He picked me up in a Chevy Equinox from O’Hare. Seemed like he could be a recent college grad. Young with long hair. Serious Cubs jacket. Serious, legit Cubs jacket.
I was heading to Bolingbrook, a solid 45-minute drive. Pondering this distance, I became curious about the music my Uber driver would choose to play. I don’t know, maybe it’s the musician in me. I often wonder about these sorts of details.
Can I predict it? Will it be Pop/EDM? Maybe Pop Country? Or maybe Classic Rock? I had already scoped out the audio situation in the Equinox and noticed we would be confined to terrestrial radio. I didn’t have much hope for something unique.
Then the channel scan began.
First, Pop/EDM… There’s no way he’s going to stop with the first choice. Could his long hair be a sign that he’s looking for classic rock? Maybe holding out for something indie?
Next, more Pop… He’s really throwing me off with the Cubs jacket. I mean it’s serious – leather, embroidered patches, everything. Clearly a sports guy, right? Does he even care that much about the channel scan?
Then, Pop Country… Am I actually trying to judge someone’s musical preference based on how they look and what they are wearing? Wait, do I do this often?
He pauses. I sense some ambivalence.
“Is it OK with you if we listen to classical music?” he asks, as though he needs to ask my permission.
“Sure,” I say, pleasantly surprised.
“Do you play an instrument?” I ask, as though it’s a pre-requisite.
“No,” he says. “It just calms me.”
“I know what you mean,” I respond. “Thank you.”