I am appalled at Google’s lack of a doodle celebrating the birth of one of history’s finest inventors on this, the fourteenth of July. Not even a simple tip of the Silly Boobs Trucker Hat could be posted to honor Richard “Kewpie Dick” Delahanty, inventor of the aforementioned head wear, the “Junk Drawer Thing-a-Matron 1000” (shown here), and the ubiquitous Banana Seat.
Little is known about his early years, excepting for a rumor that he was the orphaned, unplanned child produced as the result of a tryst between Bella Lugosi and Frida Kahlo. Raised in the basement of a radio repair shop by Romanian immigrants, he learned to speak English by listening to Abbott and Costello, and taught himself to read by using discarded telephone directories, which granted him an encyclopedic knowledge of the city’s inhabitants.
A love for technology and puns drove him to create such wonders as the Alligator, Suede, Leather and Snake Turtleneck Shirt (better known as the “Four-Skin Longsleeve”), a super-absorbent raft/submarine combo called the “Tampoon River Rider,” and a harness for people who enjoy having their legs humped by small dogs, the “Shin-Too,” in addition to the marvels mentioned in the opening. An eccentric in his later years, he collected and arranged Bazooka Joe bubblegum comics into epic tales of adventure, but sadly his life’s work was burned to the ground following an unfortunate incident involving a sparkler and flatulence display, attributed to his heavy drinking and strict diet of bean-based foods. He died of a priapism when he mistook a bag of small pills found behind a pharmaceutical test lab for ice cream sundae sprinkles.
If you enjoy a solid conspiracy theory like I do, then you’ll no doubt dig this. You can just bet that everything leading to the trial has been placed into hedging all bets on another Kardashian family member’s defense technique: The old “tuck something away to avoid prosecution” maneuver. In this case, we’ll call it the “Klinger Defense.”
You have a dude that’s into some weird shit, right? Whatever. But in true Kardashian flavor, there’s money to be made, so you work a deal around this guy’s weirdness, and get another fifteen minutes of fame. You capitalize on the shock of “the dude from the Wheaties box wears dresses!” and nab some air time. All is right in the world of “fame at any cost” once again for these people who thrive on being paid attention to.
And then he gets in a wreck and someone dies. Uh-oh.
Fearing prosecution, they spin the “dude in a dress” to “he’s a woman now”, and it places the prosecution (and jurors) into the uncomfortable position of choosing to send a guy in a gown to a men’s prison, or to a women’s prison… or simply throwing their hands in the air and saying “fuck this… we have no idea what to do!” After all… he looks a lot different than the driver at the scene, and according to the media, he’s not Bruce anymore. He’s Caitlyn. She’s a new person. Haven’t we seen this before on TV cop dramas?
Much as Maxwell Klinger sought Section 8 discharge on the TV show M*A*S*H, this guy has taken the concept far downfield, and is hiding behind a serious issue, using it to avoid punishment. It’s genius, really. Manipulate the people just enough for empathy, utilize the media like a politician to plant the right buzz words, and then once they have what they need, they abandon the bandwagoning supporters (namely those who may suffer from some form of gender dysphoria), and he sashays off into the salon. And if you don’t think for a minute that some writer scripted the whole “But gosh, Bruce, Caitlytn, whatever, you’re a Conservative who is against gay marriage?” thing as the perfect doubt-filling seed to plant, then you may just be a stupid enough motherfucker to serve on the jury. Just a touch of controversy to make his “transition” seem all the more real, and give them that oh-so-typical backup argument should they be confronted. Looks strong on the surface… But if you know me, I love finding the cracks.
The whole thing smacks of the OJ/Robert Kardashian hidden murder weapon controversy, as well as the glove fiasco. Double-down on that with support from the President (speaking of media-manipulated gain) and coincidentally-timed awards for “courage” and such nonsense, and the picture of the “tragic hero” is painted with wonderful colors… Look at the under-painting, though, and it’s an ugly mess of the same bland technique we’ve seen time and again from those who think they’ve earned some station in life that is above the law. It leaves me with some concern for all of the “transgender community” supporters, wondering just how many of them are prepared to be run down by this self-serving use of their plight? You’d have to imagine that, should the truth come out looking as described here, that their cause would be set back decades… But much as Hillary would throw around the phrase “champion of women’s rights” and step on the carcasses of feminists everywhere to reach her goals, you can’t escape the feeling that this guy is no different, and has entered a world of ambiguity on so many levels that finding any way back to normalcy is a futile escapade in even the simplest sense.
Am I totally on board with this conspiracy theory? My personal jury is still out on that. I’m just waiting for the trial, and hoping they’ll present the argument that “Caitlyn here couldn’t possibly be the same persona as the driver of that Escalade… That is clearly a man, and she’s, uh, sort of woman-ish,” and then they present the wardrobe of the driver from that fatal day.
