Archive for October, 2018

church of uber – TAKASHI

October 9, 2018 16 comments

I realize that most of the stories I tell you about my Uber rides have some sort of serious punch in them. I love the fact that I can give you details of some amazing encounters. This one, however, is not that. Or maybe it is…

So, it’s a normal pickup spot at one of the nicer hotels in downtown Colorado Springs. I like that spot, because there’s a Dutch Bros Coffee one block away. Many times, while I’m waiting in line (there’s always a line at Dutch Bros), I get pinged. So I’m happy when I roll to pick up the next ride. I got my Dutchies, and I’m ready to go.

It was still dark when I picked up Takashi and his co-worker. After securing their luggage, Takashi jumped into the passenger seat up front, and the other guy crawled into the back seat. Takashi spoke pretty good English, but it was very heavily accented. His salt-and-pepper hair, and thickly-groomed chin beard, were both meticulously placed. He was a handsome dude, but dressed for leisure and comfort as they were flying back home to Japan. Takashi looked like a serious-minded businessman, but I was soon to find out that he was ready to use his English.

After finding out about why they’d been in town, I asked Takashi, “Was it all work, or did you have any fun?” That was when it got crazy. Takashi turned around to his co-worker, spoke a few lines in his native tongue, and asked me, “Have you ever been to Maggie’s Farm?” Maggie’s Farm is one of many recreational pot dispensaries in Manatou Springs. I knew where the conversation was headed, but I was not prepared for what happened next. Takashi started telling me how he had bought some cannabis-laced chocolate candies. When he didn’t start feeling the effects of the candy immediately, he continued to eat more…and then even more. On a previous ride, an EMT driver told me that a common call for help happens when pot tourists over-eat their cannabis eatables because they don’t feel their high immediately. The emergency tech said, “A couple of hours later, and people start wigging out in paranoia.”

Both men started giggling, recalling the memory. “I assume that was a bad idea?” I asked, referring to his overindulgence. Evidently, the experience had been funny. Both men were now laughing uncontrollably. In fact, Takashi was beating the dashboard mercilessly (I was concerned about the air bags malfunctioning), while the guy in the back seat was screaming in laughter, pounding the back of my seat, and about to stomp a hole in the floor! I thought the boys were going to stroke out.


It did not stop the entire ride. About the time one of them would get a grip, the other would say something, and it would start all over again. The waves of laughter got into me. Geez, I cough when I laugh too hard, and I had to pull over. They were slapping each other, all the while I am laughing at them losing their minds in hilarity. I finally pulled it together enough to get them to the airport. They were still in such throws of their memory, Takashi could no longer speak in English. When I asked him which airline he was flying out on, he could only point to the American desk as we pulled up beside it. Once I got them unloaded, Takashi almost broke my ribs with a hug. As I drove off, they were still standing by their luggage on the sidewalk, tossing each other’s hair. OMG! It was CRAZY!

I have no idea what actually happened that night, but those boys must have taken “The Rocky Mountain High” to a whole new level. I really don’t think the guys were still under the influence. I just think they were re-living a night that must have gotten pretty wild. Un-be-liev-able!

So here’s the deal: If you want to get upset with me for telling this story, then go right ahead. Feel free to lump these guys (and me, too) in with the “sinners” group which consists of all smokers, drinkers, liars, cheaters, divorcees, gays, gluttons, gossipers, adulterers, lawyers, used car dealers, and politicians. You know… the people who Jesus loves despite whichever group they belong to.

But, I can’t remember the last time I saw someone laugh like that… period. I’m not a spokesman or advocate for the pot industry, or the effects of cannabis. But people have become so serious, and way too burdened, to even crack a smile about much of anything going on in their lives. If I’m to be honest, it was kind of refreshing to see that much guffawing being shared between two friends. No, I don’t think we all need to be smoking reefer. But can we laugh a little? Can we not take ourselves so seriously? Do we, can we, embrace these moments and memories with our friends? We need to laugh more, dang it! What about you? When was the last time you were in the grips of uncontrollable hilarity?

On a side note, I recently gave a ride to the husband of a woman who started a grass-roots (no pun intended) movement for parents whose children suffer with seizures and all sorts of learning disabilities. He revealed that, seven years ago, his son was bed-ridden because of his afflictions. That family moved to Colorado Springs, and started giving the kid cannabis oils medicinally (no THC in the meds). The kid is now seizure free, making great grades, and engaged in a normal social life that all kids are supposed to have. The guy was in tears talking about his son.

Ecclesiastes says, “There is a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.”

Weeping and mourning don’t usually negotiate for our participation. Those two things can hold us hostage without a conversation. I believe it is more than okay for us to allow ourselves the right to be joyous and “giggly” in our gratitude for the things that are good, even great, in our lives. Patti and I, and our family, have had a pretty stressful summer. As hard and taxing as it was, we now get to hold a baby in our arms who fills our hearts with miraculous hilarity. We’re tired, but we can’t keep the happy tears inside. It would be a “sin” to keep them all bottled up.

One thing is certain: the Church of Uber is never boring… EVER!

Live every day inside this magnificent truth: GOD LOVES US ALL!





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