Dear Sir Who Is Preaching About Jesus at 11:15 p.m. on the Red Line,
I will admit, I wrote you off immediately. Your material? Completely unoriginal. If I had a nickle for ever time some former gang banger/prostitute/crackhead/junky tried to save my soul through the healing powers of Christ...well, let me tell you, I sure as Hell wouldn't be living in Uptown. Because those nickles would add up mighty fast and I wouldn't have to deal with a SWAT standoff and random shootings.
However, Sir, this letter is not to berate you. Primarily because if I wrote a note bitching about every person out there trying to convert me I would require more bandwidth, which equates back to me being too poor to live anywhere else other than the edge of Bumville and Cracktown. No Sir, I would like to commend you and your very clever ways of marketing your message.
I encountered you after getting off work and stepping onto the northbound Red Line to head home to my dwindling cache of Christmas Ale. I heard you witnessing and promptly tossed in one ear bud to enjoy some fantastic Hall & Oates on my iPod. I left one ear bud out, in the event that there were announcements to hear or you busted out with some great story. You were giving the typical run-of-the-mill Amazing Grace testament, so I started to tune you out. Then you busted out with it. The line that is surer to get my attention more than anything, even more than "FREE BEER AND GIN!" Note: If I've learned anything, free booze is rarely ever free. No, Sir, you dropped the line that can enrapture even the ficklest of audiences. With pride, you busted out with,
"Back when I used to be a murderer..."
Yes, I am typing a dramatic pause in there. You just said, "Back when I used to be a murderer."
Wow. Sir, Congratulations, You now have my full and complete attention. I listened to you tell your tale of shooting and stabbing people who were tied up in your cocaine trafficking business and that you were recently released because you were Saved. I listened to you tell me about how Jesus helped you see the error of your ways and he loves you despite the fact that you're a sinner. And I even got a little choked up when you talked about being saved and baptized in that prison bathroom sink.
And then reality hit me. I was eight feet away from a self-proclaimed murderer. And no amount of testimony is going to stop me from hopping off the train 5 stops too early and pay the $15 cab ride to get home when you said you once murdered people.
So Sir, my sincerest congratulations on actually grabbing my attention. And congrats on ceasing the murderous ways. And I am sure that Chicago Yellow Cab now thanks you for the fare they will be getting from a Fat Girl on Harrison who is not in the mood to be on Former Murderer Watch on her commute home.