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How I wrote Shockingly True Uber Stories

I’d been trying not to smoke weed for over a week, in preparation of recording the audiobook.  And it turned out I’m much more addicted to marijuana than I ever realized…  I don’t smoke everyday, I skip days here and there, but at the same time I’ve only made it 3 weeks without smoking ever since I started 15 years ago.  I’ve made it 3 weeks many times, but I never make it past 3 weeks.  3 weeks is my unbreakable record so far.

  I did really good for my first year out here, because I barely brought enough weed from California.  And since I don’t even have an acquaintance out here, obviously I have no weed connection, and weed is still illegal here, like I’ve traveled back decades in time… so I had to ration my weed that first year, and I thought I would be okay, because I’m here with my girl and she doesn’t smoke and she doesn’t ever want me to, but I didn’t count on a global pandemic happening, and all of a sudden being locked inside my home with nothing but time to kill… 

  So I had to make what little weed I had last somehow, by taking tiny hits out of a little pipe, about once a week.  And it still wasn’t great because before I left California, I went to the weed store and told this guy that worked there that I’m moving out of state so I need something good and strong to have with me.  

Out in California, and especially LA, we can become snobs about weed, because we have endless options when it comes to the different styles and strains, so I told the guy I want something strong and powerful, yet really relaxing, but I don’t want to feel sleepy, I don’t want to just fall asleep, I still want to get high, still be stoned in my mind, but I want my body relaxed, I want to be chill, so nothing too intense…

  But all this stoner guy behind the counter heard was the word “powerful”, so he pointed me in the direction of what he said was the best stuff they had in the place.  The bottle said the THC level was 30%, which is WAY more THC than anybody needs.  But me being a true weed fiend, I fell for it and told him I’d take it.  

They didn’t have any of my favorite strains, and I had a packed moving truck waiting in the parking lot so I didn’t have time to overthink my decision, so I took his recommendation and I also grabbed a bottle of Blueberry Kush which had a more reasonable THC level of 21%, plus I grabbed some weed cookies in case I wanted to binge some shows during a snowstorm or something…

  Anyway, none of the weed I brought for the first year was relaxing in the slightest bit.  Every time I took the slightest hit, it felt more like I snorted cocaine or PCP or something, because my heart would just race like I was having a heart attack.  

Perhaps it was psychological or maybe I’m just getting old and my frail skeleton frame can’t handle it anymore, but I’ve never had any bad symptoms before, usually as soon as marijuana enters my body it immediately feels like I’ve ingested the cure for whatever ails me, but with this demon weed I couldn’t sit still.  

I’d feel my heart pounding like it’s trying to bounce out of my chest and I’d start pacing all around, praying to God, swearing I’ll never smoke again if my body would just chill and return to normal.  I couldn’t stay in the pad, I’d feel like running outside in the snow and hop on a bike and pedal and pedal to catch up to my speeding heart rate…

   But of course I kept smoking because I’m so addicted and I never learn my lesson, plus the pandemic hit and we were all of a sudden quarantined inside, and I kept telling myself this time it’ll be different, this time it’ll be different, it’s all in my head… but no I still couldn’t calm down, every time I smoked it felt like life or death. 

  Maybe I was just too stressed after moving to a new state that I can’t stand with harsh weather that’s so difficult to survive, and I don’t know if you’ve read Shockingly True Uber Stories, if you haven’t then spoiler alert: my head and neck are paralyzed, yet I was driving passengers for Uber and Lyft through the snow and the ice…

Plus my girl is 20 years younger than me, and she’s here on scholarship in the United States for the first time, so it’s like all of sudden after never having children, I inherited a college student to take care of, and she doesn’t have a car or a license yet so I’m on call for everything and anything 24/7.  And after wishing for years for an Arabian Princess to appear next to me, my wish was actually granted, but it’ll make you more careful what you wish for when you have to take care of every whim of a Princess from the desert while you’re both stuck in the snow and ice and you’re living on the low wage of an Uber driver in a small farm town…

  She wants to know why I’m always fidgeting uncontrollably, rubbing the center of my chest with my palm, and why I’m so easily stressed and frustrated in the simplest of situations like picking her up from the library, but I can’t tell her I’m dying from the high of this weed, when she hates that I smoke it.  I don’t want to add fuel to her fire…

  So yeah it was a rough first year here, and obviously it was a rough year for the entire world in 2020.  But here we had all the virus stuff AND constant snowstorms, so that didn’t help.  I tried to drive for Uber and Lyft all the way to the very end, despite my immune system at risk due to the autoimmune disease that left my head frozen and entire spine paralyzed, until the world came to a stop and we were all stuck inside.  

