I grip the little hide-wrapped wheel. Some cow died for my driving sins. Snick-snick to first—love how that feels— And thus, my back road dash begins Fiesta S-T. No big deal; “Phone booth,” some say. Derisive grins. But smallness stimulates appeal— That, plus a turbo from parts bin.
Back roads are where S-T belongs; No fun to have on crowded streets, No joy in mingling with the throngs. I go where S-T can be fleet. Tight twisty bits. Straightaways long. Lumpy macadam? Cracked concrete? Who cares when S-T sings her song? I dodge the bumps. My joy’s complete.
Four-banger. Six-speed. Blower whine. Past Amish farms I bob and weave. Lazy milk cows stand in a line. They turn their heads. They can’t believe How orange bullet serpentines The roads where buggy drivers leave The speedy fun to “worldly kind.” (Forced to drive a buggy, I’d grieve.)
Am I a road hog? Well, perhaps… But I do seek the empty stretches Where I can dance my pedal taps And escape from the boring wretches Who shift to “D” and slide like saps Into a boring day. Who fetches The fun they need… or is “fun” naps? I drive full-color. They drive sketches.
Now, when I’m in my silver Riv, I never drive this way at all. To help the Riv to longer live, I heed a much more cautious call. All smooth inputs. No combative Maneuvers. No sharp rise and fall Of revolutions. Please forgive— We’re low-and-slow. Let Riv enthrall!
And… that’s just fine when all I want Is to be seen in a fine car. I’ll be the cruise night bon vivant. I’ll gladly ooze to where you are. But when the need to boldly flaunt Some speed arises, I shred tar By taking S-T for a jaunt. She is the back road superstar!
“Horses for courses,” some would say, And I, of course, won’t disagree. With fine steeds paddocked, come what may, I’ll have a ride for every spree… A thrill for any given day… A car for what, that day, is “me,” To murmur “Hello” or shout “Hey!” It’s bifurcated fun, you see.
I just drove Jean to/from her latest Tysabri infusion, hence this result. My gonzo joy bubble was only slightly deflated by the fact that a survey crew had set up in the roundabout near the airport runway south of town. While I usually take said traffic circle at highest possible speed, foot on the gas, climbing through second gear, keeping tightly to the inside margin, such automotive behavior today would have risked a life or several limbs not belonging to me. So, I had to forego a little bit of joy… until the guy moves along.
Yes, Jean likes the little thrill rides too. More’s my joy or your horror, depending on point of view.
But… all this said, I need to cool it for a while. At present, there’s an “aggressive driver crackdown” afoot in Pennsylvania, involving both state and local police. Certain aspects of the “aggressive driving” statutes give the cops more interpretive leeway than I’d like, and citations are promised—no warning allowed. Mature behind-the-wheel behavior, therefore, is of significant license maintenance value just now.
Final niggling point of clarification: my fun car is a ’14 Ford Fiesta ST. I refer to it as “S-T” in the poem so as to make sure everybody knows how to read and pronounce the name and stay rhythmically with the way the lines scan. Yes, I’m that much of a fussbudget.