I Met Barbie's(TM) Mother Yesterday...

I’m driving home, I’ve got police and TAC OPS training at 4:00pm, early so we can still use some daylight for outside practice. I leave MDOT a little early. Doesn’t matter, I put in a 14 hour day on Tuesday, so I’ve got time to burn.

My ugly as sin Formula and I, heading out of Hattiesburg for Columbia, 98 West, and I’m listening to Filter “Take A Picture” on the CD changer.  The t-tops are off, the windows are down, and I'm just kind of blanking out. My usual four letter condemnation of idiots in traffic particularly spiked today with creative uses of obscenities suggesting improbable acts of interspecies copulation through impossible physical positions and ludicrous relationships with family members, all in varying degrees of lewdness and depravity. I’m very good at this, years of experience with having to deal with Lamar, Jackson, Jones, and Harrison county drivers…

Heavy traffic, mostly Lamar county people driving in the left lane and going slow. And low and behold, I’m doing the speed limit and I’m coming up fast on the bumper of a smurfy looking red convertible ’92 or so Vette. Top down, going slow in the fast lane, and a blonde is driving it. I can tell because there is this flop of dirty blonde hair flowing out behind the head rest of the driver’s seat. A beautiful set of dirty blonde hair. God I love long hair, the kind I can run my fingers through for hours, short hair on women is just wrong… and butt ugly. Like the Cowsills used to sing, "Give me hair, long beautiful hair..."

Oh my! My, my, my! This could be worth looking at.

I notice that the Vette is smoking from the two rectangular exhaust tips, it's burning oil. I can tell it's probably been abused or it's high mileage. The bumper where the exhaust tips flow under from is sooty and black.

I'm kind of interested in what some sugar daddy somewhere has for a trophy wife (the only reason you put a blonde in a red convertible Corvette is to brag to the world what you have on both accounts, it's so cliché now that it's passé) and as I pull past her, I casually glance over to see if this woman is fine enough to deserve to drive a Vette and be on parade. Long hair... She looks at me casually. My eyeballs glaze over and I feel myself starting to turn to stone…

Medusa drives a red Corvette convertible!

Yearrrggghhh!

This woman had skin like the peat bog man discovered in England a long time ago, like tanned leather chaps on the Marlboro man, almost mummified, too much sun or too many tanning bed sessions, and she was puffing away on a cigarette, smoking like a chimney, casually flicking the ashes out the side. I hate women who smoke, that drops their 1-10 rating by 4 points automatically. She glanced over at me as I passed, and kind of gave this haughty ‘yeah, right’ expression, she faced forward, and stuck her nose up in the air. I guess to get the full ram effect from the cold air moving over the top of the windshield.

Haughty little bitch, ugly as home made sin, like she had a chance with anyone but a blind drunk paraplegic sailor. Or the jackass who put her in that car… Coyote ugly, like you would gnaw your own arm off to get away if you woke up one morning and found that laying next to you and your arm wrapped underneath it.

I laugh and sail past her, in cruise, at 65mph. I watch in my rearview mirror every now and then as she drops farther and farther behind. The CD changes, and I go for some Foo Fighters, good stuff, and I follow it up with some Motley Crue just for variety. About a mile further on, Medusa in her red sleigh comes up behind me fast. I look back, there’s a red dot. I drive on, check an intersection leading to the highway for idiots from Lamar county, clear, I look back and there’s the red Corvette two car lengths behind me! In the left lane, she hasn’t gotten out of it since I first saw her, and the highway has been clear for a few miles now. She was coming up on me on the highway like I was standing still. I look down, still doing 65 in cruise. She has to be doing close to 80mph. As she gets up behind me, she leans up over the steering wheel a little, looks at me, moves to the left lane, pulls up beside me, and stays there for a few seconds, dead even, side by side. I don’t even look over, she wants attention, craves it, but I’m not going to give it to her or satisfy her little mind games and simple nature.

