Dave Evans. I had only met him briefly once outside of the Velveeta Room before this trip. So the trip back to SA was even better. I gave Dave a lift to his car, at which time he asked if I wanted to go to Corpus on Wednesday.

And so Wednesday, I went to Corpus.

Originally, I thought it was just going to be Dave, but when the car pulled up, it was Derek Phelps, Taegon McLaughlin, as well as Dave. I was excited to go, but when Taegon and Derek were added to the car, I was even more excited! Why? Because both Taegon and Derek are some of my favorite guys from Austin. I’d say Dave too, but I had only known Dave from the trip back to SA (I forgot to mention we spent an extra hour or so in Houston because they shut I-10 down to one lane to paint stripes. On a Saturday¬†afternoon? sheesh.)

It was about a 3 hr trip to Corpus, and Taegon slept a good portion of that. It was a great trip down and a great trip back. And the comedy show was “The Beer and Berto Show” hosted by Berto Garcia. Berto’s another comic that I’ve known about through other comics, but had only met briefly outside the Velveeta Room. I have to say, even though I didn’t get to go on a long road trip with Berto, I hope that one day I do. He’s a very positive and encouraging person.

I learned quite a bit on these trips. Tony and I have similar beliefs and get along great. We disagree on a few things, but we’re both mature enough to understand that having disagreements are just part of being human. Bobby is a great guy, and despite having endured a tragedy that would have ended most people’s lives, he’s an incredibly fun person to be around. Even if he was in the Army. Dave is a quiet guy, for the most part, and blows me away when he makes little comments. He just cracks me up, and I do my best to say funny things around him because he has this funny head shaking laugh thing he does…

Taegon slept a lot, both down and back to Corpus. Despite his unconsciousness, he was a lot of fun – as I’d come to understand about him. Derek is another quiet man. He talks, but quietly. Most of the trip down, I had to lean in to really hear what he was saying. Fortunately on the way back, I sat in the front and didn’t have to miss what he was saying.

But what I learned the most on these road trips is that I talk a lot.

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I drive to other places for various events. I like to have a passenger because sometimes it gets late and a conversation is the best way to keep from falling asleep on the interstate.

Usually my passengers are grateful and make the trip very enjoyable. Not always. Which is why I’m writing this. I’d like to point some things out to people who are riding with others.

First, when asking (begging) for a ride, comply to the driver’s requests. “Meet me here at this time,” is a reasonable request. The response should be, “Okay, see you then,” or even, “Okay, but can you wait 5 minutes? I may be a little late.”

The incorrect response is “Can you pick me up?” If I wanted to pick you up, I would have said so. The reason I don’t want to drive across town to pick someone up has nothing to do with picking them up. It’s with dropping them off. When it’s 2:20a, I just want to get to my bed. I don’t want to spend another 15 minutes driving you to your location and then wishing I hadn’t picked you up in the first place.

Another incorrect response is, “Why not? Why the EFF can’t you come pick me up? It’s only a few blocks!”

This response is wrong for many reasons. First off, it’s MY CAR. I drive it where I want to drive it. If you want to be in it, you should be where it is. Second, swearing at me isn’t going to make me rethink the decision. It’s actually going to make it tougher for you to get into my car at all. EVER. Third, if it’s only a few blocks, then hop on a bike or walk on over. Unless you have some sort of handicap, I’m not going too far out of my way.

Once inside my car, you should really make the trip enjoyable. Demanding that we stop at certain places and not being forthcoming on where only serves to make me more upset. If you need to stop at a specific ATM, I’m cool with that – but let me know where. It’s not my job to keep you happy. It’s your job to keep me happy. I’m not going searching for your stupid ATM. Especially if you have internet on your phone. Click and find that ATM. Tell me where it is. I’m not driving around town searching for your stupid ATM.

And if you’re going to make me stop at a convenience store or whatever, how about you not ask me to pay for it? Actually, you should be paying for a drink for me, really. Requesting a specific store is even more absurd.

At this point, I’m looking for a place to drop you off. At this point, the hassle isn’t worth any conversation at 2am anyway. More than likely you’re going to be an the verge of passing out or vomiting in my car at that point. At which point I’ll be more than happy to dump your convulsing body on the side of the road. Especially if I have to clean your vomit up.

Also – don’t argue with me about religion. Don’t tell me that Jesus never existed. Tell me he’s not the messiah, I can respect that opinion. But tell me he never existed? There is¬†indisputable¬†scientific and historical evidence that there was a man that walked the earth in the role of Jesus. Never mind the fact that you cannot prove that something never existed.

Oh, and if you’re going to tell me how anti-socialism you are and how you don’t want to pay for other people’s stuff, then maybe you shouldn’t ask me for a ride and not offer up any sort of compensation whatsoever. Maybe you shouldn’t demand that I pick you up and drive on your terms? If you were really such a capitalist and anti-socialist, maybe you’d offer up a little compensation for my time and expenses. What you’re doing in my car when you ride for free is a perfect example of socialism – based on your definition of socialism. I’m paying for you to ride in my car – both financially and emotionally.

If I start looking for a place to drop you off, maybe you should rethink your attitude in my car. I don’t mind you disagreeing with me. I don’t mind you offering up different aspects and points of views, but allow me mine. Don’t cut me off and tell me I’m wrong. Don’t demand that I act a certain way in your presence. The walk home is dark and lonely, and most people won’t stop for you at 2 in the morning.

I’m not the bad guy here – I’m providing a service for you. That you are not compensating for.

I was under the assumption that most people knew how ‘bumming a ride’ worked. Maybe I’m still right, but this incident has made me wary about letting people into my car.

Bottom line – if you’re in someone else’s car, or house, you play by their rules. Usually the driver or homeowner isn’t going to be unreasonable with the requests – and if they are, then you’re better off not being there in the first place. Your job as a passenger is to make things as enjoyable for the driver as possible.