I am a chatty person. I talk a lot – to anyone and everyone. My kids used to make bets on how long it would take me to strike up a conversation in the grocery line. My kids are grown, but I’m still talking in line.
Some of my new best listeners are UBER and LYFT drivers, who are sort of a collective captive audience since they are locked into their seats. You, the passenger, is pretty much in charge of not only where you’re going, but where the conversation goes, as well.
You get to pick whether you prefer to sit in the front like a buddy, or ride more regally in the back, with the driver as your own personal chauffeur – if only briefly. Personally, I usually opt to sit up front because I like to talk…and even—sometimes, to listen.
I’ve had more male than female drivers, but that’s sort of expected…there are, undoubtedly fewer women opting to drive strangers around town than there are men. Now before you begin looking for a way you can make that in to a sexist remark…it isn’t…although I have come to some conclusions about the better drivers.
The other day I had a most unusual, and fascinating ride. The driver was a very nice, polite young man, meaning he was happy for me to sit in the passenger seat, and off we went. I have discovered that there are very few drivers who plan on making it their career, so I started the conversation by asking what he wanted to be when he wasn’t being a driver.
Not surprisingly, in this town, there are a lot of singing, writing, joke telling show business people using the driving gig to see them through to their big SHOW BUSINESS break.
Steve was no exception. He really is a songwriter he said…words and music. He said he could tell by the way I got into the car and just starting talking that I was probably a show business person, too. I took it as a compliment and admitted that I was, and most of my family was, indeed, show business people.
He seemed pretty dedicated to his songwriting…and singing. I told him about singing at Oil Can Harry’s and that he should get over there and be heard. I told him about the friendly audience and the really good and not so good singers who showed up to share the joy of music.
And then, SURPRISE! He asked if I’d like to hear some of his stuff.
I had the feeling that Steve was not going to be playing me The Great American Songbook. But maybe I could expand my horizons. So I said yes. And he played some for me.
Okay, here is where life got a bit complicated.
I believe that what he played was Rap. I’m not certain. The only rap that I ever heard, understood and reveled in, was ‘Hamilton, in a theater, not a Prius. And even that required me to read a marvelous, but lengthy book explaining it all. I really tried to understand what was going on. Honestly. I wanted to say something knowledgeable.
But – like what?
I know that there is a whole language going on out there that I don’t know anything about. I began to sweat. “Come on Betty.” I said to me. “You know thousands of word. You don’t have one word to fit this situation?”
And then it hit me.
It is a word I came across recently…and I believe it means Great!
Or at least VERY good.
I could say, “That is really Dope.”
But suppose I’m wrong about it? Suppose “Dope!” turns out to mean something else entirely. I didn’t want to hurt Steve’s feeling.
But I had to say something.
What I ended up saying was – “Oh! Wow! We’re here.” You just help me get these packages out of the car. I can take them from there.”
Then I managed…”Hey! YOU KNOW, YOUR MUSIC ISN’T MY MUSIC BUT – GOOD FOR YOU. And don’t forget about Oil Can’s.”
He drove off, apparently content while I struggled with the bags I would, under more normal circumstances, have expected him to help me get to the door…
“DOPE!” I said to me.
And I knew it was totally correct usage.