I know, I know, you’re thinking that the title doesn’t really make sense because a Cadillac is an automobile, but just hear me out. The term “The Cadillac of” has come to mean “The greatest of” or “The Gold Standard of”, besides,in the context of my story say “The Cadillac of Automobiles” makes the story all the more amusing.
Before we get too far into the meat and potatoes of this tale there are a few things you should know.
1) My dad is an interesting human being. Granted, my dad has his faults, all of which affected me in ways growing up that caused me to gain my sense of humor, but we won’t go into all that. For the purposes of this story all you need to know about my dad is that he is 54, he is 88% bald and shaves the last 12% down close to his scalp but refuses to shave it off completely, he still owns spandex shorts, not only that but they are black with what was once a bright fluorescent (but now faded) pink strip down either side that say “Get Radical” on them, for two years he wore one of those fluorescent hats that had the hair connected to it so people would believe he had long hair. To further perpetuate this myth he had the hair dies to more closely match his own and then had it braided. Beyond that he is the type of guy that is into watching hunting shows day in and day out unless the movie “Happy Feet” comes on at which point he watches it, dances along from time to time and repeatedly points out that “they walk so realistically”. This leads me to the conclusion that he secretly wants to build his own army of dancing, environmentally conscious penguins to do his bidding, and he thinks the song “Switch” by Will Smith is the greatest song in the history of recorded music. That’s not all. When I was about 8 years old my mother decided to teach me how to do the laundry, I noticed all of my dads handkerchiefs had at least one, if not multiple square torn out of them. When I asked my dad why this was he replied with the greatest little kernel of knowledge any boy could ever hope to hear his father say. His replay to my query was “Sometimes…you just gotta poop”. Oh yeah, everyone who knows him calls him “Squirrel” “Squidge” or”Squidgey”.
2) I am originally from the wooded hills of Western Pennsylvania (a.k.a. Pennsyltucky) where rednecks, hicks, hillbillies, morons and the like run wild amongst the rest of society and no one notices, in fact we usually call them Steelers fans. Generally these people also love country music and the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. The speak with only one vowel, which by the way is a long “i’ so that when you are dirty you take a “shire” rather than a “shower” and so on. Also they have a tendency to drop letters, or entire phonetic sounds from words whenever they so desire. For example, something that is located above you is “Uppair” as opposed to “Up There”. Beyond that you “warsh” your clothes and “erashe” a line that you “drawl”. I tell you all this so that you realize I do have an understanding of rural communities and the rural mindset.
3) I myself have been known to do things that are socially unacceptable. For example I wear cowboy boots NO MATTER WHAT. Granted I did move to South Dakota so this wouldn’t be looked at as weird, but I admit it is still odd. Also, when I am not required to leave my house for work or other social situations I wear one pair of jeans exclusively and I usually combine this with a t-shirt or work shirt and both are normally without sleeves. This I explain so that you understand that I don’t necessarily completely disassociate myself from any aspect of the people or events involved in this story. The key difference with me is that I recognize that this behavior is NOT acceptable, I do dress appropriately for work and social situations, and I do like to speak properly.
Now…on with the story.
Over the last ten years of my existence I have spent a lot of time on the road. I love to take road trips, I love to drive for extended periods of time and I go out of my way to stop into towns that aren’t mainstream and not even on the map if possible. On one such road trip I drove 26 hours straight from Johnstown PA to Rapid City SD stopping only to piss, gas up, shit, or get food and I was never off the road for more than 20 minutes. In all this time I have noticed a trend. Every year between the months of October and April the amount of camouflage painted civilian vehicles increases 1000%.
I get this, it has to do with hunting. I even understand that a lot of times these vehicles are purchased for less than $1000 and when they are not used as hunting vehicles they are used as winter vehicles, but why the camouflage paint? Even if you do plan on driving this vehicle deep into the woods off of any roads, do you think your prey will be like “Well, I hear the rumbling of an engine, I can feel the vibrations in the ground of a large object coming my way and I can smell the exhaust, but since that completely unnatural shape moving toward me has camouflage paint on it, that must mean I can’t see it and it isn’t really there”?
What bothers me even more is that you know the drives of these cars think that this paint scheme is “kick ass”. You know this because these are the same honky crackers that think “Realtree” is a cool line of clothing to be worn day in and day out. Now I could see this paint job being acceptable if the owner were a shell shocked war vet who thought that Charlie teamed up with the Reds and the Krauts and they were all coming to get him in a Red Dawnesque scenario, but that just isn’t the case.
So today I am out driving around with my dad when we encounter six of these amazing pieces of machinery driving down the road in a line. I remark to my dad that I wonder if during the other month, all of these camoed cars are stored in some underground bunker guarded by the NRA in case we are invaded by a bunch of ne’re-do-wells that want to take away our right to bare arms and listen to Alan Jackson and Toby Keith while drinking Budweiser and watching fish archery. It was at that point my dad said, “I have actually been thinking about buying a hunting vehicle for a while now”.
I thought that the level of my horror could not go any higher than right at that moment until my dad followed it up with, “I am thinking like an early 80’s Dodge Omni that I would put a lift kit and knobby tires on. I could do it up with a winch on the front and have my buddy Robert route the exhaust to come out of side stacks so I could run it through water”.
This is the point in the story when I turned to my dad and said, “That truly would be the Cadillac of automobiles”.