The Car Whisperer


People say things speak to them. Whether it is plants, animals, stars, trees, books, or food, we humans practice telepathy with the most ridiculous of objects. I, for instance, have regular heart-to-hearts with vehicles. That's right. Vehicles, cars, gas guzzlers, lemons, jalopies, rustbuckets, whatever you want to call 'em. It is far from one sided too. These machines engage me in conversation far more than I do them. Just two days ago I was driving – in the right lane, of course – north on the 405 when an early 80s pickup truck passed by on my left. The owner of said vehicle had superglued all kinds of little characters to the roof, hood and mirrors. I'm talkin' G.I. Joes, trolls and rubber creatures you get from the 25 cent machines. This truck was covered in mini figurines of God knows what. It was like the owner had dug to the bottom of my childhood toy chest and fastened the findings on his rig. Usually I don't initiate conversation with such hideous creatures, but I felt sorry for him. So I engaged the old beater in conversation using my telepathic powers.

"Geez buddy, you're looking a little, uh, out of place. You doing alright?" I asked the poor looking vehicle.

After a long sigh, the truck replied, "No need to be polite. Out of place is an understatement. Believe it or not I used to be a shiny little farm truck not too long ago. My original owner kept me waxed and polished and clean. Sure, I'd get dirty out in the fields, but after a quick rinse I looked good as new. Age has a way with creepin' up on ya though. Last spring I was replaced by a new truck 'n my old owner sold me to this...this FREAK, for a few hundred bucks. No more than a week later I was covered in all this garbage. Luckily, the bastard hasn't changed my oil, checked my tire pressure, replaced my belts, or tightened my joints once since he bought me. I'm only a few miles from dyin' on the sumbitch and the only thing keepin' me goin' is getting to a point in the freeway where there's no shoulder so he's really screwed."

The truck kept talking, but the driver was on the accelerator and pulled out of telepathic range. I felt for the old truck, poor guy. I would hit the dirt on my owner in the same way, if not worse, had I been put through that type of hell. That no good doll collecting monster, he deserves it. Serves him right. I'm sure that truck will be reincarnated as a new Porsche, just for putting up with that guy.

Speaking of Porsches, I had quite the conversation with one yesterday.

I was out in Bridgeport, at the Apple store, dropping off my computer for a display replacement. As I was leaving the parking lot I heard a foreign voice.

"Psst, ova he-ar. Look-it-me you zilly American boy."

I looked to my left. Nothing. To my right. Nada. Rearview mirror. Zilch. Then I spotted her. Dead ahead at the stoplight across the intersection sat a truly stunning Porsche GT3. Some argue that all 911s look the same, but not this dirty little devil. She was staring at me with big, sultry eyes, and winking with her right every few seconds. She wanted me. There was no doubt about it.

"Ah, I zee you have spotted me," she said with a thick German accent, "now, try'n keep up."

I took a deep breath and weighed my options. If I followed this German seductress I would surely hit traffic on the way into town. On the other hand, it is rare to see such a gorgeous, foreign girl cruising the streets of Washington County. As the light turned green she took a right, I took a left. We were side-by-side. She could feel my presence, but kept her mouth shut, anticipating my next move. I did what any guy would do. I put on my turn signal, merged one lane to the right, and followed her. She immediately started in with the dirty talk.

"Oh, you zilly American boy. You must like that view, no?" An air of sexuality in her voice. "Za boyz in zis country are zo predictable!"

She was playing me. I knew it all along. She was more than satisfied with her chauffeur, and he with her. She was used to a reserved parking spot, a covered garage that she surely shared with other beautiful exotics, routine maintenance and nothing but the best gas and oil. I had nothing to offer her, and we both knew this. As I returned to the left lane and merged onto I-5 northbound, I realized that I never said a word to her. It was better that way.

Call me crazy, call me what you will. But vehicles speak to me, and I to them.

You will surely think of me the next time you're watering your favorite fern, mumbling, "Here you go lovey, here's some fresh wa-wa."

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