What’s Your Blue Motorcycle?

Call me dark, but I love Arthur Miller plays. So it was a treat to see “A View from the Bridge” with my wife on Valentine’s Day.

There’s nothing funny about “View.” But there is a comic scene in which Rodolpho, an Italian immigrant, explains that with a motorcycle in Italy “you will never have to starve any more.”

In Rodolpho’s mind, a motorcycle is essential to his dream of being a message courier for wealthy hotel guests. With a motorcycle, you’re credible. Without one, scram.

It’s a rich metaphor—and good lesson—for every Loman-esque “salesman” or marketer knocking on doors for business today. What makes you and your company’s sales pitch credible to a potential customer? What’s your blue motorcycle? Here’s an excerpt of Miller’s droll dialogue:

Rodolpho: “Messages! The rich people in the hotel always need someone who will carry a message. But quickly, and with great noise. With a blue motorcycle, I would station myself in the courtyard of the hotel, and in a little while, I would have messages.”

Eddie (Liev Schreiber): “Why can’t you just walk, or take a trolley or something.”

Rodolpho: “Oh, no, the machine is necessary. A man comes into a great hotel and says, I am a messenger. Who is this man? He disappears walking, there is no noise, nothing. Maybe he will never come back, maybe he will deliver the message. But a man who rides up on a great machine, this man is a responsible man, this man exists. He will be given messages.”