Yeah, that’s my ride

“I don’t know what I love more … Transman or his car.”

We all know that everyone judges a man by his car. We may claim that we don’t do that, but if a guy drives up in a Smart Car or on a bike, no one will take him seriously as a man.

“Naaaah, itsh cool. Justa little spill. ‘mokay.” That Relative We Pretend Not to Know as himself.

Truthfully, if he rides up on a bike, his chances are better than if he’s driving a Smart Car.

If you’re on a bike you can claim to be training for a sport, or even better, that your license is suspended, which gives you “bad boy” caché. Sure, people might claim that DUIs and suspended licenses are bad news and proof of irresponsible behavior, but I bet every one of you can probably think of some rakish drunken relative that seems to survive on charisma alone.

“I hate going to the record shop with Transman. He takes forever. Oh, well, he’s just so dreamy, it’s worth the wait.” Audrey Tautou as Transman’s fantasy girlfriend.

Let Transman say he thinks women riding bikes are hot. He fantasizes that all of them are French and full of joie de vivre. Old Italian men look great on bikes, too, because they’re usually smoking and have rumpled suits and windblown manes of hair. Transman wants to grow up to be an old Italian man (except for the smoking part; that would be bad for his asthma).

Transman loved cars when he was little. Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars filled his room. He drew very bad versions of the Batmobile to pass time in school. He had his heart set on a Cadillac with giant fins.

That was little Transman. When Transman was a tween, he had a terrible moped accident and nearly swore off all motorized vehicles forever. (Culvert pipes are not very forgiving pieces of drainage equipment when struck head-on.)

“C’mon, Transman! I’ll give you these delicious frosty treats if you can parallel park!” Christie Brinkley as Twyla Fay.

When Transman was 16, his dad bought him a 1969 Dodge Polara for $100. Since his father had invested good money in a car, Transman was obligated to learn to drive. His father was the first one to try to teach him.

Somehow, they wound up in an old Audi Fox that would get stuck in reverse. Transman once had to drive backwards through the neighborhood to get home from the library. Transman’s dad rode along white-knuckled and cussing in the passenger seat, now wishing they had taken his work truck instead.

As soon as they got home from the library, Transman’s dad gave up the driving lessons and turned the job over to Transman’s sister Twyla Fay.

“Let’s hit the open road!” Nudie Cohn as Transman.

Transman eventually got his license and then he was the terror of mailboxes everywhere; Buddy Holly glasses and backing out of the driveway don’t mix.

Transman fantasized about different manly cars and trucks, but his budget left him in the “Classic Clunkers” market. Not every one of those cars was a loser, though. Some were sort of badass in a quirky way.

Some of Transman’s best rides:

Transman’s absolute redneck cool rides were his Caddys. Yes, he did make that dream come true. Twice.

The 1989 gold Fleetwood with the fine champagne leather seats made him wish he had a Nudie suit. His proudest driving moment wasn’t driving through New York City traffic or surviving the freeways of the Middle East. No, it was successfully parallel parking a 1981 Cadillac Sedan DeVille on a hill with one inch between him and the cars on either end. Transman was so proud of his skills, he had to walk across the street and admire his work from the right perspective. If he had been living in the era of smartphones, Transman would have snapped photo after photo and posted them on all social media outlets for the world to admire.

These cars are so long, you can’t photograph them with a regular camera.

The Ford Pinto station wagon came in robin’s egg blue. At $500, it was the most expensive car Transman had ever owned. It was not at all suited for his life as a reporter in cow country. Driving up to the rodeo grounds to interview champion bull riders in the Pinto got him nothing but laughter from guys whose body parts were held together with pins and whose ribs were reinforced with layers of medical tape. Yes, it was a Ford. But. It. Was. A. Pinto. Sometimes, Transman liked to f**k with passengers and bump into things when he went in reverse (for those of you who were born long after the original Fraggle Rock went off the airwaves, the Ford Pinto had a reputation for exploding when rear-ended).

“You better hope there’s nothing behind me.” The Ford Pinto as itself.

Transman had a short-lived muscle car period. It started with a Dodge Aspen that he had to start witha  screwdriver and ended with a Chevy Nova that got T-boned. The Aspen had a Slant Six engine and the Chevy Nova had a V8. Once they got going, they really got going and people got the hell out of Transman’s way. With a few more tattoos and a toothpick hanging out of his mouth, Transman would’ve been the ultimate badass roaring down the the road.

“Get the hell out of my way! If I don’t get doughnuts and the new Cramps album, I will kill someone!” The Chevy Nova runnin’ like nobody’s business.

Maybe it’s because she was his first, but Transman will always love the Dodge Polara. Because he wasn’t very creative when he was 16, he just called her Polara. She was his ice queen with her white exterior and powder blue vinyl seats. The shiny chrome on the instrument panels winked at him every time he got behind the wheel. The chrome winked in the sun, blinding him, making him swerve and run down unsuspecting mailboxes all over town. Polara, I will always love you.

Truth in advertising: the 1969 Dodge Polara.

Transman knows he should just be his own man and not worry about what people think of him when he gets out of his Ford Fiesta, but he can’t help it. Even if he  cranks up the stereo when he’s got NWA thumping the bass or draws a mustache on the front bumper, there is no way to make that car even slightly manly. Transman might as well give up and get a bike.

“Why are you getting off the bike?” Buster Keaton as Transman. “That guy over there has a bitchin’ Camaro.” Sybil Seely as Transman’s future girlfriend.

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37 responses to “Yeah, that’s my ride

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