Snubbed, I was snubbed. No prostitutes, no drugs, and the closest I got to powering about in a muscle car was revving the engine of a moldy 1970 Cadillac Coupe DeVille; the cheapest car on the lot at the only antique dealership I could find on the strip. The Muffler was half shot and it made a sound like gravel being shaken violently about in a coffee can when I pressed the shoe box-sized accelerator to the floor.
I was assured by the guys in the shop that after several days of driving the old boat around town the smell would vanish. But then again you stop noticing the smell of your own flatulence under instances of prolonged exposure.
The plan was to drop the MotorSpaceNW name and say that I was a writer or something to that effect looking to test-drive a restorable car for a story and let the car sales guy draw his own star struck conclusions. Preferably, he would sit shot gun and instruct me to “open her up a little” as we roared past love for rent, drug dealers and several of my ex-girlfriends in some kind of fantastically overpowered automotive dinosaur.
The car guy concluded that after the lot hands came back from lunch they could add some gas to the Caddy’s tank and let me take it around the block, the block being the lot itself.
Swing and a miss. It was time to up the anty and really back these guys into a corner.
“Well, you know,” I said cutting the engine on the DeVille, “I’m under instruction to test drive a MUSCLE car, what do those start at around here?”
The car guy was obviously better at this game than I was and tactfully attempted to let me know my charade was in fact visible, not an ace masterfully hidden betwixt my cummerbund and dress shirt.
“And uh, how does the site (MotorSpaceNW) plan on paying?” He asked, “Cash? Finance?”
Oooh, ah, it was time to do some thinking without revealing that I was fabricating an answer directly in front of him. I took a long sip of my coffee and pulled the look off masterfully, but it wasn’t much of an accomplishment as the next words that came out of my mouth were beans, beans being spilt in cascading waves of truthy vomit.
I was a blogger, “You actually get paid for that?”
I wasn’t going to buy anything (Conciliatory stare)
I was sent to snap some pictures of a muscle car and test drive it, and then write a story about the whole experience: A bright spot of relative truth on the ass end of an ever-elongating turd of lies.
“Well, let me check inside,” the car guy responded cautiously.
He reemerged from the show room several minutes later with the keys to a Canary yellow 1980 Corvette Sting Ray. Marked at just under nine grand, the car guy speculated that it produced nearly three hundred horses; a considerable amount for a car that fit like a glove.
Car guy started her up and she roared, then purred like a kitten awaiting the tender caress of my throttling foot.
Then my would be sales associate/co-pilot hopped into the driver’s seat and unlocked the passenger door for me.
Sigh. I climbed in next to him and as we circled the block I listened more intently to the laborious sounds of his breathing than the sputtering coughs produced from the spotty power of the small block 350. 300 horses my ass, that thing made 300 horses like the Caddy would hold it’s fluids on a trip to Vegas and back.
What a mess, and it was over before it ever had a chance to begin. After the uncomfortable merry-go-round about the perimeter of the dealership with a steady drone of early onset respiratory failure for background music I was thrown back onto the pavement of the car lot like a fish too small for the skillet, but I sizzled with resentment none the less.
I’ll be back Aurora Avenue; you haven’t seen the last of me. No American should be denied the right to at least test-drive a piece of their country’s heritage. You can turn me down once, twice, but the third time I’ll use my charm to smite the arrogance that you’ve set me to brood with. Mark my words: I’ll test drive one of those beasts before my days are through.
*CORRECTION: In “Aurora Avenue Part 1” the establishment “Exotic Tan” was mentioned as being a well known destination for copping a happy ending. This very well may be true, but in fact “Exotic Tan” is not located on Aurora Avenue, but on Lake City Way. Please excuse any inconvenience this error may have caused.