Need a Ride? Better Goober

Floyd the barber is just one of Goober's fast, friendly and reliable drivers.

Floyd the Barber is just one of Goober’s fast, friendly and reliable drivers.

I’ve been traveling a lot in the last few months, going to big cities like Boston, San Francisco and Seattle.  One major difference between big city and small town life is how we get around.  Here, we use our feet and our cars.  In big cities, they Uber.

In the unlikely event some of you are even less hip than I am, let me explain that Uber is a kind of taxi service that is all the rage now in most cities.  Unlike conventional licensed, yellow taxis, Uber taxis are ordinary Joes driving their own cars.

Anybody can hire themselves out.  They sign up online with Uber, prove they aren’t ax murderers (I assume) and Uber adds their name to the list of approved drivers.  A rider downloads the Uber app on their smart phone, gives their credit card info, and hails a cab electronically.  Uber handles the transaction for a fee and nobody carries cash.

My mom strictly impressed upon me that you never take rides from strangers.  This was even worse than taking candy from them.  Yet this is something my 20-somethng daughters do routinely.  I’m not too thrilled by the idea, frankly, but it’s now part of everyday life.

This is so common it has become a verb.  You don’t “call an Uber” like you’d call a taxi.  You don’t “catch the Uber” like you’d catch the bus.  You just “Uber.”

When I was visiting relatives in Seattle, my younger and much more cosmopolitan cousin must have mentioned Ubering as a transportation option at least half a dozen times.   I finally replied that I wasn’t familiar with it because we didn’t have it at home.

She looked at me blankly.

“Uber.” I clarified.  “I don’t think we have that.  Don’t need it, really. My office is in town, so I can walk to the bank, the post office, the doctor’s office – even city hall is just a block away.  For everything else, most folks just hop in their cars.”

She was too polite to call me a clueless, country bumpkin, but the look on her face said it all. I realized I had just described life in Mayberry.

“Round ‘bout where we-all live,” I explained further, “we don’t Uber: we Goober.”

“Whenever we need a ride, we ring up Sarah on the telephone party line and she calls Goober down at Wally’s Garage & Gas Station.” I said.

“You need a ride? Go-o-olly!” says Goober.  “Sure thing!  I just gotta finish changin’ a tire on this ‘56 Dodge pickup, then I’ll be down to getcha in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.  Shazam!”

  • Took your best girl for a bite at the Bluebird Diner, and it’s pouring down rain when it’s time to go home?  Better Goober.
  • Need to get over to Mount Pilot?  Better Goober.
  • Put the “Gone fishing” sign on the door for an afternoon at Myers Lake and now your car won’t start?  Better Goober.

I was wrong about one thing, though.  I checked online when I got home from Seattle, and it turns out we DO have Uber around here.  That’s who Goober uses after he’s had too many glasses of Aunt Bee’s elderberry wine.



About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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38 Responses to Need a Ride? Better Goober

  1. Very funny, where’s Andy when we need him?
    The problem with Uber is that they don’t fully vet their drivers. They only do a basic background check. I don’t think people really know this about uber. That’s kinda scary if you ask me.
    I will never call an ” uber” driver for that reason alone. I don’t wanna have to call Andy afterwards….


  2. Well, golly gee! Has the world gone mad? Sorry, but I refuse all rides from potential ax-wielding strangers.And now there’s another one called Lyft. I really do think the sole reason these services are used by the young’uns is because of the catchy names they give them. “Well, if they spell lift with a Y, it must be legit!”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Here ya go, google this: “Ubers biggest problem isn’t serge pricing…”
    Background checks? I think not. Uber is a billion dollar tech company, not concerned with the background of the drivers.


  4. susielindau says:

    I bet readers under forty don’t know who Goober is. I loved The Andy Griffith Show!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. List of X says:

    I’ve used Uber, and never had a problem with it – but maybe it’s because I look bigger and scarier than most Uber drivers.
    Which is probably why I’m thinking of doing some Uber driving myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pegoleg says:

      Go for it! I just heard an ad for being an Uber driver on the radio at lunch time – your ride can get you some major $$$. I’d hire you as a driver.


      • List of X says:

        I’ll gladly accept your ride request if you’re willing to wait approximately 16 hours for my car to arrive.

        Liked by 1 person

        • pegoleg says:

          My daughter flew home from San Francisco for Thanksgiving. I was nagging her about not paying $30/day to park in the short-term lot and why didn’t she Uber? She said she tried, but couldn’t find anybody who was willing to drive her at 5:30am to make a few extra $$.


  6. Elyse says:

    I’m going into downtown DC tomorrow, and I was planning on using a cab to get around. I have just confirmed my hiplessness.

    Funny post, Peg!


  7. I admit it: I’ve Ubered.
    One time I Ubered in a driving rainstorm and didn’t want to walk home. It was a carpool Uber (Uber Pool). The driver was very kind about all the passengers getting his seats soaked!


    • pegoleg says:

      Uber Pool is really a thing? Or did the guy’s car just resemble a pool because of all the water? Around here, if we had to wait for a car pool of people all going to the same place, you’d be waiting around at the mall for a week!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Al says:

    Here again the Trump type paranoia is rearing it’s ugly head. Has anybody considered that these ax-murderers may have had a bad childhood. Where’s the love? I happen to be an Uber driver too (grinding sound in background…..).


    • pegoleg says:

      The good news is that the Dept. of Health & Human Services has just announced they are funding a study at Harvard: Causes and Effects of Early Childhood Trauma on the Ax-Wielding Uber Driver. Should cost about $450,000.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. At college, I am my friends’ Goober.


  10. Margie says:

    In our Snowbird Community in Arizona, they’ve had a type of Uber for years. Of course, there isn’t an app, and the drivers (retirees who live in the community) only take cash. There is a good old fashioned list posted on the notice board at the community centre with the names and phone numbers of all the drivers!


  11. They take rides from strangers and then PAY THEM. What a cruel twist to the plot. I used Uber for the first time two weeks ago. I just never needed it! The U in Uber should have umlauts. Über looks cool


  12. Okay…you gave me a much needed laugh! Goober – LOVE IT!! We “Uber” quite a bit when we visit our son in Chicago. And I’ve used it a few times here in Atlanta. It’s just so easy to use the app, you can see where your driver is and how long it will take for them to get to you and you don’t have to worry about having cash or fumbling with a credit card. Way easier I think than trying to arrange for a cab. We even got daring and used Uber in Melbourne, Australia a few days ago to get to the airport. Our diver was awesome! But I would use Goober too if I could…


  13. Love it. I have not and will not Uber or Lyft. The drivers do not have commercial licenses nor do they have commercial insurance. Think about this as they drive you about big cities for a fee, what happens if they are in an accident and you are hurt.

    (BTW: I could be wrong on the above but this is my understanding)


  14. Dear Funny Lady (not to be confused with Babs Streisand- although, I haven’t heard you sing)…..

    I thought of you today and your well-penned “Goober” story of last month, when I came upon this news headline:

    “Woman sues Uber and Honda after crash that leaves her paralyzed. ” Aaargh….

    Not good. No insurance. Not even his car. Not good. Aaargh. And, no, Uber does not do a thorough background check. They check for a pulse, that’s about it….


  15. Once I knew my way around DC, I went with cab drivers instead. They actually knew the roads. Uber drivers often had to use Google Maps, and couldn’t navigate alternative routes as needed.


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