  I stayed home doing nothing, watching the balance in my bank account drop rapidly, until finally they got unemployment sorted out, and I was waiting impatiently on my first payment, and it was the end of April when all of a sudden it started snowing one morning, and it snowed more in one day than I’ve ever seen the entire time I’ve lived here.  Not even in the worst winter storm did it snow this much in one day. The snow pounded down on the city and since everything was shut down and nobody was working, there was no one to clear the snow from the streets, let alone clear the sidewalks or the stairs, or from the front of my door.  

  I told my girl I was on my way to pick her up, but of course it would take awhile to clear the snow off my car as always, but as soon as I stepped outside, I stepped into at least a foot of snow, and there were no other footsteps in the snow anywhere, it was obvious that not one person had even attempted to step outside, not one car had even attempted to move, and these people grew up here, everyone has lived here much longer than me, and clearly not one person had made the slightest move to even attempt to move any vehicle in the deepest snow I’ve ever seen, so I felt like a complete idiot making huge holes with each slow step through the snow, down the stairs and out into the street to my car that was completely covered in thick white snow.  I made a ridiculous attempt to push the snow from my windshield with a broom, but it was obviously useless.  

  If you’re wondering why I even made the slightest attempt to brave a snowstorm this harsh and try to move my car, let alone open the door to my home and step outside into it, especially during a global pandemic while it was practically illegal to go outside, then you’ve obviously never dealt with the wild temper of a young Arabian… my girl is as cool as they come, but the one thing she hates most in life is being late, and even worse: canceling on her.  

  But there was just no way a vehicle could move in this amount of snow so I had to suck it up and call her and tell her I wasn’t gonna make it.  I hung up, realizing I was gonna pay for it for the rest of my life, and went back inside and sat down and decided to start writing Shockingly True Uber Stories, just to pass the time and kill the boredom… (to be continued)  

Shockingly True Uber Stories is available now

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How I Recorded the Audiobook (part 2)

So here I am feeling extra American these days, and here’s this note on my door telling me people are entering my home whenever they want and I’ll just have to deal with it and they might be friendly but I better keep any pets away from them

(I really wish I still had my giant pitbull Louie with me, to guard my pad, then I wouldn’t have to worry about anything, I wouldn’t even have to keep the door locked, but he’s living the good retired life with my buddy back in Southern California on a large property with a lot of other animals, loving life, so I’m happy for him, I wouldn’t ruin his last days by bringing him here to the freezing icy snow)…

  This shockingly bold internet company had me thinking about: “WE THE PEOPLE, US AMERICANS and OUR RIGHTS”, so I decided I would defend my home by any means necessary and there was absolutely no way ANYONE was coming into my home uninvited. 

So for 3 days I paced the floor of my pad, watching through the blinds, waiting for someone to try to come in, rather than doing anything productive to forward my writing career, certainly not recording the audiobook like I was supposed to be…

  Finally I was sitting comfortably on the floor of my living room, meditating, trying to deal with the stress of all the banging and drilling and loud conversations right outside my front window, and I was in deep meditation, floating through space, realizing the Universe is an endless ocean made of the same tiny particles that I’m made of, realizing I’m made of the exact same matter as everything else in the Universe, watching the tide of the ocean flowing into me and out of me, back out into space, seeing all the stars as particles of sand, and my mind is a planet, my head is the Earth, my breathe is the wind, my legs are the roots of a tree, and they’re buried beneath the Earth, and I’m the same thing as everything, even inanimate objects, made of the same subatomic particles as everything else, my mind is a clean blank slate, I’m completely brand new, starting a fresh new life with each new breath of fresh air, I am one with everything  in the entire Universe…

  When I heard a quick loud knock on the door, and I slowly opened my eyes, like I’m Yoda coming out of a trance of the Force, then I heard my door unlock and the door was pushed open but it stopped suddenly and loudly because of the chain on the door…

  I still sat there relaxed because of the deep cleansing meditation session, but I shouted: “Hey stop!”

  I slowly pushed myself up from the floor and left the door open only a few inches, held by the chain… I saw two dudes in masks and uniforms, and the dude in front said: “We’re here to install fiber…”

  And I said: “No.”

  And he said: “Why not?”

“Because.  No one’s coming in here.” 

