That Flat Earth Uber Driver I Had that Time

Rep. Jason Ridley reached out to remind me of this, which originally appeared on my personal Facebook Page on January 11th, 2018. Enjoy!

My car has been in the shop since December 26th. I don’t know, at this point, when I’ll get it back. The lack of car has meant that I have had to rely on the kindness of my colleagues to get back and forth to the Capitol during this first week. That hasn’t always been an option, and on three occasions, I used Uber to get around.

Now I am grateful for this service. It is relatively affordable in a pinch and amazingly convenient. And I have truly enjoyed the conversations I have had with my drivers whenever I have used it. Until today when I am now wondering if I was on some sort of prank show.

Today, my Uber ride started normally enough as I was picked up a little before 8AM in front of the Copper Coin coffee shop in Downtown Woodstock. The conversation started normally enough as well, as we decided that football was a good topic. When my driver realized I was wearing a suit and where we were going, he asked me what I did and I responded that I was a State House Rep.

That’s when things got weird.

He changed the topic to chemtrails, a conspiracy theory that involves the condensation you see from airplane jet engines really being the government spraying mind control substances into the atmosphere. He asked me if anyone had talked to me about it and I said not in a serious way. He was undeterred and asked me to open my iPad and look up information on the subject. We were just arriving at the 575-75 merge in Kennesaw at this point in the trip and traffic was bad. Another hour at least was left until we arrived at the CLOB.

Allow me to step back for a moment at this point to explain to you that I am incapable of reading while moving in any car. Whenever I try to do this, I end up getting extraordinarily nauseous. After a few moments of indulging my Uber driver and looking at my iPad, in combination with the fact that I had not slept I began to become deliriously ill.

Hoping that my Uber driver would not consider me rude by closing down my iPad, and therefore shutting down the conversation, I leaned back in my seat and closed my eyes as I broke out into a cold sweat. The stop and go was beginning to take a toll and he asked if I was experiencing motion sickness. When I explained that yes I was I asked him permission to crack the window for some fresh air and he complied. The sweet relief of the cool breeze across my forehead saved me from certain vomiting, but it also led to the next conversation topic: whether the earth was flat or round.

Somehow, the sense of motion had become a debate topic within the family structure of my Uber driver. He described an argument he had with his brother about whether human beings can actually sense motion while in a moving vehicle. Don’t ask me how, but this had something to do with the fact that the earth is flat. And for the next hour my Uber driver described for me in great detail how he knew with great certainty that the earth was indeed flat.

I politely asked him a series of questions I probably shouldn’t have. His theory was detailed to say the least, and he had an answer for each of my questions save for two: can you travel in a straight line, and if so where do you end up if you travel far enough? He relied heavily on referencing YouTube videos he had seen of some Navy Officer from the 1950s that described Antarctica as a ring that formed an 8000-foot-tall wall all the way around the circumference of the flat earth.

With each passing moment time seemed to slow and it just kept getting weirder and weirder. At this point I asked him why he felt like YouTube was a credible source but scientists were not. He was momentarily flummoxed by the question before plowing ahead with conspiracy theories to cover up the truth, including some British organization dedicated to the manipulation of human behavior and how Albert Einstein was a stooge. He spoke about an Illuminati card game that seemed to predict the future and presented images of 9/11, the Gulf oil spill, and the Colorado theater massacre. Finally, he informed me that we lived under a giant dome and that space travel was impossible as a result.

We had finally reached The Gold Dome at about 9:40AM and I thanked him for the ride and exited as quickly as I could.

And that was just my morning commute. How was your day?

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