World: meet my mistress.
She's not what most men would choose. She's kind of homely-looking, maybe some might say dowdy. One thing you can definitely say about her that I couldn't argue with: she's slow.
She's not sophisticated or refined and, at forty-seven years of age, she's kind of a strange choice for a thirty-year-old man already married to a twenty-eight-year-old. You could say that she's "been around the block" more than a few times. I mean, you could say that-- and I'd punch you in the face. Stop insulting my mistress, you jealous prickball.
Being in love isn't easy, and it's far more complicated when you're already married. Fortunately, my wife knows about my long, lusty, torrid and tempestuous infatuation with the Volkswagen Beetle. It began way, way, way before I ever met Mrs. Apron and, even though she knew my heart belonged to another, she married me anyway. So obsessed was I that I even tried to allow a 1966 Volkswagen Beetle to insinuate itself into our very marriage ceremony. But it broke down on the way to our rehearsal dinner.
At fourteen, I had successfully convinced my father that purchasing me a 1966 Volkswagen Beetle was a wise idea. This is no easy feat for a fourteen-year-old boy to pull off and, even today, I am stunned that it worked. It was Bahama Blue, with a slight dent on the driver's side front fender. No surface rust. 1300cc engine. Black vinyl interior. And, God, when you opened the door and took a whiff, oh-- how you were instantly teleported back in time. It was, simply, amazing.
My mother was not amazed. Or amused. I am more than a little surprised that divorce proceedings were not initiated. There were bigger fuck-ups in store and still, she stayed put. Gotta love inertia, or lack thereof. We owned that car for a year-and-a-half but, as the day for my driver's license test got closer and closer, I got more and more scared of the prospect of being behind the wheel of this car, facing modern, heavy, threatening machines. The idea of tooling around in a car that would most definitely crumple up like a boil-in-a-bag in the event of an accident held little thrill for me, even as a moronic 15-and-a-half-year-old. We sold it. In the height of all coincidences, it went to the daughter of a Philadelphia police detective, who had been shot and killed in a narcotics raid. Throughout the entire transaction, she spoke not one single word-- her mother and uncle handled the transaction. She stared at the pavement. I hoped the car would bring her some happiness, if that were possible. If ever there was a car made on this earth capable of making that girl smile, I thought, this is it.
Ever since we sold that car, I've wanted another one. I guess I faced my fears about the unsafe nature of the antique Beetle when I borrowed the 1966 Bug from a local dealership for use as the "getaway" car for our wedding. Before it broke down (twice) I was speeding along a 3-lane freeway inside of it. No seatbelts. No working odometer. No working speedometer. No working gas gauge. Just the seat, the wheel, the tires, and me.
And, as the impossibly loud racket of the engine behind me clattering and burbling away, I thought to myself, "Oh my God-- I am in love."
Like Buddy Hackett's character in the original "Love Bug" says, grinning from ear-to-ear while listening to Herbie's engine humming away, "Like the song of a blue-boid."
The song of a blue-boid indeed.
At a car show and classic car museum this weekend in Hershey, my wife and I encountered many classic car owners and aficionados with their Studebakers and their Crosleys and their Packards, and the thing that unified most of these people was not just their eccentric facial hair and beer guts, but their *ahem* advanced age. And I looked at them, doddering around, futzing under the hoods of their V-8s and such, sipping water from 1970s-era coolers and vinyl-covered, obscene-colored Thermos products. And I looked inside the cars they brought to display, and I saw old-man back-support seat products and Doo-Wop tapes spread across the bench seats.
And I thought to myself, "This is all wrong."
Why is owning a collector's car an old fart's game? You spend your whole young and middle-aged life working, no-- slaving away. You put money aside and, finally, when you're 70, you buy a classic car that you can no longer sit in comfortably or spend any time driving. Take it out for twenty minutes and you're practically incapacitated by sciatica, lumbago, shingles or whatever other ailment that old crusties get. Stamp-collecting, I get that. That should be what old men do. The classic car thing should be for the young, too. While we can still enjoy it. While we can do more than drag it to a car show, let it sit there in the sun for 6 hours, answer the same six or seven stupid questions about it all day, eat some chicken wings and hamburgers slathered in Whiz, and leave-- covering it with a tarp for nine months out of the year.
I mean, really-- is that any way to treat a respectable little mistress?
3 months ago
i think when you were born, an ill-tempered faerie cursed you to youth in which you only enjoy things old farts enjoy.ReplyDelete
what remains to be seen is if, when you are 70, you'll have anything in common with other 70-year-olds? Will you come up-to-date in old age, or be the last of your kind?
"She's not what most men would choose. She's kind of homely-looking, maybe some might say dowdy. One thing you can definitely say about her that I couldn't argue with: she's slow.ReplyDelete
She's not sophisticated or refined and, at forty-seven years of age, she's kind of a strange choice for a thirty-year-old man already married to a twenty-eight-year-old. You could say that she's "been around the block" more than a few times."
Omit the ages and that sounds just like my boyfriend's ex mistress. Goddamned stripper-whore. Oh well, now SHE'S the fat one. I am therefore superior on every level.
I like your car.