Class reunion requires cool car
by Michael Howlett
I came across an article the other day concerning high school reunions, and the changes you need to undergo to properly impress your former classmates. Now, the advice this article offered was pretty much what you would expect – lose some weights, grow some hair, have everything nipped and tucked, research very carefully the story you’re going to pass off as your life, and convince the hot 18-year-old intern at your office to pretend to be your wife for the night. If she won’t go for it, try a female escort, but not a cheap female escort. A cheap female escort will not provide the impression you’re looking for, but might provide you with an incurable female escort disease. Those are the worst kind.
Even though the article admitted that the inquiring minds of your former classmates will probably ask you – “Are you married?” “Where do you work?” “What do you do?” “Do you have any children in prison?” - the writer focused the majority of the article on another question – “What kind of car do you drive?” The article then went on to list “seven cool cars for your high school reunion.” A cool car is, apparently, a must for a successful high school reunion. After all, what better way to show all those people who said you would never be worth a hill of beans, worth a dime, or worth a handful of weasel mucus, just how successful you are. They don’t need to know about that 1982 Vega that has just one wiper blade, two hubcaps and three doors sitting in your garage.
Although the article put a big emphasis on the model of car one drives, I don’t remember that being a topic of discussion during the last high school reunion the Mistress of the Manor and I attended, which was something like 20 years ago. Everyone sat around, talked about old times and even danced a little. Our reunion was held at what is now Carroll County Intermediate School, but was called Hillsville High School back in the long, long ago before time. Since alcohol is not allowed on school grounds, even for a reunion, we had to walk out to our cars to liven up our drinks, if you know what I mean, wink wink, nudge nudge. Now, this was a little inconvenient, but, at the same time, very appropriate, since we did the same thing when attending dances at the high school in our youth. Aahhh, memories … but enough of that, back to cars.
Since I appreciate nice cars, I, of course, read on to find out which cool cars would make the list. Now, I know cool cars. My youthful years, the 60s and 70s, represent the heyday of cool cars. I, myself, had a 1968 Super Sport Chevelle that was powered by a 396-cubic inch, 375-hp engine. It had white leather interior, mag wheels, dual chrome exhausts and chrome manifold covers. That baby would scoot. If I hadn’t had the Chevelle, I would have gone with a GTO Judge. Of course, the highway was littered with cool, high performance cars – Roadrunners, Camaros, Chargers, Olds 442s and Shelby Mustangs, just to name a few. In addition to being awesome driving machines, they had style. You could tell a SS Chevelle from a Roadrunner or a Camaro from a Charger with ease. Today, for the most part, all cars have pretty much the same body style. It is a Honda, or a Chevy, or a Ford? Who the heck knows without looking at the company insignia on the car?
Okay, back to the article, which said the cars on the list were selected because of their “cool appeal. It’s not about being rich, necessarily, it’s about being cool,” so said the article. So, what names hit me smack in the face when I scrutinized the list? Volkswagen and Hyundai, of course. Now, I don’t know about you, but when I think of cool, I don’t think of Hyundai. You can use a lot of words to describe a Hyundai, but cool ain’t one of them. Fuel efficient, small, inexpensive, Korean-made, but not cool.
As for the Volkswagen, I can cut it a little slack since it was cool at one time, as in the long, long ago before time. I mean a Volkswagen van was the freakmobile of choice during those wild and wicked days of my youth. The remaining cars on the list were nice to sort of cool, but the only honest-go-God cool car was the Camaro 2SS, a true muscle-car with a 426-hp engine.
Now, you’re probably saying, “Why does a car have to have so much muscle to be cool? Well, for anything to be cool, it must have some danger associated with it. A headline in a London newspapers once warned parents “to lock up your daughters” when The Rolling Stones were about. A particular werewolf in Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London” was dangerous and a snazzy dresser as illustrated in the lines, “You better stay away from him, He’ll rip your lungs out Jim Huh, I’d like to meet his tailor.” And so for a car to be cool, it must have muscle. So, when your high school reunion rolls around, leave the Subaru BRZ at home and buy or rent a restored 1968 GTO Judge. Later that night, you’ll be glad you did.
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