My Uber fare’s house was about as far up you can get in San Clemente. He emerged from the dusk of his three-car garage and injected himself into the front seat. He was a massive presence of a man.

“Do you want me to adjust the seat?” I didn’t know how he was going to fit, without stuffing his knees into the glove compartment [Is it still called the ‘glove compartment? If so, why?]

“Nope. We’re going to the Volkswagen dealership, San Juan Capistrano, please.”

“Picking up a new car?” I see the glass half full. Why open the door to mechanical issues?

“Nope. My old Porsche. I left it there last night. Then, I’m picking my wife up from John Wayne Airport. And, I’m surprising her.”

Before I could answer, he thrust his iPhone6 up in front of me, pointing to the screen.

The image was a tricked out Volkswagen Convertible, draped with a red bow that spread across its snout. It looked like that surprise English sheepdog you might find in the driveway on Christmas morning.

“Wow, that’s great.”

“Yup. It makes up for 15 years of abuse.”

Unsettling words to be heard within the close confines of a car, with a stranger.


“I sold her Volkswagen Beetle ten years ago and gave her a Porsche. She has never stopped telling me how I abused her – ripping her preferred vehicle away from her. She has a thing for Volkswagens.”

One man’s abuse is another woman’s unwanted Porsche. I should be so lucky.