The Bluetooth Prayer: a CTA coping mechanism

The Bluetooth Prayer: a CTA coping mechanism
If all self-conversing CTA passengers looked like her, we should assume the Blue Tooth Prayer would not have been invented.

The Bluetooth Prayer is an invocation my sons, well, invoke, while riding public transportation. I don’t know the exact wording involved in the Bluetooth Prayer, but they did explain the circumstances under which they call upon it: whenever they are seated near someone talking to themselves.

I just learned of the existence of the Bluetooth Prayer over the weekend during Sunday dinner, while we were having our ages-old argument about who routinely gets the crazier CTA experience. The boys say I ride on what they refer to as a “genteel” bus route to the “pedestrian” Blue Line train. Although I’ve seen my share of People of the CTA worthy folks (I rode with the Tin Man once!) I’ve long since conceded. They flat-out win. Their daily bus route seems to attract, how shall I say this politely? More weirdoes.

However, on Monday, the very next day, a man across from me, near the window, was carrying on a very loud, vivid and at times agitated conversation. Since no one was near him, I had to assume he was carrying on the conversation with himself. Unless…Unless!? This really brought the Bluetooth Prayer idea home to me. As I said, my sons didn’t share its wording, but on Monday, for me, it went something like this: Please let him have a Bluetooth in his ear. Please let him have a Bluetooth in his ear. Which was repeated silently in my head for ten consecutive minutes until the man finally got off the bus. Ahh. You could feel the relief, almost palpable, at our end of the bus. That is, until he was immediately replaced with a droopy-drawered, scraggly bearded young man wearing ear buds who proceeded to dance (yes dance, rapper hand gestures and all) in his seat for the next seven stops and who actually got me to wondering if maybe the Keller Graduate School of Management at DeVry University might be just the ticket for me. Well, not really, but I did stare at that sign so long in an attempt to avoid eye contact with rapper-boy it was burned into my retinas.

Today I had to be at my sons’ school early, so I gave them a ride. In an effort to make them feel at home and not miss their vivid CTA experience, I started yelling out random things, like,  “You’ve got to put some milk on your Cheerios. How can you eat your Cheerios without any milk?” They stopped short of invoking the Bluetooth Prayer, but one of them did employ my favorite CTA form of weirdo electronic countermeasure: he put his ear buds in his ears.

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Filed under: Chicago, Teenagers

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