“We’re installing fiber…  We have to…”

“No.”

“Okay we’re calling the landlord!”

“Go for it.”

  And I closed the door and locked it. 

  Then I sat down and wrote a few threatening emails to my management company.  I wrote to any contact email I could find.  I wrote aggressive emails threatening legal action if ANYONE stepped foot in my apartment uninvited without my knowledge or permission. 

I explained that as an AMERICAN citizen this was against my rights, and I couldn’t believe some outside company was somehow allowed to tell me they were entering my home without my permission during any time in history let alone during a global pandemic, and with my autoimmune condition, my immune system was at risk, and under no circumstances was a group of guys coming into my home touching everything, breathing everywhere, and if it was discovered that anyone came into my residence without my knowledge or permission, and I caught the slightest sniffle or cough then the management company would be held liable to every extent of the law. 

  Since I’ve lived in so many terrible apartments with so many terrible landlords and management companies, I’ve learned to write pretty powerful threatening emails, always threatening aggressive legal action, even though I’ve never had or known any lawyer, I usually get good fast results…    

  But I still haven’t heard back, so I’ve just been pacing back and forth across my living room floor, guarding my pad like my old pitbull Louie, occasionally looking through the blinds and growling…

(continued in the next post...)

The audiobook of Shockingly True Uber Stories is available now on Audible.

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Audiobook Available Now

As promised, the audiobook version of Shockingly True Uber Stories is now available on Audible. You can get it right here. In a couple more days it will be available on iTunes and Amazon, and next week you will be able to get the audiobook everywhere they have audiobooks…

I’m so happy and grateful the book is doing so well already. It has continued to remain in the Top 100 Kindle ebooks in a few different categories, and has remained closer to #1 here in the US as well as many other countries, and it’s barely been out for a week and I haven’t even done anything to promote it yet. So many people in so many different countries have been reading it for free on Kindle Unlimited, so you’re welcome for that. It’s a good sign that more and more people are reading it everyday, and once they start reading it, they can’t stop, they always read a lot of pages, more and more pages are read every day…

But hey I’ll take it, it’s great people are already enjoying it. I’ve been really lowkey about it for now, because I want to get everything set up first… I want the audiobook to be out everywhere, and I want to finish filming a video I promised at the end of the book so you can see that every word I wrote in the book is true…

We filmed most of the footage this weekend, so you’ll be able to see the condition of my body and some of the many strange things I do daily to keep my body functioning properly or even at all… So hopefully we’ll finish editing the video and be able to post it soon so you can trip out about it all.

Once everything is done, then I’ll be everywhere and everyone will know the story. I just have to wait a tiny bit longer. It’s amazing how long I’ve been waiting already, I planned all this so long ago, the book has been written for a year now, the audiobook was recorded and mixed 6 months ago, I saw the videos in my mind, I saw it all in my mind so long ago, I saw the press and the podcasts so long ago…

I just had to be extremely patient while I overcame every obstacle, the global pandemic, shut down, quarantine, all the rules and regulations and all that, the death of my father, writing to my girl’s father and family on the other side of the planet, trying to straighten out a marriage with her, then straighten out all her immigration bullshit…

All while having to learn how to be a proper husband and support a wife, while the closest people to me are doubting me and dismissing me and disrespecting me… but patience pays off… the patient are always rewarded… all that…

I’ve been staying cool about it, but honestly it’s a trip to see it all come to fruition… it’s a trip to see the name W. Sage and to see the author page, and the title of the book and the description and the ratings and reviews, and now to see it available as an audiobook on Audible, and filming all the scenes I saw in my head for so long, and to even be typing on this blog… it’s a trip.

It’s just pure belief in yourself, pure belief in your ability… never doubting yourself, never allowing doubt to creep into your mind even while the closest people to you and maybe even the whole world is telling you you can’t do it… They try to dismiss you and disrespect you and say you’re useless and try to make you feel worthless, they try to destroy your dreams and take them from you…

But you just stay patient and persistent, and inevitably you’re laughing and laughing at them and all the rest of it.

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#1 Top Kindle eBook

The book has been out for almost a week now and what a first week it was…

Shockingly True Uber Stories was the #1 Kindle eBook in so many different countries and so many different categories, like: travel writing, travelogues & travel essays, travel memoirs, true crime stories, biographies & memoirs, etc. and etc….

And this is only the beginning. This was a super soft launch, barely anyone knows the book exists yet. Just wait til I release the audiobook. Then I’m coming for everything. Everyone is gonna know the story.

