It started out as a typical Saturday morning. My wife and daughter had some errands to run. As tempting as it was to tag along and surf the waves of estrogen, I decided instead to roam the mall. I like roaming the mall alone. I walk with nothing more than my writing pad. I have found that observing the people, stores, and surroundings of the mall can provide a great source for writing material. I always find something different each time. It can be someone I met, something on display or people who (intentionally or not) make a display of themselves. This Saturday was no exception.
I started off in the bookstore (as I typically do). This helps me to enjoy my exploration with a clear mind. Somehow it helps to cleanse the mental palate. As I worked out of the bookstore, I turned to my left so that I could cover the greatest mall distance. I easily walked not more than 20 feet before my eyes and mind were treated to wonderful visions of beauty. I am talking about sights so beautiful that most men would swoon and drop to their knees. Was it a fashion show? No siree, buddy. It was a car show.
Now, I am not a car aficionado by any stretch of the imagination. I wouldn’t be able to tell you that a 1965 Mustang K series engine came in at 289 cubic inches with 271 horsepower and 10.5:1 compression and a four barrel carburetor unless I went out of my way to look it up (I did). As a matter of fact, I will probably have auto-philes and Mustang fanatics tell me that I just said that entirely wrong. I’m OK with that. Such spewing of facts is usually done around auto-philes to show that you are an authority on the subject (or at least give the illusion) while your friends go “Yup!” and smile with a knowing nod. This allows to to either pass along the same illusion of authority or act in kindness to not expose that you lack it (auto-philes are cool that way).
Still, there’s nothing like a really cool car that has an effect upon any guy who gazes upon it. It stimulates part of the male endocrine system know as the Awewow gland. The gland is located somewhere between the salivary glands and the brain. Doctors have been unable to pinpoint the location of the gland but have been able to verify its presence at every car show. It is called an Awewow gland because whenever a man sees a sweet car, he stops dead in his tracks and says: “AWWWWW! WOWWWWWWWWWWWWW!” It is also shown to be highly active during Super Bowl Sunday and any time that Eddie Van Halen plays Eruption. If they are around other guys, it provokes arm grabbing and elbow poking to draw the other guy’s focus toward the object of desire. It can also be followed by exclamations of: “DUDE! “DUDE! “DUDE! “DUDE! Soon, two or more guys are going: “AWWWWW! WOWWWWWWWWWWWWW!” in multi-part harmony. Legend has it that a prison riot in 1976 at Poundrock State prison was brought to a grinding halt when a quick thinking prison guard displayed a picture of his 1967 fire engine red Corvette. Suddenly, more than 100 inmates in jumpsuits dropped their handmade weaponry and began saying: “AWWWWW! WOWWWWWWWWWWWWW! DUDE! DUDE! DUDE! DUDE!” Some say that the the harmonious chanting could be heard as far as 10 miles away.
I couldn’t JUST stand in awe of these cars. I took out my mobile phone and started snapping pictures of these wonderful machines (Yup! It’s another bulleted list):
- 1973 lime green Pontiac Firebird
- 1968 turquoise Olds Cutlass
- 1965 sky blue Mustang. My dad used to have this same model but his was royal blue.
- 1956 burgundy/white Chevy Bel-Air. This one was really cool because it had a rose etched into the quarter glass.
- 1971 black/white Chevy Chevelle. This color theme was accentuated throughout the car with plush skunks.
As sweet as all of these cars were to see, I got the biggest AweWow stimulation when I gazed upon a 1939 lemon yellow Lincoln Zephyr. This car wasn’t just a display. It was a SHOW! The car had suicide doors. The engine was decorated with blinking Christmas lights. On display inside the trunk was a replica of the Zephyr right down to the lemon yellow finish. To top it all off, there was a mannequin wearing a yellow baseball hat, a yellow scarf, crème pumps, and fishnet stockings.
It was shortly after this that my wife called to pick me up. I put away my handwritten observations and my mobile phone and met them outside. Of course, I couldn’t resist the photos with my son in law (an auto-phile). When he saw the photo of the 1956 Bel-Air he couldn’t stop himself: “AWWWWW! WOWWWWWWWWWWWWW! DUDE! DUDE! DUDE! DUDE!”