Hammer Time: Trivial Pursuits
Knowledge is not always a good thing. Esoteric. Rarified. Just plain old pointless. High school? Anyhow, I have this strange fascination with car reviews. Not the new snuff. But those older wilted beaters that the marketplace has more or less forgotten. You talk to me about a Volvo 240 and my mind will recall a few of these write-up’s and a neat little side story. A 2011 Prius? I would almost rather watch the grass grow.
Old Lincolns remind me of a mule trader named Ray Lum. He wrote a book called, “ You live and learn. Then you die and forget it all.” Ray was one of the last mule traders in the South and had an amazing assortment of stories that he told the author, a folklorist, as he drove his beat up old Lincoln to the sales. One time he talked to a little old lady about a Model A that was at a cattle auction. “Have you ever ridden in the back of one of those maam?” he said in his Mississippi drawl. The lady, as cute as a button remarked, “You bet. I rode two men in that back seat before I got married.” Old Fords and Lincolns always make me smile.
Then there are late-80’s Celicas. All my brothers had one type of Celica throughout the 1980’s and it seemed like that model represented the country music of cars. It was very hard to dislike the olders Celica. Teenagers. Older couples. Even a few of the many mechanics I’ve met in my travels have liked em’. You go on carsurvey and the level of owner satisfaction for these models would make any Lexus blush. Except for the ‘one’.This guy I knew in high school thought that all cars that didn’t have the letters VW were unworthy. He always had a boner for anything American or Japanese. To the point where he started wearing jackets with the German flag emblazoned on the sleeves. One day he said the wrong word to a friend of mine about his Dad’s Oldsmobile Trofeo… out of all things. Yep, it was stupid but then again I grew up in New Jersey.My friend Tony, the felon that he was (he slashed someone’s throat when he was 14) decided that he would customize said VW with some nearby ice that could be used as projectiles for his project. To date whenever I see or hear about a VW, especially one that has a tailpipe the size of a rhino’s axe-hoe, I think of that car. Seeing an old Celica from that time period, usually driven by a Latino, almost always makes me remember a time period where leather jackets, jeans, and hideously bad accents were all I knew.
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