But I’m grateful to everyone that already grabbed the book and especially all the early 5-star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. That’s super cool of all of you…

So tonight, this one is for all the people that already read the book early… I’m gonna give a special sneak peek to everyone that has read the book all the way to the end…

Anyone that read the end of the book knows why I’m posting a picture of my bamboo spine

This picture is just between us. Just a little peek for now. You can see the whole spine.

Notice the tight skin stretching over the curve at the top of the shoulders. And notice I’m stuck looking down. In case you thought I was making anything up.

Nah I’m the truth. Every word is the truth.

Nevermind the muscle, that’s just my response to a deadly disease. You think it’s easy to handle a wild Arabian Barbie Doll? Especially in my condition? You gotta adapt or die.

Speaking of that, today we finally finished and mailed all the paperwork to our lawyer for our case to keep my wife legal in this country. The book has actually been done for a long time, I just had to be patient and wait to release it, while we worked on all this paperwork for many months. And by the way it was way harder and way more work than writing the book. Yet we’re paying the lawyer a lot of money for some reason… hmmmm…

Welcome to America.

Meanwhile my wife is way more American than most… She talks like a Southern California surfer, and is rollin’ around with pinkish purplish hair, double checking there’s no dairy in her latte, cuz she’s veeegaaan… while I look like a proper Arab Muslim, with a shaved head and magnificent long dark beard, vacuuming my stomach, practicing Nauli Kriya and Kung Fu on a stack of tires in a warehouse on a five-acre farm somewhere in the middle of nowhere…

(I’ll show you videos soon)

Soon I’ll be posting here every Monday and Thursday, and you’ll be able to signup for email updates of everything from videos to more shocking Uber stories…

I’ll continue the story about how I struggled to get the audiobook done in the next post, but tonight this one is for everyone that already grabbed the book, and especially for all those that read it til the end.

The story is mine no longer. I release it to the Universe. It belongs to you now.

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Audio book coming soon

I was planning on recording the audio book, but it turned out major construction had begun on my apartment building. 

  I was just about ready to push record and say: Shockingly True Uber Stories, by W. Sage, when all of a sudden I heard all this banging on the walls and drilling in the ceiling right above me.  So I got up all annoyed and looked out the window and saw some trucks and a bunch of ladders in the parking lot, and it turns out they’re painting every part of the building outside, the stairs and railings, and even pouring concrete…

  I was all excited, setting up a nice little home studio in my closet, I ordered all the best equipment, and opened all the boxes like it was Christmas. I was even practicing, with these ridiculous voice exercises, walking around enunciating out loud: “Q-E-Q-R, Q-E-Q-R”, sounding like a mental patient, “Q-E-Q-R”, over and over, and humming in the deepest voice possible, making a buzzing sound in my chest, following all the steps I’d learned from online tutorials…

  And to make things even more annoying, this internet company had the balls to post a note on all of our doors saying they’re coming into our home some day this week whether we like it or not.  This internet company wants this building to have the option to have their service, whether we want it or not, so they’re here all week, all over the building, hammering and drilling…

  It didn’t seem right that some outside company can just tell you they’re coming into your home whenever it’s convenient for them, whether you want them to or not.  And they actually had the balls to write on the note: “Our technicians are mostly friendly but make sure you keep your pets away from them.”  I swear.  Said that right on the note.  And this wasn’t a note from the management company of the building, it’s just some independent company installing something so they have the opportunity to make more money. 

  Oh and this is also during a global pandemic while there are all kinds of laws telling us to stay away from each other.  So I was pretty upset about all this to say the least. 

  I’m from Los Angeles, so out there it doesn’t really feel like “America” proper, out there you just feel like a citizen of the world, with people from every country and culture all crowding together… but now since moving right to the very middle of the country, right in the heartbeat of America, and after living here for a year now, I’m finally feeling much more “American”. 

  Before coming here to the Midwest I’d rarely left California, barely even crossed the border to go to Las Vegas or Tijuana, but now I’ve been to so many states, and seen a lot of the country up close, traveling all around, truly experiencing the true American culture. 

