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Photography by Dave Everest
SMACK! My right fist banged off the arm of my pumpkin-colored Natuzzi recliner as the swelling bloodthirsty tide of righteous f***ing indignation crested in my feverishly twisting heart. In the space of a moment I’d redone all the tendon and ligament damage so patiently healed over the course of the past month, an injury suffered in a last-ditch but ultimately successful attempt to keep my completely sideways Neon race car off the man-killing concrete wall in Putnam Park’s final turn by dialing in steering corrections faster than my hands could accomplish without literally ripping the sinew from the bone. The pure adrenaline which had then twisted the wheel into a blur of spokes now bulged my eyes from their sockets. I was going to find this guy and beat him until he couldn’t stand. I would pull him up by his neck, flick out my titanium-gold-nitrided Kershaw assisted-opening knife, and cut his eyeballs out, one at a time, taking care to pop each optic nerve off with a delicate finishing flourish. And then I’d really get angry. Death would be too good for this guy.
It was a single typed sentence that gave spur to my murderous rage. A single sentence that neatly encapsulates the sullen stupidity at the heart of so many so-called “automotive enthusiasts”. A single sentence that any thinking man would be ashamed to utter. It was, paraphrased a bit to protect the guilty:
lol american cars suck the last one im glad the last one i ever drove was a 1980 buick skylark that totally sucked
Putting aside the bloody infernal cheek of insulting the premium X-body compact, the friendly-looking, velour-lined small Buick known in contemporary advertising as “The little limousine”, can you see why I was angry enough to contemplate booking a last-minute flight to California (of course that kind of idiocy finds its expression in California) for the sole purpose of committing a bit of the old ultra-violence? This drooling moron wants the “Big Three” to sink into the abyss of history… because he didn’t like the 1980 Skylark? He’s deriving his perspective on perhaps the most dangerous moment in the entire history of the American middle class from a drive in a twenty-eight-year-old car? It’s too ridiculous to seriously contemplate – except for the fact that, judging by what I’ve seen and read of the Detroit “bailout” hearings, the elected officials of our government aren’t much smarter than Mr. Skylark.
It’s time to cut the crap, and that’s why this will be the shortest Avoidable Contact you’ll ever read. The “bailout” must happen. Without it, we’re all going to suffer serious consequences, and by “we” I mean you, me, the guy down the street, Mr. Skylark, and everybody who has ever spent more than five minutes of their life away from “World of Warcraft”. I don’t care if you love American cars or despise them; without the bailout, you’re in trouble, pal. You can take my word for it, or you can keep reading to find out why even the most testosterone-challenged, America-hating, hemp-wearing, Prius-pedaling tree-hugger needs Detroit to keep cranking out the American Iron.