Constable: A carpool, but no karaoke, with the mayor of Schaumburg
One of the greatest joys about being a lifelong newspaper guy is that my job is all about the written word. While TV reporters must worry about their clothes, makeup, hair, rain, heat, wind, cold and whether all the cameras, microphones and cords are in the right place and working, I need only a notebook and a pen, a backup pen and a pencil if we're outside in frigid temperatures.
Readers can't tell if my tie has a stain and my hair looks ridiculous, or if I mispronounce words and stumble over questions, as I don't divulge those details in my columns.
That changes when editors ask me to do a drive-along interview with new Schaumburg Mayor Tom Dailly. The idea is loosely inspired by the brilliant carpool karaoke episode on TV's "The Late Late Show with James Corden," where the talented and hilarious host takes the extraordinary Sir Paul McCartney on a driving tour down Penny Lane and through the Beatles' boyhood home of Liverpool, England.
I am no James Corden, which will be painfully obvious to anyone who clicks on the video link attached to this online column. My best interviews happen when the subject and I feel relaxed and comfortable. That's trickier after Daily Herald photographer Brian Hill installs four cameras recording everything we do, and I'm worried about wrecking my boss' car.
If humor was a goal, it would be funnier if I drove the mayor around Schaumburg in my 2007 Toyota Prius, which has multiple coffee stains in the interior, a missing gas cap cover, a busted radio antenna and an alarming number of dents, even for a car with 243,856 miles on the odometer. Insurance concerns require that I drive my boss' company car, an Acura luxury SUV.
My 12-year-old Prius is the newest vehicle my family owns. So I'm not familiar with all the modern gadgetry such as backup cameras, popup computer screen, touch pad and a speedometer that projects a holographic image on the windshield to show me how fast I'm going.
Between the ghostly, floating speedometer, the three cameras mounted in my line of vision and the camera hanging above my head, I'm focused on not hitting anybody, instead of asking great questions. McCartney and Corden sing, naturally, but I simply forget my plan to have Dailly sing the Schaumburg theme song, which doesn't exist.
Dailly, whose name I had to make sure is pronounced the same as the former Chicago Mayor Daleys' since I'm a print guy, was a great sport, playing along with everything we did.
When I watched Hill's rough video footage, I was struck with how well-spoken and friendly Dailly was, and how boring and awkward I was. They say a camera adds 10 pounds, and I had four cameras on me. Plus, I spend most of the interviewing guzzling a Portillo's chocolate cake shake.
About the only thing I can steal from the Corden/McCartney carpool bit is a "Let It Be" philosophy. Hill had to edit whatever Dailly and I gave him in a single take.
Dailly's tales about his Scottish ancestry, first visit to Woodfield Mall and thoughts about the village's past, present and future, including his take on the old Dominick's site, could be woven into one of my columns.
Instead, I write this one. And encourage anyone who wants more to visit dailyherald.com and click on the video link with this column.
I can't promise that you'll like the video, but I can guarantee you will be happy that Dailly and I don't sing our version of "Let It Be."