Bored that I won’t even acknowledge her presence, she stomps the Vette for all it is worth, it sounds sweet, what a waste that such an ugly she-beast is behind the wheel. That Vette easily runs away from me, the oil burning from the exhaust easily noticeable now. No way my L03 could ever hope to show a match against that small block, so I just leave it in cruise, hoping that one of Mississippi’s finest will be up ahead and will pull her over, and she’ll try to flirt and talk her way out of the ticket, etc. Seen it happen before, locally.

No such luck.

I watch her vanish almost to the horizon and I shake my head. There went a very fine car with a very ugly driver… sometimes, life just rains irony, like its so heavy, you have to put your wipers on high to see through it.

Ten minutes later, I pull into Columbia, heading toward the training camp to practice some CQB, but I’m thirsty, the 52oz Mega Mug I carry has long since hit bottom and run dry, so I pull off at the Big K Chevron there at the main intersection to get something to drink. Low and behold, there’s a red convertible ‘Vette parked at the convenience store. I stop, park next to it, and admire the car up close. No sign of the driver, but it is one beautiful car, I like what they did with the Corvettes when they went to the square tail lights and the new dash layout.

Sweet!

I look at the tag, same tag. Same car. I go into the store, head to the cooler, and get a drink. Medusa is there door open to the cooler, fanning herself and trying to find out which fruit drink to buy (she’s watching her girlish figure). She really is ghastly up close… what a frigging waste of a perfectly good Corvette. This snake queen? Yuck! She had the most gaudy set of rings on her fingers that I had ever seen, like she was a hand model for the home shopping network. The rock on her wedded finger would have choked a kitten.

Unreal.

Probably C-Z, everything else about her looked fake or store bought, nothing natural. Her clothes would have been scandalous on a high school ‘slut’, let alone a obvious 40 something (50 something?!?) woman trying to look that way. Everything screamed “TROPHY WIFE!”, you could almost read it in the wrinkles of her brow, her eyelashes and eyebrows borrowed from the Tammy Faye Baker cosmetology school. And a perfect, I mean perfect sag free set of whompos. NO way they were natural.

Bleccchh!

I start to close the door to the cooler after picking up a Cherry Pepsi  and it speaks to me.

“I saw you looking at the Corvette…” Medusa says flatly, not even looking at me, picking up a Fruitopia of some strange mixture.

IT speaks, with a voice that sounds like she has gargled with glass shards every morning for all of her life. I turn and look out the big sheet glass windows of the store, there is my tired old black Pontiac Formula parked next to the burn your eyes out, waxed to perfection (she must use Zaino…) red convertible Corvette. If you count the sooty rear bumper and the oil burning in the ‘perfection’ part. Two sharper contrasts could not be positioned so perfectly in life.

“I like Corvettes…” I say flatly. “They’re really beautiful cars, but expensive. More of a life style than anything really practical.”

I could see her flinch, struck a nerve. The corner of my lip drew up in a smile like the Grinch who stole Christmas…

“Yeah, well, let me tell you what! That ‘toy’ is a hell of a lot better looking and a hell of a lot faster than what you drive…” she said defensively, raising her tone of voice a notch or two higher. “I think I proved that to you back there on the highway.”

Inside, I was laughing.  The old bag probably has a bone stock LT1 under the hood, IIRC, and she ran away from a tired old 222,000 mile L03 with 2.77 gears. Yeah, total defeat, like there was ever a chance. I bet she couldn’t even show me where the spark plugs were or identify any of the major components on her motor.

The unspoken ‘hah’ was there, hanging in the air between us. Her haughtiness washed over me like a cloud of second hand smoke. I saw yellow teeth and nicotine stained fingertips. Medusa was definitely high mileage, maybe in need of a re-ring. I’m pretty sure she had already been bored out about as much as her block could stand, she had that look. If this woman, Medusa, had been a car, she would have been that old Mustang II Cobra that you always see on a used car lot in the bad part of town, the one that looks good from a distance, but up short you see how hard its been ridden. It gets test driven by all the young guys, promises made, but it still sits there, day after day, week after week, tested and returned, until some poor fool sinks a ton of money into it just to keep it running and looking good all the time he’s convincing himself that it’s a ‘diamond in the rough,' and winds up losing his butt on the whole thing in the end because he’s got more money in it than its worth and its eating him alive out of house and home. Seen it before, not pretty. I was looking at it again, thanking God IT didn’t call my checkbook or bank account a meal ticket.

