Not too long ago, I was but one of the unlucky hoard. Every morning, I would climb into my Corolla, say a little prayer to my plastic Jesus, and join the legions of do-bees in a daily ritual: morning rush hour. Those who love me might say, “It couldn’t have been that bad. You worked out in the suburbs.” To that, I say, “au contraire.” Those from the city of big shoulders know that when it comes to Chicago traffic, there is no such thing as “the opposite direction.”
Sure. Perhaps in the early morning hours, before the sun would break the horizon, my long drive to Libertyville might have been 50 minutes. Pipe dream at best. Try as I might, there were very few occasions where I would log a drive under an hour and 15. So after a harrowing beginning, my day would be filled with the fun and excitement that only a large, suburban corporate campus might provide. After too much joy, my work day would end, and I would join the traffic once more. If there is anything worse than morning rush hour, it is the evening slow jam. Heaven forbid if there was weather. Some days, I spent hours upon hours in my car. Literally.
There were two things that made these moments bearable: baseball and This American Life. I won’t bore anyone with my endless rhapsodies on baseball, but I will say that Sox trivia will always end with Roger Bossart. Rather, I call your attention to the latter of my saviors.
On Friday nights at 7:00, I tuned into WBEZ for another installment of “This American Life.” Ira Glass et al accompanied me on my lonely trek back into the city, transporting me into the minds of strangers 20 minutes at a time. Funny stories, bizarre stories, touching stories. In truth, there are still times when I sit in my car for a few extra minutes so as not to miss the end of the story. It is that good.
Imagine my shock when I found out that TAL will join the ranks of the talkies. Showtime, no less. Sigh. Reason number 8 to break down and get cable. Anywho, they have the first episode in all of its glory on the Showtime website. It is a beautiful extension of the radio program. Frankly, after seeing the skin of a Brahman bull pulled from a box housed in a hall closet, I began to realize that there are some things that you need to see to believe.
The only thing that trips me out, and this is not a criticism, is seeing Ira Glass speaking. For some reason, I had always pictured him looking like Rick Moranis.
In any case, if you love me, you will infringe on a few copyrights. I’m just saying.