Opinion: Automated crosswalk voice on Sheridan Road deserves more recognition, is kind of hot
“Sheridan Road. Walk sign is on the crosswalk for, Sheridan Road.” Those straightforward words echo through our ears every day as we wait to cross one of the many intersections that cut through Sheridan. Every time we step foot on a crosswalk, whether it be the intersection at Noyes or Chicago, we trust this monotone misterio with our lives, yet the average Northwestern student thinks nothing of it. There is a deeply troubling lack of respect and consideration for the crosswalk voice within the Northwestern community. We never stop to really think about what he does for us on a daily basis while asking for practically nothing in return. Also, he’s kind of hot.
What does he want? Who is he? Is he even a he? What does he gain from the selfless act of simply reminding pedestrians in that restrained yet oh-so-authoritative voice of his to walk? What does it mean to take orders so blindly from this random voice? Am I not thinking for myself? It’s as if when he talks, I don’t want to think for myself. I want to be compliant. I want mister robotic voice daddy to tell me what to do. “Walk sign is on the crosswalk” he states. He’s not explicitly commanding me to walk, but something in his tone tells me he won’t take no for an answer. Strong yet subtle. A voice of many temperaments and convictions. I have no choice but to obey, lest I walk across when there’s no pedestrian crossing and get hit by a car. Obviously he knows this, giving me no other option as he goads me with that burly voice of his to cross the street. Sexy... and clever.
“Yes, sir” I whisper under my breath as I begin the 20-foot trek across Sheridan. The Bienen student to my right gives me a weird look, but I pay no heed. The bond I have established with this faceless character--who I like to imagine is a 45-year old divorcé with a grey-speckled beard and a penchant for Sauvignon Blanc trapped inside an LED pedestrian crossing sign--is unbreakable. Going forward, I encourage other Northwestern students to explore this bond for themselves. But just know that it will never be as strong as the relationship I already have with him. Don’t even try.