In the formative stages of this fun little column, I feel compelled to give you a little background on me, and maybe even provide a few disclaimers. I have had absolutely no formal training as a writer what-so-ever, so bear with me. I am a grammatical train wreck at best, and have not yet figured out how to use the spell check feature. Fortunately for all of us, this will be perused by someone much smarter than I, before it gets to you. Thank you in advance to my handlers.
I arrived in this quaint little beach resort town back in nineteen-eighty something as an invincible teen who knew everything. I use the term ‘quaint’ very loosely as this 8 mile long sand dune holds about three hundred liquor licenses. I pulled into town perched proudly behind the wheel of a rusty 1979 Olds Cutlass Supreme. I was naive enough at the time to think that the only thing cooler than that car was me.The stereo was probably worth more than the vehicle itself. It was comprised of an Alpine receiver, Kenwood power booster, and both Pioneer and Jensen speakers. Seemingly at the time, money well spent. It rocked!
I no doubt was listening to one of my three cassette tapes. AC/DC Back In Black, the ‘road trip’ mix tape I had made, or Rolling Stones Hot Rocks. The Stones would subsequently be eaten by my tape player. Unbeknownst to me at the time, apparently double length tapes had a short life span. The ash tray had been removed to make room for the power booster which was cleverly held in place by duct tape. In place of the ash tray, I had a red plastic cup wedged in between the front seats. I filled this often as a chain smoker of Marlboro Red 100’s–this is back when they still came in the gold colored pack. I didn’t empty the cup nearly often enough though; usually, the centrifugal force of an exit ramp took care of that. Also wedged between the front seats was a stapler. I kept this with me always because the ceiling liner of the car had come loose and was constantly caving in on me. Whenever I felt it touch my head, I would simply reach up and drive in a few staples. The driver’s side window was eternally stuck in the half way down position. The Beast Mobile, as it was known, got about 18 miles to the gallon, and yet somehow, my beloved car made it to 386 thousand miles before its death.
As I cruised into town, I sported my mullet like a crown of jewels. I don’t recall my exact attire, but my guess would be it was something along the lines of this: a pair of Jams–probably a size too big, white socks pulled up as far as they would go nestled inside a pair of Chuck Taylors–color unknown, a tank top emblazoned with either a mindless slogan, or a college I would never get into. This by the way, would be the last time, or at least the last summer, I would ever wear a tank top. Protecting my blood shot eyes, were a pair of Vuarnet sunglasses, which covered enough of my face to enable me to safely do some welding if called upon. I’m pretty sure that my only pocket held a Velcro wallet which housed my shiny new fake I.D., and whatever money I had just gotten for graduation. Riding shot gun was my newest, and one of my most prized possessions–my enormous red Igloo cooler, also a graduation gift. It was filled to capacity with cans of Milwaukee’s Best and Ice. Hey, we didn’t have bottled water back then…I had to improvise! I still have and continue to use that cooler to this day.
I came to this town for senior week. That is to say, I had just graduated high school and got here with the intention of blowing off a little steam, and staying for ONE week. We’ll discuss how that worked out for me, and more of my technological ineptitudes next time. Thanks for playing along.
Until next week,
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