Friday, February 5, 2010

Gentleman and Lady, Start Your Engines!

Every four years, like clockwork, it happens. The muffler on my Jeep expires. Its freshness date ran out with a very loud noise last night when I started the engine. BROOOM BROOM BROOM BROOM BROOM BROOM BROOM. I suppose I should be embarrassed. But, as those who know me might expect, I'm not. 
     People in my town, most of whom walk around with sticks up their butts, might think I sound like an elephant farting as I travel down the road. But there are others -- me, for instance -- as well as the ghosts of every greaser that spent his days polishing all seventeen coats of his candy apple red '61 Buick LeSabre, who live for the sound of the unmuffled muffler. That unfettered noise is one you no longer hear on the road, certainly not as often as we enjoyed it during those halcyon days of yesteryear. Before we knew that James Dean, Rock Hudson, and Montgomery Clift were gay.  
     It is a car sound that turns heads and drowns out conversation. A sound that only teenage hoodlums looking for trouble used to make. A sound that doesn't exist anymore because there are no more leather-jacketed, engineer-booted, duck-tailed bad boys cruising the main drag in souped up Chevys. Those "hoods" are all 65 years old, driving Lexus hybrids with their seatbelts on. Replaced by plaid-shirted, pot-smoking slackers who sit in their basements playing Grand Theft Auto and watching Pimp my Ride.
     Except every fourth year when my muffler goes.
     For me, the memorable thumba thumba thumba of unfettered pistons, glass pipes, dual carbs, or is it quads, and those other thingys that combust and go boom inside the engine, take me back to when I used hang out in the pits at Road America. Before I became a soccer mom and started investing in Girl Scout cookies. 

This is how my Jeep looks.

This is how my Jeep sounds.
Now I'm in a Catch 22. I love the noise my car is making. But in this day and age, I could get a ticket for noise pollution, not to mention a ticket for the noxious fumes emanating from the hole in the exhaust system. But I also don't have time to take the car in to get it fixed until Monday, because I have places to go and people to see this weekend. 
     Maybe I should just channel my inner Pinky Tuscadero -- put on some black capris with a pink angora sweater, tease my hair, and get a big wad of gum working. 
     I can hear it now -- uh, Mrs. Linklater, aren't you a little old to be revving your engine in front of the high school? 
     You talkin' to me?  


Remo said...

Pretend it's a Harley and enjoy. I'd make sure you rev it really loud and often in the driveway, just to make sure it's the muffler.

Donna said...

It's your first name; I've never met a person with your first name who wasn't saucy, defiant, and funny. It's TRUE!