Monday September 19, 2005

An Open Letter to the Driver of a 1996 Honda Civic.

Ah, rush hour. Cars pack together in anticipation of going home to rest and relaxation. It’s Friday, and traffic is slow. Everyone’s a bit edgy. As you pull up next to me in the adjacent lane, stereo thumping in ways that shouldn’t be legal, I recall a dream I once had. Actually, it’s not so much a dream as a recurring daydream. At any rate, it brings a smile to my face. And here’s why:

In this daydream, you are interchangeable with any obnoxiously loud vehicle that happens to be vexing me at the moment. It just so happens that I’m placing you in the starring role right now. As I look over at your dope street racer with its Bondo-slathered fenders and doors, I see you “rocking out” or “getting down” in an excitedly animated fashion. You are obviously “feeling the funky fresh flow” of whatever music you are listening to. I wouldn’t know what it is, naturally. All I can hear are the cascading sheets of boom hitting the side of my car. Seriously, I can feel my brain bumping around inside my skull. For all I know, it could be the sound of a thousand bulls Riverdancing. It really doesn’t matter. As you bounce to the beat in your bucket seat, I imagine what you may be thinking: You’re awesome. Your music is awesome. And you’ll be darned if everyone within two city blocks isn’t going to experience that awesomeness right along with you. People are watching — looking to the source of the blissful waves of concussion-inducing bass you are generously doling out. Such philanthropy.

Oh, this is your favorite part of the song. You turn it up. Your captive gridlocked audience will surely be indebted to you for such fine stoplight entertainment, you think. Holy cow, I think my airbags are going to deploy. I can actually see your window glass bow outward with each kick of the bass drum. You rock.

And then… it happens. The inevitable result of your giving attitude. Every nut — every bolt, screw, grommet, and scrap of glue holding together your prized street racer buzz loose. Screws strip, adhesive snaps away. And there, in the middle of the road, your car falls apart like Jake and Elwood’s rusted-out cop car. Except you aren’t on a mission from God — despite what you may think. Doors, fenders and bumpers all hit the ground. Everyone within earshot claps. As you pick up your things and walk sheepishly to the nearest bus stop, the crowd points and gives you the ol’ Nelson Muntz “ha-ha!” treatment.

It’s classic. It’s perfect. It’s all in my mind.

The Driver Next to You With the Face Twisted in Anguish.


Abel Rios » 5844 days ago #

You were next to me?! Why didn’t you say hi or something? :)

Shawn Grimes » 5844 days ago #

Haha, great story Jared. I know exactly what you mean except for the fact that I used to be one of those people you are dreaming about. I have a little 94 civic hatchback with the big rims, annoying exhaust, and a stereo system in it. Let me just say I’m way over that now and I don’t even turn my radio up anymore because I felt bad from all the looks I used to get much like what you described. It is great reading from the annoyed persons view though. Thanks.

Chris Kenworthy » 5844 days ago #

You’ve got homies in Texas too?! Geez, here I thought Albuquerque was the only place in America with people so self centered and pea-brained. When I drove my Cavalier, I installed 8” subs just to “bump” my country music next to any one who shared their ebonics filled lyrics with the rest of the world.

Jared Christensen » 5844 days ago #

Chris I dont care so much about what kind of music is bumping in the trunk as the volume of said bumping. I can tolerate loud music even I crank it up sometimes. Its those people who install special equipment to raise the volume to unholy levels that irks me, especially when they do it in parking garages, apartment parking lots, and traffic jams.

But your country music SUCKS. ;)

Abel Oh no you didnt!!!

Shawn Glad to see hear youve reformed. ;)

sxates » 5844 days ago #

I had a pretty loud system when I was in college. Yeah, my cavalier was rockin’ with a 10” rockford fosgate sub and radio shack 6×9’s powered by some cheap no-name amp that burned out at least 2 alternators.

Then I grew up. The Bose system in my Audi sounds way better, and doesn’t vibrate adjacent cars, so it all works out :)

Chris Kenworthy » 5844 days ago #

sxates, did you by chance have the 1993 model?! I went through 7 alternators.

justin » 5844 days ago #

It’s pretty sickening to see that people like that exist in this world. As they say, one bad apple will ruin a barrel of good apples (In this case, that one guy gave negative thoughts to a barrel of normal, good citizens). Jared was just one of hundreds who this guy came in contact with on that day and made them have the Exact same feeling. Parasites.

Alan » 5844 days ago #

I never really got the idea of putting an awesome stereo system in cars. The volume people turn these things up, they’re just getting ready for premature hearing loss. Personally, I’ve already inflicted tinitus upon myself in one ear, I could never put my music that loud even in my own home. lol

Nathan Smith » 5842 days ago #

People like that are funny to me for two reasons:

1. The reason you described, the sheer ridiculousness of how they sound / look when around other people, and

2. They’ve totally devauled the re-sale value of their automobile. Because, having a “tricked out ride” is all about expressing your individuality, so the only person that would want to buy said car off of you is someone with the exact same taste and style. But, the type of person who might buy it is the same type that would rather modify their own car.

Personally, I’d rather have that amount of $ worth in computer equipment, and not be a spectacle for people to stare and and mock when on the road. That’s just me though, to each his own.

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