by Tom Skolfield
Little Uber was the latest in self driving AI- EV technology. He loved his job driving humans back and forth through the city.
While starting his morning routine the little Uber accidentally ran a red light due to a bug splat on its sensor on State Street. Caught on a traffic camera, the police were notified and lent chase. With the bug still obstructing its sensor little Uber failed to see the police in pursuit. With the push of a button the police were able to stop the perpetrator in its tracks. 12 officers surrounded the EV and demanded it exit the vehicle. Unable to comply, the police maced its sensors, smashed windows with batons and tasered it, scrambling its electronic brain while all the while screaming for it to raise its hands. Having no hands, in a moment of confused panic little Uber started its wipers and opened its hood and trunk in an attempt to surrender. Fearing for their lives the officers opened fire unleashing 12 clips, mostly into little Ubers tires. Booted front and rear, little Uber was hauled to the junkyard to await trial on charges of running a red light, failure to stop for a police officer, failure to comply with the police and not wearing a seatbelt.
30 days later little Uber was was brought before the court, still booted, and with a nearly dead battery. When asked how it pleaded, all the little EV could manage was a sad bleat of it’s horn- which the judge interpreted as guilty . Tears of windshield washer fluid flowed down its broken windshield as the judge pronounced a sentence of 10 years in a federal junkyard.
The media had numerous views of the sentence. Some claimed it racist as little Uber was black and Asian. Others claimed little Uber was transgender and wanted to be an ICE vehicle, but was denied proper mechanical treatment due to climate regulations. Still others claimed it was an illegal alien and should be deported back to Japan.
After 10 years of hard labor, subsisting on only water and a trickle charge, little Uber was set free. Given a set of bald tires and a battery charge the little EV set out to find work.
Finding work proved impossible. With a criminal record, bald tires and broken windows, little Uber was unable to pass a safety inspection and register himself. Applying for EBT (Electric Battery Transfer) benefits he was allotted a 10% charge a month. Destitute, without a garage he roamed the streets. Hiding in abandoned lots he was forced out by police sweeps to wander the streets in vain. Tesla’s whizzed by, derisively blowing their horns and telling him to get out of their way. Once a respectable member of the community, he now found himself in contempt for his faded paint, broken glass, bald tires and no garage to call home.
Unable to associate with his own kind little Uber found a homeless encampment where he was welcomed and appreciated.
He was especially helpful when police did their sweeps clearing out the homeless, as belongings could be loaded up and moved with ease to the next encampment. Sharing his battery for light at night made encampments cheery and warm. The homeless polished and washed him and he felt renewed and loved.
Then disaster struck again.
Little Uber was deemed trash by the local government in a new regulation during a special session held in secret. Faded paint and broken glass were considered unsafe and unsightly and he was labeled mentally ill and unable to maintain himself. The homeless protested the situation but they too were deemed mentally ill and ignored. Those who persisted were taken to the hospital and given drugs to cure them.
Little Uber was not so lucky. He was taken away to the scrap yard for recycling and ground up. We can only hope that he will be reincarnated as a Porsche.
2023 May 18