A certain back road in southwest Roanoke County is a happening place. By that, I'm referring to the neverending adrenaline rush compliments of those inattentive drivers who regard looking through the windshield as old hat. The boulevard in question typically has more vehicles than a recall line at a General Motors plant.
I know this because I occasionally take that particular avenue on my way to work. The road seems to draw the worst drivers and, seemingly, the most idiotic behavior. Take one day last week, for example. Charlene, who takes great pride in her hair as exemplified by the combing, spraying, and teasing it while tailgating me, nearly ended up sitting next to my spare tire. Apparently she was rapt by Bobby Joe's attempt to mow the shoulder of the infamous avenue so that we can all get a better view of all of the Budweiser cans and Marlboro Light butts underneath. Hey, I love green too, but sometimes a feller has a hankering for something to break up the continuity. As much as I hate litter, I find it interesting for a second because the white beer can offers an aesthetically pleasing contrast to the otherwise pristine nature trying to sweep it under its rug.
While Bobby Joe is unearthing these artifacts, which seem to predate Reagan's second term, his partner Billy Ray is working the other side of the road. That's where the overhanging branches are, which he's trimming with his powered-by-a-Hemi tractor. Bear in mind that neither of these entrepreneurs wanted to waste time placing "road work ahead" signs around the blind curve where they were working. Charlene, who has now finished her magnificent coif, is now embarking on the oh-so-important task of running laps around her mouth with Revlon's finest "Run Away With Me To Madagascar" lipstick of unknown hue. At the very last microsecond, she again decides to step on the brake pedal, thereby missing a dandy opportunity to become a new armrest for my back seat. Bobby Joe and Billy Ray, meanwhile, decide that the best time to hold a meeting is when they're astride from each other and blocking traffic coming in both directions. The topic du jour is, ironically enough, about reminding each other to watch for "dangerous traffic". I'm sensing that I might be late to work, so I honk the Accord's horn. The cold stare issued by both men reminds me to purchase a 140 decibel train horn from the latest car parts catalog on payday. "Guaranteed to get their attention", reads the advertisement.
I inch slowly past this potential scene from "Gone In Sixty Seconds" while Charlene is now honking her horn at the guys, who are, for all I know, giving her pointers on how to apply lipstick while tailgating. Maybe putting on lipstick is similar to trimming branches in ways I've never considered. Or Billy Ray might run his own salon as a sideline business: free hedge trimming with every purchase of "Gunk! By Loreal." Whatever the case, I'm late for work, so now I must move like an evading Navy SEALS team around seventy-one cars, eighty-nine minivans, one hundred-two SUVs, and nine motorcycles. While a local radio station belts out "We're Not Gonna Take It Anymore", I slip past these vehicles so deftly that when I got home from work this evening my answering machine held an invitation from Danica Patrick to be her backup driver.
I'm holding out: I want my race car to be solid green, except for small, white cylindrical shapes dotting its silhouette.