The lawyers, beaming with self-satisfaction will go on to explain that “with her breasts, there is no way that shirt could button around the breasts. If the shirt doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”
I work my days away trying to help clients get the most of their vision into a build. I enjoy the guys who have PASSION and drive. That willingness to dive in and create something unique… an expression of an emotion in a mechanical object. These are the clients and the sort of car guys I want to be around, and enjoy the company of. On the other hand, I see the “patina” guys as looking for the quickest buy-in, and can’t jump that hurdle.
My earliest memories are loaded with inquisitive adventures. I was one of those kids who would take everything apart to examine and explore all of the inner workings of virtually anything I could get my hands on, just to see what made it function. Occasionally, I’d manage to put everything back in some semblance of working order, as well, which had the effect of encouraging my seek-and-dismantle missions. Oh, certainly, there were misadventures, and the Frankenstein-ing of a few, less-than-fortunate items into, well, objects whose end purpose was quizzical at best, and dangerous at worst, but it fed a child’s mind, and paved a few neural pathways with some rudimentary engineering knowledge.
It’s no surprise, then, that I became fascinated with cars over time. That fascination grew from bicycles (as most of us in this car thing start out) to nearly anything mechanical. The function of some machine is a marvel on nearly every level, from the very idea for the machine, to the design, to the final step of manufacturing, it’s a nearly-miraculous series of events that bring such things into our lives. When you stop to consider all of the intricately connected things that need to occur to create something that works, it’s mind-boggling! Imagine, then, just what has to happen to create an automobile, with the many systems and subsystems which need to function in some sort of harmony; having so many computers and sensors in a new vehicle, the sheer number of things working together is exponential. If you look only at the surface, at the sum of the parts, a mechanical creation like the automobile becomes almost magical. But, if you scratch the surface, a whole other world opens up.
I mention this obsession of mine simply to set the stage for an even deeper fascination I have for what happens to a machine when it is no longer deemed ‘useful’. That tipping point wherein someone makes the decision to park or part with a machine that has either become less reliable, or perhaps even inoperable. Having that ‘need to see what makes anything tick’ personality trait, I’m also burdened with the constant whispering of ‘we can fix that!’ in my brain. That urge to dig in, and see just where the trouble might be. As a self-described automotive archaeologist, I feel this urge, this need to discover the story behind the car, the owner(s), the events which conspired to place a particular car at that specific place and time… The adventures, the trials, the memories made in and around the time that car was in the care of whomever it was while all of these things were occurring. I’m the kind of guy who utilizes a mental list of the cars I’ve owned as a key to the events that occurred in my life at a particular time. It’s a way to mark a timeline, and cements that car as a part of who I am, or was to become, be it based upon a repair I learned to make on that car, or even a simple memory of the exhaust note. Knowing that one or two of my past rides is being preserved and made a part of someone else’s life gets a little warm and fuzzy feeling going, and when I see an old machine brought back from the brink and being used by someone else who appreciates this particular love for mechanized mysteries, well, it’s game on for me. I want to hear the tales, listen as someone recalls the good old days, or imagine what happened during those gaps in a car’s history.
Walking the grounds at the Carlisle All-Chrysler Nationals some time back, I was surrounded by many examples of beautifully preserved and restored examples from the brand’s past. Spending hours looking over the survivor cars on hand (there was a great display of Mopar Survivors under a special tent, by the way, showcasing a number of very well-preserved cars), both in the show proper, as well as the car corral and swap meet, I found my attention drawn back to a certain few cars that were, well, somewhat worse for wear, cosmetically. Cars with some great age and patina, working together to create some outstanding character. Every dent, crack in the vinyl, faded stripe or rock-chipped emblem quietly whispering its tale. My ears were certainly tuned-in and ready to hear of each incident and passing year.
Just why I was attracted to these cars was no mystery: That love for all things mechanical, with the added bonus of the story. Those missing puzzle pieces to explain why this car was left outdoors, or forgotten about, or even neglected were bouncing around in my mind. And, as an artist, the textures and patterns of the paint chips and rust and weathering were simple mesmerizing. The blemishes and dents and cracks and checks on the surface that tell part of the tale, leaving the rest just below to be discovered. On a few grand occasions, I’d spot a preserved or restored example of a car I’d just seen in weathered condition, and to compare the two begged the question:
If you were to find a complete original, but weathered example of your dream car, would you leave it alone visually, opting only to repair and update the mechanical parts to make it road-worthy, or dive in and restore it? Granted, you could have your cake and eat it, too, by working out some mechanical and safety issues and enjoying it as a time capsule, and then go for the restoration. Being of the inquisitive sort, as we explored earlier, either path might prove a challenge for me. On one hand, having an untouched piece of history would be incredible, in that I’d be afforded a vehicle to explore some mysteries, and could research and fill in the holes, all while preserving it in as-found condition. On the other hand, I could tear into it, and make some discoveries about its past as I took it back through time to as-new condition, and cater to that side of my brain that just wants to tinker with something, and (hopefully) improve upon it.
