I am standing at a Michigan Avenue bus stop when I hear a familiar voice. John Cody, of WBBM News Radio, is asking people what they think of Ventra, the new mass transit card.
“It’s awful,” is the consensus. “Why they gotta go and change things all the time? And the changes they make ain’t making things better, they’re making things worse.”
I formulate my response. “John,” I will say, “I’ve been losing my eyesight for twenty-eight years. My life is learning new ways to do old things. I take change in stride.”
John will like that answer: clean, polite, quick. He might ask me to elaborate. “John,” I will continue, “Microsoft, Apple, all the rest, they’re always sending out new versions of this and that. New and improved, they say. New and unimproved, I say.”
How neat would it be to have a job like John’s? Go around town asking people what they think about stuff. Everybody’s got an opinion and they’re eager to share it. Jeez, if you really feel the need to be heard and you’re desperate enough, you can write a blog. It’s that simple nowadays.
John’s still talking to other people. Somebody shouts, “Here comes the 147,” and I have a choice to make. This is my second chance to catch my big break on radio. When I was twenty-one, a reporter asked me to comment on Valentine’s Day. I said it was a gimmick for greeting card companies to make an extra buck, that if you were in love, you should make every day Valentine’s Day. That bit of wisdom never made the airwaves.
I debate. I waver. I climb aboard the 147 bus and swipe my soon-to-be-obsolete Reduced Fare card. Show biz is a tough place for a guy to break into. I’ll just take the bus home and write a blog.