Monday, December 22, 2008

Mufflers, hamburgers and girls

Some of you may remember my post of a few days ago about how two buds and I purchased an "Okie Special," a hand painted '36 Chevrolet, while going through Prep school at Norman, OK and used it to prey on all the young ladies who would stand still long enough to listen to our tales of utter nonsense.

Most of these lived in Oklahoma City or its burbs, as the ratio of boys to girls in Norman was about 10 to 1 and in the City the odds dropped to a more manageable figure of say, 3 to 1. Besides, the young ladies of Norman were mostly attuned to the boasts of Sons of Boomer Sooners and us lowly Prep school types were well known to not own oil wells, sections of land or herds of cattle. That we were there at all was attributed to the "government," who was known to do strange things from time to time.

Indeed, that one of these lovelies might listen to such as us and even speak to us was a clear demonstration of good breeding and Christian charity but poor judgement. That these rejections neither angered or perturbed us I think clearly demonstrates the confidence and strength of the lower class on its way up. There were lots of other girls and miles and miles of highways in front of us. No meant "Try Again."

So we toured Oklahoma City and when not invited by a family to dinner, people actually did such things in those days, we would feast on "White Castle Hamburgers" as we checked all the likely spots where girls might be.

As I noted earlier, the car had been hand painted British Racing Green. It also possessed something that we deeply treasured and loved without qualification. Some previous owner had removed the muffler and installed a straight pipe. Installation of same allowed the stock engine to develop a most enjoyable roar, especially when you shifted from first to second, gunning the engine and then "backing off."

The stupidity of youth can never be over estimated.

Life, as they say, goes on. Two weeks before graduation and being launched onward into the world we discovered an underpass. Naturally the acoustic capabilities of the straight pipe, the underpass and the three dummies in the car combined into us making multiple drive throughs. I think it was on the fourth pass that an Oklahoma City Police car pulled us over and cited us for violating every anti-noise law known to man.

We were then taken to what I think was their version of Night Court.

The Judge was actually quite nice. To our plea that we had been meaning to replace the dreadful noise maker he merely said, "Okay, now go do that and come back next Friday with proof that you have."

The problem was that we didn't have the money and what we needed to do was sell the "Flash," as someone had named it.

So I asked, "What if we sell it?"

"How do I know the muffler problem will be fixed?" the Judge asked.

"We'll sell it in Norman," one of the buds offered.

"And we'll make whoever buys it promise to fix it," I chimed in.

The Judge frowned and dismissed the case, probably relieved to be rid of such criminals from his jurisdiction.

And we did. Two days before we were to leave we sold the car to a new guy. As we were leaving the scene of the sale I told the new owner, "Oh you know there is a problem with how loud the car is..."

"Yeah, straight pipes" the proud owner said. "That's what I like about it."

And so we left the scene of the crime unencumbered by the law. I have wondered if a muffler was ever put on the Flash or if the new owner was just luckier or smarter than the three dummies who didn't know you shouldn't do multiple runs through underpasses at two AM in the morning.

We soon had louder noises, airplane engine noises to listen to.

From time to time God does take care of fools. Thankfully He has never given up on us.