An Indian guy and cars; a love that dare not speak it’s name. Don’t be startled to find one of them unashamedly naked, hugging the hood of a RXI at some point during the day. They love it that much. Small wonder cars are given women’s names. Like a woman, motor vehicles spark the interest of a man primarily because of what’s under the hood.
Confession time: I know as much about cars as Jacob Zuma knows about self-control. I only know what a Lamborghini is because I drank too many of them on fire once, and consequently spent the entire evening becoming intimately familiar with my bathroom’s plumbing.
A guy once said that it’s all about big tires and monster bass (I’m not sure how fishing is related, we’ll see). I concluded that he was still upset about his dad leaving years ago, or is sensitive about his underrated adam’s apple. Either way, poor fellow’s clearly compensating for something. “Mid ranges,” someone else said. “I’ve got mid ranges”. Friend that I am, I was quick to reassure him that if he works hard enough, he could afford the high ranges someday.
Some of the excitement stems from racing. Yes, racing – drag racing; staying up late at night to get into fights with your childhood friends. Not to be confused with racing in drag. This activity usually includes prescription medication, pregnancy scares and feeling cold in a parking lot. Honestly, I think this habit is largely a consequence of 2 Fast 2 Furious being pirated so successfully.
Status comes with what sort of car you make smoke with at the traffic light. Yet another rigid system of symbolism. For example, a stainless steel exhaust pipe indicates to potential mates that you’re still fertile. Tinted windows lets people know that money hasn’t changed you, and you still remember where you come from. Twelve inch sub-woofers are a statement to the world that you just qualified for a housing bond.
There’s also the pleasure of the mechanical parts themselves. Gears and axles and things. People love getting marinated in grease to use a spanner to violate the undercarriage of their 2009 Ford Focus. Who isn’t wooed by shiny rims that blind all the neighborhood children as you drive past them? Not me.
Despite an understandable lack of knowledge or interest, you can still totally embrace the whole “ride or die” culture. Please feel free to say you have haters. And play Rick Ross loud enough to give a nun hepatitis. Rev the pedal things all you want outside the primary school, go ahead.
A car appeals to me in two or three ways. One is looks. Another is the common practical application. When a cool person mentions that some Volkswagen or something goes zero to one hundred in six seconds, that means diddly squat to me. Unless, by zero you mean my house, and by one hundred you mean the bar, then that’s a fantastic car right there. A third reason would be that the boot comes in particularly handy when you have to do a murder.
How do you relate in a community obsessed with spinning wheel caps and noise pollution? There are some techniques, so let’s get to that, Son.
How to totally know cabs:
1. Comment with, “Nice tires”.
People will never dispute this. It’s indisputable. It sounds sincere enough to be a great lie. You have no idea what you’re talking about but they falsely assume you’re aware of their need for safety, so yeah.
2. Dress to Depress.
The clutch and accelerator, I mean. At the same time, so that it makes that VROOM sound; to drown out the voice of the guy selling pegs at the intersection. 80% of the talk, is the walk. Your outfit should definitely consist of Puma shoes, bootlegged Levi’s and three liters of maximum-hold gel for your mohawk.
3. Drop an obscure reference to nitrous oxide here and there.
Mention how everything is better with chrome pipes or rims (not sure which one), and never give the audience a chance to disagree. Nod, point and complain about the high cost of brake pads and annual services.
“Hey but if the cam belt’s not properly lubricated and the clutch plate slips, that’s a headache, am I right? Because that wont agree one bit with the reverse shaft cylinders in the carburetor, and you all know that’s expensive and alotta work for mechanics. Those guys are never at home when you need them. This one time this kêrel gave me a speeding fine just before the valves got worn because the exhaust was burning, y’know I rev hard. This one ou tried to dice with a 325 so I had to double-clutch right…”
Now, the key here is to talk fast and laugh whenever you lie about breaking the traffic laws, as if you do this all the time. Throw in some other familiar terms like drifting, Jetta and oil-change to complete the deception.
5. Don’t just suicide, Carbon-Monoxide.
For legal reasons, I can’t elaborate on this one. Since it references that awkward moment when your girlfriend left you for me (surprise, surprise), and all your dreams collapsed.
6. Get arrested for driving shirtless.
This is the equivalent to winning a Nobel Prize. Everyone will believe anything you say about muffler kits and tuning chips after this.
7. Change a tire ONCE.
Never underestimate the magnitude of the opportunity to learn here. I did this once and boy, did I learn that day. I found out where the wheels are. I found out what a jack is (not that). And I finally discovered what rims look like.
8. It’s all about SOUND, mostly.
What’s a pimp wagon without some dynamite speaker-bass-amplifier machines? Familiarize yourself with the brands that make the speakers and cables and stuff. Like Deaf Leopard, eDrum Bleeders, Telefunky, Kennywood, Sonny and Gransdeaf. Other useful terms to impress are boot-lining, six-by-nines, tweeters, equalizers and twelve-inch-subs. Pretend to get carried away by how impressed you are by the balance between bass and treble (try and find out what bass and treble are, I don’t know).
The music is malevolently split into two categories: No Words and Few Words. House Music, some of it’s called. Ironic that it isn’t limited to being played at home. Most of the lyrics sound similar to the boot rattling, so listen carefully. There’s Hip Hop sometimes too. You’ll know it’s on when you have an urge to mug someone or disrespect a woman. On rare occasions, someone plays UB40. Run, Son.
9. Recommend dropping the suspension
A suspension is like your standards in women, the lower the better.
10. Wash the car YOURSELF
The temptation is there to support Manny’s Car Wash but resist the laziness. Auto valet is for pansies. You’re a MAN! Using the garden hose uses three times the water and floods the driveway, hell yeah! Trust me, all the neighborhood girls will be so impressed as you show off your skills with a sponge, bucket and dashboard polish. Watch them swoon as you unroll the 20 meter extension cord to use the vacuum cleaner on the seats.
Truth be told, my irreverence for motor vehicles makes me a liability on the road. Though an obligatory car purchase is looming, and I’ll be forced to become auto-savvy soon. Until then, to hell with your GTI.
PS. Your boot spoiler is ugly.