25 September 2015

Tonight on Uber: The Secret Menu

scionTwo employees Uber’d their way home from the Stand in Arcadia. With all restaurant workers, I genuinely and enthusiastically ask them what the best item on the menu is. There is no better way to find delicious food than straight from the folks who make it.

With tight lipped hesitation resulting from a implicit blood-endorsed non-disclosure agreement, one passenger alludes to an item that isn’t on the menu.

Unabashedly, I probe for more specifics on this and other “secret menu” items. Nobody ever said uncovering Phoenix would be easy.

The passenger proceeds to describe a few options in delicious detail. Eagerly, I ask how to order one particular item later deemed the 36th St. Style Nachos (or Fries). He obliges, knowing full well that my stomach’s happiness is far more important than his first born child.

“However,” the passenger continues, “most of the employees don’t even know what the secret menu items are or how to make them. It’s always confusing when people actually order them. We always have to ask a manager how to ring it up too.”


24 September 2015

Tonight on Uber: Vince

scionA couple has me take them to the Del Taco drive thru. The female Del Taco worker remarks, several times, to the female passenger that she looks familiar. The passenger is seemingly in denial.

Then the worker goes in back for a minute and the passenger says, "She might recognize me from YouTube".

Suddenly thinking I might have someone famous in my car, I ask, "What is the name of your channel?".

*Insert sarcastic comment by boyfriend implying that she thinks she is so popular people would actually recognize her from the INTERNET.*

She responds, "Erica, but it is spelled Airruhkkah. That persona started on MySpace and kind of stuck."

Couple proceeds to lament about the high cost of the vegetarian burritos compared to the meat options, but that they better get used to it if they are "really doing this vegetarian thing".

They ordered 3 burritos and 2 churros for a grand total of $7.04


06 September 2015

Community for the Long Haul

IMG_5597In the midst of chaos and frustration, Nate escapes to one of his favorite Phoenix getaways. Hiking through the moonlit mountains late at night, an idea comes forth – an idea which may or may not warrant serious consideration. The concept of communal living has ambiguously woven its way in and out of his mind over time. Tonight, the concept is powerful and articulate.

The city is irrelevant, but a fun one is advisable. Start by taking a group of friends who are intentionally committed to living life together for a significant portion of time. A length of time where parents can look back with their kids and recount memories from decades past. This group of friends will choose relationships over promotions, consistency and deep roots over the next big break. Everyone contributes – their talents, their times, their uniqueness. No freeloaders allowed.

Find a neighborhood with modest homes in close proximity – homes with room enough for large dinner tables, basic needs, and nothing more. One person, the ringleader of the crew – so to speak - steps up and manages a pool of shared resources. Everyone contributes a bit financially and has access to those things that waste space 355 days a year in garages across the country.

Without the need for space to store  6 snow blowers, 3 trucks, and 12 crock pots, homes become smaller, mortgages cheaper, and A/C bills lower. Travel increases, fun multiplies, and free time expands. Time to pursue dreams. Time to enjoy family and friends. Time to be creative. Time to explore passions. Nobody worries about their empty homes or pets, because in a sense, they are common and cared for.

It is understood that homes are communal – invitations unnecessary. Meals are shared together. Nobody drives to one another – just eats, drinks, and rejoices merrily, regularly. There need not be a special occasion to see your good friends but three times a year, but rather three times a week. A signal could be put in place to protect private times of fighting or fucking – a classy version of the sock on the doorknob.

This social construct inherently fosters deep rooted relationships simply due to repetition and transparency. The fruits may not happen right away, but after five, ten, fifteen years, the players look back and say “damn, this is really, really awesome”.