Ride-hailing has gotten the official pop-culture stamp of approval with a landmark Simpsons spoof. In the latest episode, the Simpsons take on the well-known feud between taxis and ride-booking startups when Marge works for a Lyft-like company to earn money in between shuttling her kids around town.
“I drive all day and I don’t get paid a thing,” says Marge, after meeting a driver whose car is wearing a “here to there smile.” The appearance of the hoodie-wearing driver is a not-so-subtle jab at the anti-fashion stylings of Bay Area hipsters.
“So, you’re a taxi?” asks Marge.
“No no no no no. We’re a social media-based rideshare service,” responds the driver, in the obviously scripted legalese that ride-booking companies have had to adopt to avoid regulation.
What starts off as a happy job eventually turns sour, as the demanding nature of the backseat drivers wears on Marge’s temper. Indeed, drivers have described their own personal horror stories. Here’s an entire Reddit thread of why drivers give passengers horrible ratings.
“Leaving trash in my car, doing coke in the back of my car, being rude/disrespectful, damaging the car, slamming my doors,” explained Reddit user OaklandWarrior.
For Marge, the final nail in the coffin comes when the taxicab drivers of Springfield confront Marge for “stealing our jobs.” My Uber and Lyft drivers often regale me with stories of aggressive cab drivers that cut them off in traffic. In Paris, protesting cab drivers reportedly slashed the tires and broke the windows of an Uber car.
Right now, the episode, called “My Fare Lady” (season 26, episode 14), is on Hulu, which means that U.S. readers can watch it here or in the embed above.