Three Forks Voice - Connect With Your Community!

By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

Column: The Uber


March 18, 2020

A little over five years ago Melissa and I went to go watch a UFC fight card in Las Vegas that featured Conor McGregor as well as many other well-known MMA fighters. It was a glorious time and I still think fondly on it often.

Although most of the trip went smoothly with a lot of smiles, there was one hiccup that has also been remembered. We knew it was going to be a very long night of the fight card, so we made sure to stop and get a big meal at Wolfgang Puck's restaurant in Caesar's Palace. We ate and drank like kings and queens or I guess you could say emperor's until it was time to get a taxi to take us to the MGM Garden Arena. I had some money in savings and was able to get ringside seats, so I was about as excited as I get and so was Melissa. We could not believe what the sights and sounds were like this close to the action. While watching the first fight on the undercard Melissa tapped me on the shoulder. When I turned to look at her it was as if she had seen a ghost as she told me that she left her brand-new phone in the cab. We were both horrified. None of us had been in this situation and we did not know if we would ever get the phone back.

Luckily the cab driver answered when we called the phone and he returned it right away. He did not ask for any money for his time, which was a very kind gesture, but we made sure to tip him very well.

Once the crisis had been adverted I started to tease Melissa about leaving her phone in a cab and the ribbing has gone on for over five years, but finally came to a screeching halt recently at the Southern B Divisional Basketball Tournament in Billings.

I had traveled up to Billings on Wednesday without Melissa who did not drive up until Friday. Somebody had to stay at the office while I covered a whole lot of basketball. Because I had received a ride up, I was taking an Uber to and from the MetraPark Arena. It was by no means cheap, but it sure was convenient.

On the Thursday of the tournament, I had covered three teams and following the final game of the evening I was finishing up a story to post online. An MHSA official told me they would be turning off the lights on me and they did. I thought this was really rude, I was just doing my job, but I don't have any sort of say with them. In my rush to get out of there, I left my mouse, phone charger, and earphones at the media table. When I figured out I left that stuff on Friday morning I was really pissed off, and I decided to take a Uber early to see if it was still there.

I was dropped off at the arena around 9:30 and decided to text Melissa as I was walking to the entrance. I checked in my pockets and there was no phone. It was also not in my laptop bag or camera bag. I probably turned as white as Melissa did all those years ago when I realized my phone was sitting in the back seat of the Uber. I could no longer tease her because I had done the same thing.

After a few minutes of hyperventilating, I made my way to the media tables and plugged in the laptop. I needed to get online and figure out what I needed to do to get in contact with the driver. This is when I realized the Wi-Fi at the arena was down. I had no way to get on the Internet and did not recognize anyone in that giant arena. At this point, I just wanted to cry. About an hour later I finally was able to get online and another media member helped me out with his phone. Within two hours I had my phone back, but the damage was done. I knew for a fact I could never tease Melissa again, and that had been so much fun.

I guess the only good thing was that the stuff I had left in a hurry was still at the table.


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