What would you do? Taking that a step further, what memories are you making in your currently-owned ride (be it new, old, restored, or even a barn-fresh time capsule) and are you taking any steps to document the car for future automotive archaeologists to enjoy?
We live in the scariest of times… We witness the revision of the present day alongside the careful editing of history. It strikes me as both odd and funny at once that “new” words are added to the English language, or worse, EDITED TO HAVE THEIR MEANINGS CHANGED.
The latter seems to coincide neatly with some politically-correct dickhead wishing to add a “softer” word to describe something, or worse, some degenerate who expects the world to alter their fucking viewpoint regarding some personal preference of this entitlement-seeker, and by commandeering an existing word and altering its meaning, or developing some fresh jargon to more adequately appease them.
For instance, with this Bruce Jenner in a dress bullshit… He is not a “woman” in any respect, be it “trans” or any other catchy, new-age bullshit prefix. If he took a transcontinental drive in a Trans Am to the Transamerica Pyramid Center while listening to a transistor radio as a friend in the passenger seat transcribed the transmissions of the radio show (discussing transmutation of water into wine), and mis-translating the hoots and howls of the transient illegal immigrants being transported into California, the situation would no more make him a “woman” than would lighting a Pop Tart on fire make it fucking Baked Alaska.
We’ve fallen into this wormhole, wherein we are expected, nay FORCED to bow to the whims and fancy of whatever brain-damaged spoiled brat deems as his or her (or, should you attend the University of Tennessee – that alone begs for me to seek mercy on your soul in the first place, you illiterate turd – the all-inclusive non-gender pronoun “ze”… what in the fuck?!!) “right” to some “respect”, simply by altering the fucking language. We are surrounded by these hashtag-using pukes on their giant phones who are so utterly disconnected to reality, yet so “connected” to social issues that they automatically assume that the two are directly interchangeable. There is no transference in this manner. You simply cannot be so far removed from reality that you can see fit to change it, simply because you “feel” something. It simply doesn’t work that way. Unless, of course, you have allowed the public school system to raise your kids, and you’re transfixed with fear that your offspring will go on a Twitter rant about what an awful sperm donor (or recipient) you are because you don’t understand them and these “feelings.” And if I cannot discern your gender, especially if you’ve taken steps to alter it to make that so, then please explain to me just how in the Hell it becomes my fault that you feel bad or misunderstood, or how I am not “paying conscious attention to your emotional state,” you freak? All of these fringe weirdos demanding “acceptance.” Here’s a thought: JUST LIVE YOUR FUCKING LIFE, AND STOP FORCING ME TO LOOK AT YOU. If I don’t see you, the chances are greatly improved in your favor that I won’t point and laugh at you. It’s as simple as that, honestly. That’s like dressing up as The Mummy for Halloween, but creating your costume from yellow feathers and beak, and then wondering why the other kids are calling you “Big Bird.” A little logic goes a long way there, cupcake. A decision to be “different” or your “inner self” is on YOU, and not me. Should you possess some “great strength and courage” to become your inner weirdo, then at least have the fortitude to take a few jokes at your expense. THAT is the sign of strength or courage… Not crying to just be loved, or protesting to force someone to accept your individual desire. Seriously. There we go, changing the meanings again. And to be frank, I don’t give a flying fuck if you like it, or if it makes you sad. I’ve never come to your door and forced you to gaze upon the Conservative white guy who enjoys punk music and guns and cars and women and B-movies. And I certainly have never forced you to alter your language or manner of thinking to accept with blind certainty that my selection of a lifestyle is protected by any law or otherwise. Force of a belief always meets resistance. That is an irrefutable fact. Going about finding acceptance via a less aggressive manner would breed infinitely more positive results, but it’s probably far less profitable. You’ll find a similar peace and far less self-inflicted suffering once you grasp that, you entitlement-age puke.
Certain words have EARNED their definitions and use and stature in the language. They command a respect for the things they are used to represent. And respect is earned, not forced upon anyone. And while I’m certain that the lily-livered liberal, entitlement-seeking generation we have now will change all of that in the future, you can bet your ass that it won’t be changing soon in my house. Even if your son drops by and threatens to hit me with his purse.