1/2 Ass And The Bumper Jack

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January 26, 2011 by David Gillaspie

Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right, But A 1/2 Ass Makes Everything Worse.

A 350 Camero SS with a scooped hood means one thing:  V-8 thunder.

If you’re tired of hearing a high-pitched whine every time a sleek go-fast car passes you in your mini-van, you pine for V-8 thunder. 

Getting smoked at a stop light by a hot car with cherry bombs underneath makes the world right.  Other cars may be quicker, but compared to V-8 thunder, they might as well be a Yugo. 

My apartment was across the street from the guy with the Camero.  Cobalt blue and chrome, the rain steamed when it touched that surface.

The owner had a steady co-pilot riding shotgun, a thin young woman with big hair.  On a list of ladies who look good in a Camero, she was at the top.  She carried herself with an Angelina Jolie-like look of belonging in the passenger seat.

When the Camero wasn’t parked outside her building, she liked visiting the guy in the second floor corner apartment.  They left the curtains up one time.

On a cold, wet, evening I noticed the Camero’s front end lifted on a bumper jack.  No wheel blocks.  The guy underneath it wrenched on the chrome oil pan with a flashlight beside him.

No one does that to a bad car, let alone a Camero. 

Before I went into my building I saw the man from the second floor corner apartment walk out his front door.

Like all good single guys, I drew a hot bath and stacked some reading on a nearby chair.  It was me-time.

Ten minutes later the screaming started.  First it was a man’s voice, then several women combined.  I didn’t hear the words HELP, or RAPE, or FIRE.  Just screaming. 

Maybe it was a group warming up for a ballgame? 

Then came sirens and horns.  If there was a problem, it wouldn’t last long with the cavalry on the way.

Whirling red and white and blue lights flashed through my curtains.  The screaming stopped, replaced by a low hum. 

With everything under control, I got dressed and ventured outside.

It was the Camero.

Every rescue vehicle made blocked the street.  Ambulance gurneys, jaws of life, hoses and communication gear surrounded the car along with policemen, firemen, and rescue workers in full gear.

Hot white bars of light cut through the drizzling air like search beacons over London during the Blitz.  Two EMTs skidded their way under the low car.  The Camero owner’s feet lay flat on their sides against the wet pavement.

A policeman held the bumper jack in his hands.

I stood for a good look, trying to decide if the Camero guy was in the worst place I’d ever seen. 

He was.

The entire scene took on an mood of comfort care.  Everyone knew how it was going to end.  I saw the guy in the second floor apartment watch from his window.  The girl from the Camero looked out before she pulled the blinds.

The next morning the car was gone, along with any sign the event ever happened.

Three days later the Camero showed up with the girl driving.  She honked the horn without parking.  The guy from the second floor apartment hustled down and jumped inside.

I heard V-8 thunder revving up.  She let the clutch out enough to spin the tires and kept pumping it a half block to a stop sign.  It shook my windows.  The same growl came back six times, fading with each block.

A car like a Camero 350 SS deserves better treatment.  The rubber she laid started on NW 2oth between Lovejoy and Marshall, then to Northrup, Pettygrove, Overton, Quimby, Raleigh, Savior, and Thurman Street. 

V-8 thunder faded, replaced by a Honda with a tuned exhaust and a sporty looking driver.  He parked it where the Camero had been, opened his trunk, and took out a bumper jack.

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