I’m not talking about novelty cars, created as conversation pieces, and that sort of thing. I mean real vehicles that real people drive, for everyday use. What are the most ridiculous examples you’ve seen? Five jump immediately to my mind, and while driving to work today… I’ll undoubtedly come up with five more.
But I’ll tell you about the ones I’ve scribbled in my notebook so far, and let you folks take it from there.
At one of my former jobs, many years ago, there was a guy who hung around, and drove a big ol’ redneck pickup truck. It was huge, and cranked way up in the air. The dude practically needed a stepladder to get into it. And it was tricked-out with every dumbass accessory known to man. Whenever I saw it, I busted out laughing. It was a rolling parody.
He used to tell us, with pride, that he had more than $40,000 “invested” in that hickasaurus. And this was 30 years ago, or more.
Eventually he tired of it, as is always the case, and began pining over some other ludicrous vehicle. So, he put the truck up for sale. Needless to say… there were no takers. He had so much money sunk into that thing, nobody could come within $15,000 of the asking price.
So, he cooked up a scheme with one of my co-workers, and the truck was “stolen,” stripped of most of its pricey add-ons, and burned in the woods. He collected the insurance money, my co-worker got his hands on some primo hillbilly gear, and all was right with the world.
The weird thing? They concocted the whole plan in front of me, without a care in the world. How should I have felt about that? Clearly, they trusted me. But is that a good thing? I’m not so sure. I was never implicated, thank God. As far as I know, it was treated as an open-and-shut case of theft. Nobody ever said a word to me about it.
And for the record: my memory comes and goes on the subject. I remember all the details today, but tomorrow… who knows? It could all be gone. Oh, I’m extremely unreliable. So, there’s no need to come calling on that particular subject. Ahem.
Another ridiculous everyday-use vehicle I’ve known was driven by a guy in our high school: a dump truck. I’m not kidding, it was a full-sized dump truck, which he drove to school every day. He left it in the student parking lot, and acted like it was the most natural thing in the world.
On a semi-related note… he’s the last person I’ve had a fistfight with. My friend Bill started it, by skyhooking a pickle slice from the passenger window of my Nova, outside the Dunbar McDonald’s. It landed on the hood of another car that he and his buddies were in, and things quickly escalated. Some shit was talked there, in the shadow of the golden arches. Then it all came to a head that night at a football game. It was a full-blown rolling-in-the-mud fight, in front of the whole school. Good stuff.
It’s a funny, though… I don’t remember many people giving him shit for driving a dump truck to school every day. It was accepted, and not really mocked. How is that possible? God knows, I tried.
When I was a young kid there was an older dude who lived one street over from us. Straight across from Bill, coincidentally. This guy was about 18, I’d guess, and seemingly wild. Possibly a low-grade hippie, as well. I’m unclear on it.
Anyway, he got his hands on an old mail truck, and painted it with all sorts of psychedelic imagery. This was the early 1970s… And, on both sides, in large letters: The Sugar Booger.
It was ridiculous. The steering wheel was on the wrong side, and it was all painted up by a bunch of stoners and neighborhood kids. Bill probably had a hand in it. And the guy drove it as his everyday vehicle for a long time. I’d see it around town, and be astonished. It felt like it shouldn’t even be allowed on the road, like something you’d joke about doing, come to real life.
The Sugar Booger. Ha!
At my previous job, here in the Perogie Belt, there was a guy there who was approximately Puerto Rican. Again, I’m unclear… And he drove a beat-to-hell 1980s limo as his primary vehicle.
The thing was HUGE, and stuck way out while parked. One of the doors was crushed in, fully and completely, and there was no shortage of rust, etc. I’d see him climb out of that thing, and wonder: how the hell does one arrive at such a point? Working at a warehouse in northeastern Pennsylvania, driving a 25 year old piece-of-shit limousine? I don’t even understand how a person could connect a series of dots that would lead to such a situation.
But, I’m sure he’s landed on his feet, wherever he is.
Finally, there was a woman named Felicia who worked with me and Toney in Atlanta. She was super-nice and funny, and exceedingly fashionable. Most people just wore jeans and t-shirts to that place, but she showed up every day looking like something out of Vogue. I think she was ambitious, and dressed for the job she wanted, not the one she had.
But she drove a total junker, which looked like it wasn’t anywhere near interstate-worthy. I’m surprised the hood didn’t fly off, or a fender didn’t go flapping off into the woods, or something. The thing was about two years past the time it should’ve been crushed down to the size of a cinderblock.
The great thing about it? None of the doors would open from the outside. So, Felicia — always dressed to the nines — would have to lift the hatchback, and climb in from the back. She was self-conscious about it, so she’d wait about fifteen minutes to leave, until the parking lot cleared out, and climb over the backseat in her high heels and whatnot. I got to witness this a few times, and it was a memorable thing to behold. Heh.
Now it’s your turn. Do you have anything on this subject? If so, please share it in the comments section.
And I’ll see you guys again next time.
Have a great day!
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