Loud, Fast Fools


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"Play THE SONG, man," my high school pal, Scott Peterson, says to me as I gun the motor of my Datsun 510 station wagon. As I do, the orange car with the blue Batman logo on the hood begins to shake. "George," Scott says, "if you ain't gonna play it, I'm gonna pop in a different tape. Maybe Billy Joel."


I ease off the gas and push the fast-forward button on the Archer tape deck to find THE SONG. As I do, the eject button falls off. Cheap Radio Shack piece of shit. But at least the Ramones tape of Road to Ruin is in the deck, with the Dead Boys' Young, Loud, & Snotty on the other side. If I was gonna have to listen to the same songs over and over, this was the right cassette.


As I search for THE SONG, I notice that Mike Gibson's 1967 Mustang is pulling way ahead of us. We are all making our way about 30 miles south of Tallahassee, to a sinkhole that Scott promises will have naked chicks sunbathing around it.


Finally, I find THE SONG and crank it up. The Ramones' "Bad Brain" begins. "I used to be an A student/I never used to complain/I used to be a truant/But I'm still the same/Bad bad brain."


As we sing along, banging our heads on the windshield, Scott takes out a joint and lights it up. "Dude," he says to me from behind his wire-frame glasses and 70s mustache, "we are gonna get SO laid."


I nod, singing along with the Ramones, knowing damn well that none of us is gonna get any pussy. The only pussy that any of us got lately was the one that Mike Gibson ran over with his wicked 'Stang. "It went, like, 'meow,' then made this splashing sound," Mike had told me while doing bong hits during my break at Publix Supermarket, where I worked as a bag boy.


After taking a couple of drags off the joint, I notice that Mike Gibson has pulled way ahead of us. And since he, or his passenger, David Williams, doesn't know exactly where the sinkhole is, I'd better catch up. Only Scott knows where it is for sure. So, as "Bad Brain" cranks out, I gun the motor again, and when I hit about 90 I catch up to the white 'Stang.


"Pull up next to them," Scott tells me as we speed down the deserted highway. It's three in the afternoon and only about 110 degrees. "Hey dudes," yells Scott to Mike and David through his passenger window. Mike waves and smiles from behind his mirrored sunglasses. I turn down my Radio Shack piece of shit and hear the Dead Boys blasting from the 'Stang. The guy has good taste. The car is so filled with pot smoke that David is hard to see in the passenger's seat.


"The sinkhole is about 10 miles ahead," Scott yells to the guys as my car struggles to keep up with them.


"Uh-huh," says Mike, as David passes him a huge bong, and then takes a big hit.


"Try this," says Scott, as he holds his joint out the window to give to Mike. At 90 mph. Of course the thing flies away.


"Fuck," says Scott, "that was some good shit. Hawaiian Gold!"


"We must have more pot," I yell at Scott as the wicked 'Stang pulls ahead of my Datsun 510 station wagon.


"Sorry dude," says Scott. I tell him I'm gonna pull up next to those guys again, and for him to ask for the bong. As I do, my car begins to get the shakes again. I clutch the steering wheel tightly.


"Dudes," says Scott, "pass the bong!"


"Okay," says David.


"Fuck that," says Mike. "First ya gotta catch us!"


He guns the 'Stang, and the next thing I know they're about a quarter of a mile ahead of us. I gun my Batmobile as Scott fiddles with the rewind button. Finally he finds the beginning of "Bad Brain" and we sing along once more as we try to catch up to Mike and David. We get to about 100. Then 105.


"I don't think she's gonna make it, Captain," I say in my best Scotty voice as the steering wheel begins to shake violently.


"Go faster," is Scott's reply.


So I gun it harder. Now we're going 110 and the car feels like one of those machines fat people use to shake off excess pounds.


"We're almost there," yells Scott. He has to yell because the wind is so loud. The Datsun 510 Wagon hits its peak at 120 and we pull up next to Mike and David. Mike looks down at his speedometer, then at me.


"Pretty slick, Tabb," he shouts, as he pulls so close to my car that suddenly the wind stops howling outside of my passenger side. The next thing I know he passes Scott the bong. Scott lights up the bowl and takes a hit. He then tells me to take one. At 120 mph.


"Are you fucking nuts?" I ask him as I clutch the steering wheel for dear life. But as I do, I notice it's not shaking anymore. "It's not shaking anymore," I exclaim.


"You've reached warp speed," yells David from the other car.


"Cool," I say.


"So you gonna do a hit?" Scott asks as he holds the bong in his lap.


"Sure," I say. I tell Scott to hold the wheel as I take the bong from him, light it up and take a puff. "This tastes like shit!" I yell as I exhale some of the worst stankweed I've ever had.


"I harvested it this morning from my cowfield," says David.


"Give it back," says Mike as we continue down the deserted highway at 120.


"First ya gotta catch me," I say, and hit the gas pedal as hard as I can.


Then we hear a whumping sound.


An hour and a half later, while waiting for the tow truck in the hot Florida sun, Scott asks to hear "Bad Brain" again. And I play it for him. Again. And again. And again.


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