We usually prefer to let Mitch Albom go on his merry way without much thought. It's not our money, after all, nor our readers. Hate-reading the Free Press columnist long ago lost its fortifying and satisfying crunch. Inspecting his current work — the oozy byproduct left in his wake as he lazily meanders through a retirement that has somehow never been acknowledged by his employer or fans; a chemtrail of suck so effortlessly produced it's hard not to be impressed — would make us sadder than we normally are.
But man do we love some vintage Albom. Man could turn a phrase. He could get to the heart of a story, wrench your soul in the process, and tell you something you didn't know but should. He was part reporter, part adventurer, part standup comic, and all poet.
Which is why this week was a special one for us.
A couple of days ago, the Free Press transcribed and published a hand-written column Albom had mailed the paper a few years ago. It had gotten lost somewhere — maybe in the files Paul Anger had labeled "Stuff the Ilitches Would Rather We Not Write About." Who knows. The important thing is that it was found. A rare chance to read Albom in the last days of his journalism twilight.
Entitled "It's a bird, a plane, it's an Uber man,"
the 796-word confessional details Albom's discovery of Uber, which was founded in California in 2009 and which came to Detroit in March of 2013.
The mistake, for which the Free Press hasn't yet publicly apologized, meant the vintage prose of Gay Talese's more handsome and talented little brother, operating in his wordsmithing prime, didn't appear on the internet until July 25, 2015.
We've already reached out to the Pulitzer Prize board on the paper's behalf to see if "It's a bird, a plane, it's an Uber man" could be somehow retroactively considered for an award.