Let me introduce you to a new game I came up with the other weekend. Not really sure what to call it yet but for now, let’s just call it 5 Card Uber since I cant think of anything better and Crazy Ubers might scare some people off.
It was 2 Sundays ago and most of the family had gotten up earlier than normal. Reason for the early wake-up call was that 3 of us (me, my wife and my youngest daughter) were working for a Run Lehigh Valley 5K race at Dorney Park. We all had to get up between 5 and 6 am to make sure we were there on time. We were done with the race around 10-10:30 am and headed home. My oldest daughter had to work from 12 to 4 pm so while we waited for her to get done, we all just tried to get stuff done around the house. I had just gotten done cutting the lawn and went out to run an errand and knew no one was going to want to cook dinner. That is when the light bulb went off.
I had gotten the idea from a saying I first heard from my father-in-law when we were out fishing one time. He said, we whatever we catch is what we are going to eat for dinner. If we don’t catch anything, then we don’t eat. Hey, maybe this will work for Uberring. It was around 1:30 pm and I decided to give myself 2 hrs to see how much I can make and use that for dinner. Depending on how much I made, we would either go out to eat, order something in, or if things didn’t go too well, we would just have have to settle for White Castle or some other cheap fast food place. So, I get in the car and let the game begin.
It started off quickly. I had my first ride within the first few minutes, picking someone up near the local high school in Bethlehem (Liberty) and taking them into Allentown. 15 minutes later, I had my first $8 and enough for at least a burger each and fries at the White Castle, although we probably have to share the fries. I head back to Bethlehem and as soon as I pull into town, I get another ride. It’s a husband and wife who are heading to the Sands Casino. We get to talking and I ask the if there were going to gamble or see a show. Ironically, they tell me, they are going for the Annual Food and Wine Festival. Was half tempted to ask them to sneak some food out for me, just in case this “game” doesn’t go well. Since it was a pretty short ride it was only about a $4 fare, but at least now – Everyone can get their own order of fries.
At this point it is close to 2:30 pm, 1 hour left. Instead of just driving around looking for a ride, I decide to just park, catch up on emails and Facebook and wait to see if I can get a few more rides before the “buzzer” sounds and the game is over. I didn’t realize it, but before I know it, 30 mins have past. Oh Crap. I decide maybe just sitting there is not going to work out. I put the car in drive and hope to god that there is someone in need of a ride.
About 10 mins pass and I am getting a little nervous because I REALLY don’t want White Castle. No offense, to the Castle, but at this age, not sure my stomach can handle it. A little more time goes by and my hope is dwindling, but low and behold, I get a ping. My spirits start to pick up, although I try not to get too excited since it could just be another $4 ride. I start off to pick them up and before I got there I got a call from them. I am thinking, “Please don’t cancel, Please don’t cancel”.
Turns out they just wanted to stop and get something to eat on the way – WHEW!. I pick them up but at this point they changed their mind and just want to get back to their car. They had been at a wedding in Sellersville (about 20-30 min ride) and were just staying in Bethlehem. I drop them off and eagerly await to see how much the fare was. As I pull away, the fare shows up and its $21 – WOO-HOO. No White Castle tonight. Now, it was not enough to go out to eat, but definitely enough to order Chinese.
Now, I mentioned that I had decided to play this game while I was out running an errand, I failed to mention that I had not told anyone else in the family what I was doing. It is for this reason, that I am extremely grateful to that last ride. If I had gone home with only $10-$12 for dinner, I don’t think it would have gone over too well. So, if you ever decide to play 5 Card Uber, make sure you warn you family ahead of time. Oh and maybe bring some Pepto just in case you find yourself with only enough for the Castle.
Photography by Suzanne Drake Photography