  So these days I’m rolling around dressed like a farmer (as my girl tells me), wearing trucker hats and even a cowboy hat, and thick flannel shirts, listening to classic rock music, even old Southern Rock…

(Although I’m doing it all ironically, like I’m parodying them, and I think the people here can sense it.  I don’t fit in here as everyone looks like clones of each other.  When I was driving for Uber and Lyft out here, it felt like I was driving the same four people over and over.  Groups of four people over and over, looking and dressing alike, talking about the same stuff, saying all the same things… 

So I stand out, as an LA weirdo stumbling around hunched over, and a tall Arabian Princess walking next to me.  I look more Arab than she does, with my long dark beard, so that’s not helping me attract friends out here.  She’s much more popular around town, as she’s a tall hot chick shaped like a barbie doll and through my many travels with her I’ve learned that hot chicks are accepted everywhere, no matter how racist a place is.)

  But I’m still dressing like I sit on a tractor all day, even though it’s not helping.  They encourage carrying guns here, so I really should get at least a shotgun to complete the image, but I’m still trying to be a man of peace…

  And I mean they really encourage the open carrying of guns here… There are signs everywhere on most buildings and stores that read: “The carrying of concealed weapons is prohibited here.” But if you’re carrying the gun out in the open it’s perfectly fine.  So you’re waiting in line at the grocery store and average citizens in line have a handgun in a holster on the side of their hip.

 My first week driving for Uber out here, I drove this dude that said he’s been driving for Uber at night for years out here, and he was giving me tips about picking up passengers, giving me the whole rundown on how it works in this town, telling me where I can and can’t pick up passengers without the police frowning upon you or even ticketing you… and he told me he always carries a handgun right by his side. 

  I said: Seriously?!  You have a gun in your car when you drive?  And I said that sounded like a bad idea, because if you have a gun with you then you’re probably gonna use it.  I told him I drove for years in LA, only at night and someone pulled a gun on me and I was still glad I never had a gun as I didn’t want to have to shoot it out while I was simply trying to drive people home safely, in peace…

  He told me yeah he almost pulled his gun on plenty of passengers, and he once helped stop a robbery at a gas station with his gun so he felt much better having it than needing it and not having it, so I should definitely get a gun if I was going to drive for Uber and Lyft out here… (to be continued in the next post)

The new ebook of Shockingly True Uber Stories is available now on Amazon and the audio book will be available everywhere in a few weeks.

Shockingly True Uber Stories

What’s your craziest story?

Everyone asked me that.  I drove for Uber and Lyft for years, only at night.  I drove all over the crazy streets of Los Angeles, and through the snow and the ice in some small cities in the Midwest… and almost everyone that got in my car wanted to know:

“What’s the CRAZIEST THING that ever happened?  What’s your CRAZIEST Uber story?”

  But there were too many to choose just one.  Every ride was crazy.  Picking up drunk or high or deranged strangers on the street at night…  It’s always crazy.  I would always say: You have to pick a category: sex, drugs, or violence. 

  I could tell stories of pure insanity, obnoxious rude behavior, cold calculating gold diggers, disgusting drunks, disgusting yet sober people, aggressive sexual advances, sexual assaults, nonsexual assaults… I could explain how I made a small fortune driving, or I could tell stories involving every drug, ALCOHOL, ALCOHOL (man people love alcohol!), stories of GUNFIRE and MURDER… more than one gun POINTED AT MY HEAD, and me still staring straight ahead with a blank face…  Only God to protect me and a can of pepper spray for a bit until it exploded in my car… yet I walked away from it all unscathed, without a scar or a scratch, not one stain on my shirt…

  So many people told me: “You should write a book of all your craziest stories, or you should keep a camera in your car, and stream it for everybody…”

  And I’d say: Yeah yeah I should, that’s a good idea…  But I never seriously considered it.  I just kept driving and driving for years, until finally a global pandemic forced me to stop, forced the world to shut down completely… and I just sat there parked on the side of the road in the deep snow, waiting for a ride request that never came… 

  But now, finally, since we’re all quarantined inside and forced to stay away from each other… after giving over 12,000 rides, after having possibly over 30,000 people in and out of my car, I can finally take a moment to answer all of your questions and give you what you asked for…

  And I’m purposely being vague about the amount of years and exactly where and when I drove because I don’t want anyone to know who I am: ESPECIALLY Uber and Lyft.  After I reveal everything, and you hear this whole shockingly true story, you’ll understand why.

  I’ve never told ANYONE my craziest story.  It was too unbelievable.  And too traumatic for me.  But since we’re stuck inside for now, I will tell it all to you. 

  I’ll save my craziest story for the end, then I’ll wrap it all up with a most shocking grand finale that you are absolutely NOT GONNA BELIEVE, a shocking finale that’s gonna make everything I’m about to tell you even more shocking…