“Texas is big, man: it’s like space, but hotter. Where I grew up, you had to drive 50 miles just before you were 50 miles away from anything. You had to learn to drive soon as you could reach the pedals, and even before that: one time my daddy put me in the pickup, and tied tin cans to my shoes, and sticks affixing my hands and the wheel; he gave me a list and said ‘You know where the liquor store is, boy.’
“I had turned four the previous week.
“By the time I was twelve, I was full-grown and had realized the power of my wild and wooly legs: I would let them do the drivin’, while I did the livin’. There wasn’t but two cops in Cascabel, and they didn’t mind much, ‘less you was black or Mexican or any other kind of outsider. They might shoot your ass, then, to be honest. And I am known for my honesty: I’m Roy Head. Yes, that Roy Head.
“You should have heard of me.
“Only thing I liked more than drivin’ fast was drivin’ fancy. Man, I dig a high-class ride, have from the start. I want some leather and fur and cocktail glasses and cruise control and heated ball-warmers. But, there wasn’t no luxury to be found in small-town Texas, just a lotta pickups. And Dodges. You ever driven a Dodge? It’s like gettin’ a blowjob from your cousin. Nicest car around was an abandoned ’38 Caddy that a family of raccoons lived in.
“It was a Jewish family, and they were run out of town.
“Soon as I started makin’ some cash shakin’ my funny, funky, frankly freaky wonder-legs at people all around Texas and also the rest of the world, I got myself a fine automobile, a ’65 Cadillac Calais painted Samoan Bronze; I named her Tahiti. Skippy Joe and Big Bucktoothed Pete–you know them–well, they came by with a block and tackle and got that li’l sissy engine out and me and Big Bucktoothed Pete got to drinkin’ and Skippy Joe, he just started starin’ that engine down.
“Skippy Joe’ll stare ya down.
“Now, it is this point in the story that I will come clean to many things: bawdiness, sluttery, behavior of a nature dipsomaniacal. Roy Head like t’raise a little Hell! And then I like to take that Hell and throw it at people who were just going about their day. That’s just how I do it and I am as the Lord made me, and when I meet Him, I will say, ‘Lord, why did you put such sin in me?’ and He will say, ‘But I also gave you legs that do wacky stuff.’
“I have played out the conversation in my head many times.
“Pete and I was drinkin’ Remember the Alamos, which is when you drink tequila and feel guilty about it. Louis Grabass came by, and he prepared chimichangas of every variety: the man could chimi up a good changa. He had also brought rum, so we switched to drinkin’ a variation on the Mai-Tai that we called the Jai-Alai. You would take a shot and slowly go out of business in Florida.
“Skippy Joe may have left some pills lyin about.
“By this time, the aforementioned Skippy Joe had done some o’ his voodoo to that engine. He was a wizard with cars: fixin’ ’em, stealin’ ’em, crashin’ ’em. He was awful good at sellin’ ’em, especially if they wasn’t his. Turns out that is a felony, but everyone ’round Cascabel would forgive Skippy Joe. And even if you didn’t wanna forgive him, it wasn’t like you could catch him to whip his ass. Sucker was fast.
“He was a sleepless angel.
“We screwed that engine down chassis and hooked it all up and hopped in and HOO-boy, did we shoot down the road like a bat out of Oklahoma. We had neglected to reattach the speedo, so this is a guess, but I would estimate we was going a million miles an hour. Round there. Time became relativistic and you clearly see the effects of gravitational lensing through the rearview. When we returned home, we found that while Big Bucktoothed Pete had aged an hour, his twin sister, Big Normaltoothed Leslie, was a year older.
“Unencumbered was our forward momentum, is my point.
“The speed was too great as we entered town, coincidentally at the exact same time as a busload or nuns and orphans and orphaned nuns! I jammed on the brakes, but even my mighty legs could not help! We had forgotten to hook up the brake system, but in our defense, it looked very complicated and we didn’t want to! The crash was tremendous! So much carnage!
“There were nun parts and unloved children all over Skippy Joe, man.”
“Do you want to rent the Yaris or not?”
“THAT CADILLAC NEVER DROVE RIGHT AGAIN!”
“Either take the Yaris or don’t, sir.”