This Is What a 15 Minute Uber Ride Listening to a Justin Bieber Album at Maximum Volume Feels Like

I’m sure I know people that enjoy Justin Bieber’s music. I’m sure I know someone who does. Someone who plays it alone in the car on the way home, or on their afternoon run, or as they get ready for a big night out, and they want to get their jam on, and they just don’t care who knows that they Beliebe.

I’m sure of it.

Is it you?

I never really thought about it until recently.

It was last Saturday night when Amanda (fiance) and I ordered an Uber to take us to a restaurant for dinner. A polite gentleman picked us up in a Nissan Sentra, everything seemed normal, nothing out of the ordinary.

The seats and floor were freshly vacuumed. There was only a slightly overbearing scent from a cologne or air freshener, which I believe is part of the Uber driver policy requirements. And no dead bodies to speak of, although we didn’t check the trunk. Good to go.

Source: Pal Berge,

Source: Pal Berge,

As we settled in, a smooth jam rattled the speakers. This jam was not bad, but nor was it memorable. It was a background jam.

The driver was nice. Polite. Kind, even. You could tell by his voice, he had a good attitude and took his job seriously.

But before we left, he did a curious thing, he turned the volume of the jam to full blast. Then, I noticed he positioned his seat too far back. This man was relaxed. This was a relaxed man. This was his night to cruise and listen to fresh jams. We were just along for the ride.  

Neither of us complained. We went with it — as part of the Uber adventure. More than anything it was unusual. And it was awkward. But it was also very, very curious. A mystery perhaps. Who does that?

Is there a connection between ample legroom and blasting music at full volume?

As we cruised through the streets of Boston, we had no one to blame but ourselves for not sucking it up and taking public transportation. Again, the music wasn’t horrible. But it wasn’t knocking my socks off. There was no talking.

The rattling.  
The loudness!
The jams!

This was certainly a volume level worth complaining about. But it was too late for that.

And then, the song ended. The jam was over. Sweet relief. But then, another song came on. It was almost exactly the same as the first one. Sure, there were slight variations, perhaps even different words being used. But mostly, it was the same. How could this be? What was this sorcery?

I looked at the screen in the front, and I saw a name.

The Beebs.

The Beebs! I had no idea. I’m not even sure I’ve ever actually listened to a song by the Beebs. Surely I have. No one is that isolated from hot mainstream jams. The album name: Purpose.

This couldn’t be happening. I wasn’t mad or upset. What was there to be mad about?

How often do you get stuck in an Uber with a grown man driving the car and who is blasting Justin Bieber at full maximum volume? I would dare say that will never happen to me ever again. Ever.

This was an experience. A bucket list check-off moment.

I begin Googling furiously for more information.

Wikipedia describes the album as “a blend of teen pop, electronic dance music and acoustic R&B.”

And then, further down is this beautiful, sweet gem:

“Kenneth Partridge of Billboard magazine gave the album four out of five stars, praising the album for "[boasting] a consistent palette of lush, low-key electro-dance sounds", also commending the use of "sun-warped synths, chipmunk accent vocals, rattling trap hi-hats, and loads of bass."

Not in a million years could I have said it better myself. Kenneth Partridge you beautiful writing bastard you.

Sun-warped synths.
Chipmunk accent vocals.
Rattling trap hi-hats.

I see it now. People are exploding all over the universe as they soak these musical elements from the album into their sun-warped brains. Alien races from deep space are feasting through Wikipedia pages and iTunes downloads to figure out how Bieber came to be one of planet Earth’s greatest super powers.

Heads are bobbing. Booties shaking. Ears numb with understanding and human connection. The Earth is one big Justin Bieber dance party, and we’re just moving to his groove whether we know it or not. I didn’t know it before, but gosh darn heck — I know it now.

The Uber driver is in the zone. He’s probably up in the front, daydreaming about who knows what. He’s Biebin out. Big time.

The jams on the radio continue. Song three. This will never end. I suspect we’ve been swept up by an Uber troll, daring us to leap, hand and foot, tucked and rolled, out the nearest window and into the worrisome Boston traffic.

An adult male. Listening. To Justin Bieber.

And then, I realize something: I’m an adult male.

That means there are two adult males listening to a Justin Bieber album at maximum volume, together, at the same time, in the exact same place.

I immediately begin to worry that this very fact will dislodge the universe from its current state of balance and shoot us into an unholy and Godless apocalyptic existence!

Round and round the Bieber Uber goes. Trapping us in an eternal cycle of chipmunk accent vocals.

The lush, low-key electronic dance sounds are replacing the entity formerly known as my soul, and I begin to wonder what my hair would look like if I frosted the tips just a little bit. Is it doable?

Amanda remains just as still as I am. Afraid to move. But I know, in the inside of her, there is a war going on, just like the one inside of me. Not knowing what to do I continue researching Wikipedia, the ultimate source of truth, for more information about what’s happening to us.

I come across new data. Apparently, there is a lesser-known producer named Poo Bear who may have aided the Beebs in bringing his masterpiece to the world.

Poo Bear.
Who are you?
Is that your real name?
Do you love honey?

Why didn’t I think to call myself Poo Bear years ago? Dammit. Another missed opportunity. I must continue on, as Matt, and not Poo Bear, all because of a lack of foresight.

Then, just as soon as I thought this Uber ride would be our eternity, I saw a light. It was our restaurant, our destination. Could it be real? I wondered. The third song came to a conclusion and the car pulled up to the curb.

The driver turned the volume down. No more maximum level. No more Beebs. This was really it.

Amanda and I said our goodbyes. And as the driver pulled away and out of sight our bodies collapsed to the ground. Our minds lacked the necessary maturity to process what had happened to us. And so we remained there, bodies prone, lying still on the cold pavement, for what seemed like days.

Eventually, a hostess shook our limp bodies back to reality and served us each an alcoholic beverage of our choosing. Warmth returned, and it was as if waking from a deep, relentless slumber. For dinner, I partook in the fried Cornish hen. It was outstanding.

And so life went on. Since then, everything returned to normal. It was if it never even happened. It doesn’t even matter that no one will beliebe us. We know.   

We know.

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