I’m driving to work on a recent Wednesday morning. It’s a beautiful early fall day in the Sonoran desert: clear, sunny skies, just a hint of coolness in the air that we all breathe in with a sigh of relief. We have survived another punishing Tucson summer, and now is when it starts to get really good. While our family members are starting to dig out heavier coats, we enjoy NOT sweating rivers in our t-shirts and tank tops and shorts, and we’re starting to dig out heavier gloats when we call or write home.
Getting out of the neighborhood onto the aptly named Speedway Boulevard without a traffic control is always a bit tricky, although I cleverly avoid the worst of the rush by leaving the house late every morning. I pulled in quickly into the nearest lane, and then immediately changed to the middle lane as I picked up speed, but apparently my acceleration left something to be desired by the car that was coming up fast behind me. He did one of those jerky, “Hey, I’m makin’ a point here!” lane changes to show me his displeasure, and then pulled up alongside me as he passed in his Magnum.
There he was, baseball cap pulled too low over his dreads, seat way, way, way back, and at the end of his hyperextended arm, his left wrist draped over the top of the steering wheel in that special “10 and 2 is for chumps” manner we seem to get a lot of around here. Apparently, we are meant to know he’s cool by the fact that he’s conducting two tons of metal and fiberglass with his wrist. I know I’M impressed.
And I had to laugh. I wanted to say to him, “Dude…I know “Magnum” is a kind of gun, and also the name of the extra-large condoms they sell to overweening (and underwienied) egos like yours, which is probably why you bought the car in the first place. But you do realize you’re still driving a station wagon, right? Station wagon, dude. Why don’t you just settle down there, son.”