Thursday, April 28, 2005

Corner of Lake and State, Please

Tonight, ABC 7 will air an expose on cell phone use by cab drivers. Chuck Goudie got out on the streets and in the faces of some cabbies downtown.

In journalism school (much like creative writing school) they told us to look at our own lives for story ideas. You'll be surprised, they said, how many interesting stories you can come up with.

On his way back from Gibson's, Chuck Goudie takes a cab, and, sure enough, his driver is talking on his phone. Maybe Chuck has to give directions twice because the guy is in the middle of a conversation. Maybe, after a moment of silence, the driver says something. Chuck thinks he's being addressed and answers, "Excuse me?" But the driver continues on, a little wire hanging from his ear. Chuck is embarrassed.

There you go. Instant story idea. Chuck Goudie, leave the cabbies alone. Sure some of them are the worst asshole drivers in the city, but leave 'em alone. Let 'em talk to their buddies or their wives.

How 'bout a story on one the shittiest jobs in Chicago _ driving a cab. Go out there and get behind the wheel. Then you'll have something to tell those students at your next Medill School lecture... "I've chased mob bosses in the court house, I've crossed more police lines than I can count and I even drove a cab..."

If ABC 7 has accepted West Side poverty as inevitable, it should accept cabbies on cell phones as inevitable, too. That's two topics crossed off the list. If they wish hard enough, maybe some Buffalo will run down LaSalle Street.

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