Medusa, the only part of me she was turning to stone was my soul. That part of me that is pure, undiluted evil peeked out from my lizard hindbrain, my eyes glassed over with frost as I looked at the red Corvette parked next to my Formula.

“Corvettes are nice, but they are just toys. A Corvette is something you buy your 40 something year old wife when she still thinks she looks pretty and you want to humor her because you know if you don’t, she’ll take you for everything you have in the divorce....”

That stunned her bad. Her lower lip quivered and she shot little saliva at me when she stammered out her reply.

“A toy you wish you had!” she said in anger.

Mentally, the scoreboard was leading in my favor. I picked a strategy from the play book of dirty pool, and set her up for the final touchdown that would end the game.

“Oh, now, don’t get me wrong, maam…” I said, luring her in for the strike. “I really like what they did with the redesign of that model year Corvette, especially the convertible. The factory installed kneepads in the convertibles were really well integrated into the dash. ”

She looked at the car then back to me, her rusty mental gears turning, turning.

“Excuse me, knee pads?” she asked.

Confusion reigned supreme.

“Yeah.” I replied. “The factory put them there for blonde trophy wives who spend all their time on their knees just so they can drive a car like that and think they are an important part of society, better than other people, and who drive around with their noses stuck so far up in the air that if it ever rained and the top was down, they would drown …”

Medusa seethed, speechless. Her eyes were staring daggers into me with little effect. I delivered the killing stroke, like Perseus, the son of Zeus, had done oh so long ago to that other mythological Gorgon.

“Honestly, I tell you what, Ma’am.” I said, becoming calm and nice like I was fixing to apologize.

It sucked her right in to the kill zone…

“That car fits you to a ‘T’. It really does. You’re both fast, high mileage, and smoke like a chimney. You’re also both made out of plastic, covered in leather and both of you are as expensive as hell.”

She slammed the cooler door so hard it bounced and closed twice. She was about to rear up and scream something, but I had already turned, slowly walking up to the cashier. Michelle was working behind the counter, a long time friend of mine, and I'm pretty much a regular (I look after the place when I'm on patrol, driving through the parking lot, taking coffee breaks with the women who work there, etc.). Michelle saw the whole incident.

"You are so bad." she said, smiling.

"No..." I replied. "Bad is once, I'm like that all the time to stupid people, which makes me evil. There's a difference between bad and evil. That..."

And I jerked my thumb over my shoulder towards the cooler nonchalantly.

"That was evil."

Michelle laughed and Tanya, the other young cashier came to see what was so funny. I usually keep them in stitches when I'm in the store, so they always want to know what I said or did...

Tanya asked but Michelle told her she would tell her when I left, because Medusa was headed up to the counter now, striding with a vengeance.

Like Snagglepuss used to say, "Heavens to mergatroids, exit, stage left!"

"I'll see you tonight when I'm on patrol, I'll cruise through the lot a few times and clear out the thugs and juves."

"God knows we need it. Last night you couldn't even buy gas for all the low rider pickups and stereo thumpers in the parking lot..." Tanya said. "They cleared out when you came through, but five minutes later they were right back again."

Michelle laughed, nodding her head. I paid for my drink as Medusa walked up behind me to the counter. She slammed her bottle down on the counter, put her arms on her hips about to deliver a well thought out counter strike, but I left, just casually walked out the two automatic heavy glass doors, the roar of the AC unit over the doors drowned out whatever she was saying to me. Michelle would tell me later when I stopped in for a cup of coffee during my night shift.

I never looked back, ignored the Vette, hopped in the Formula, and slowly drove out of the parking lot heading for the training center.  I had better things to do with what was left of my day than to argue with Barbie’s mother over her Dream Vette (tm).

Barbie. Body by Mattel, mind by Hostess.

 

 

BACK