Kenneth, born and raised in the South, resides in Hamilton, Alabama. He enjoys sharing his unique perspectives on life through his writing.
In Order That You
understand this introduction, you really need to be able to get inside of my head, then you will get the entire "Kenneth Avery Experience," no relation to the Jimi Hendrix Experience. But mine is just as warped. Wait! I take that back. Warped is such a cold, frightening word--with your permission, please let me use "interesting." Thank you. Kenneth. PS: to my knowledge I've never put "PS" with any of my introductions, so first time for everything. With a piece like this, something you've really stumbled upon, you are not obliged, but "married" to the work, facts, and ideas that a piece like this can possess and then regenerate if read by the right reader.
Every Teenage Male
in the Free World automatically, without any Auto Mechanic Teacher in any Trade School, knows everything there is to know about cars. From the grill to the obtrusive tail fins, teen guys are pro's and can quote chapter and verse about the Basic Performance Numbers on Holley four-barrel carburetors as opposed to the conventional two barrel combustion system. I have sound evidence that when the teen guys are being carried by their mom's, in that nine-months of growing and getting ready for birth, the mom is transferring every automotive fact and figure to their son all without any pain. The mom couldn't do it any smoother even if she used magic. I would put money on this process being hereditary.
But, and this fact will shock you, the "most-interesting" place to be inside the car is NOT in the backseat in some dark, deserted shopping center with "Betty Bruwarsky," but the Passenger Side of the car door. That place, my good and uneducated friends, is "the" place for a teenage guy (age 14 through 16) to live and grow and learn every aspect of the American Male so he can be a solid, Democratic-thinking American.
I would put more money (if I had any--I wagered it all in the latter part of the first paragraph) on "this" fact: I bet that you in your wildest dreams never dreamed that the Passenger Side of the Modern Automobile is not only the best place for a teenage boy to relax, but it's the coolest place there is in the entire car.
Think about it. The driver and front seat passenger at the right door has to work in tandem--one sending vital information back and forth so the car will not jerk or stop without notice and the guys in the front can come off looking as cool as Jell-O. I know. I've been at the Right Side of the driver. And I managed my honored spot at the Right Door with the heart of King Richard, the Lion Hearted and the eyes of the American Bald Eagle. Nothing got by me, man. Nothing.
Did you know that the car's driver and front seat passenger can do pretty much the same cool things without hampering the car's performance? True. I read something about this in (a Car and Driver magazine circa 1968--the article was so "out there," when I read it, I was put into immediate shock. I did wonder if Ed "Big Daddy" Roth had anything to do with the text for it was so interesting and yet so laid back and cool. Whether or not if Roth were guilty of being the story's author, he was surely the best in car customizing and design.
If you are the teenage guy and close friend of the car's driver, you have the best seat in the house. Here is an Unknown Secret: Girls at the age of the teenage guy (15-17) literally crave to ride in the backseat next to the guy holding down the right side of the car--and hanging his right arm out for all the world to see. And . . .if the hot, girl likes the driver, well, the other guy has a bulls eye on his back for his days for sitting at the right hand side are numbered. Count on it. Many car drivers have given in to lust for pretty girls who got to ride between him and his buddy on the right side and the driver fell head-over-heels in love with her and at the next traffic light, the car driver's buddy was told to get out and walk--but the car driver and pretty girl did send their apologizes as what just happened was known as, "one of them things." I'll bet you the last of my cash that as soon as this newly-formed duo gets out of sight, so does the memory of the car's driver and pretty girl. It's that fast.
The male teenager's position goes with a lot of responsibility. Probably the most serious being on those amorous times when spring is in full-bloom and the girls are roaming in packs (like the guys) looking for romance. The guy who owns and drives the car must be kept in focus unhampered from the hot, pretty girl who just might have helped three other hot, pretty girls drink a bottle (or two) of tequila and now she is ready for action. This is where you, the close friend of the car owner and driver, comes in. You are to distract the hot, pretty girl so your buddy, the driver, can get the car to safe stop and well, and I hate to say this, you have to walk back to town. This is the Coldest, Unwritten Code of Guys Whom Hot Girls Have Fell in Their Laps.
The passenger on the right-hand side of the car has to screen every would-be buddy who "needs a ride because his car's water pump has broken," just say "sorry, chief. We have important things to do and each moment that the driver and I waste helping you and that water pump will be a waste of time and we just cannot see that happening." You see, the teenage guy riding the right side of the car seat has to not only look out for himself, but the driver and what few buddies are riding in the back seat. The right hand side passenger must have reflexes like lightning and be cool at the same time.
Now that you are a teen male about 15, you must, and this is VITALLY important. When you are just starting out as the Teen Male sitting on the Right Side with his right hand resting on the window that is rolled down, you must be able to identify whatever music the driver likes and this is optional, the Right Hand Side of the driver must be able to keep time with the song that is being played on the car radio or CD. The motion that I am referring to is: keeping the right hand going slowly in an up and down motion while you have your eyes asleep behind your Tom Cruise (Top Gun) aviator shades--this is key because you want to keep the driver relaxed, focused, and happy.
But the car's driver and owner has an awesome responsibility too. He has to make sure that the right hand side passenger knows which arm he can rest on the door when the window is down. He must also be able to have thick skin in case those sticky social events come in play--the right hand passenger must know that the pretty girl and the car's driver and owner relationship comes first. Let's say that you are in your customary side, the right side of the car, you have your right arm resting on the door and there you go wearing your Tom Cruise (Top Gun) shades. Truly you are a woman killer. But uh, oh! You and the buddy who owns the car and before you know it, the driver spies a pretty redhead who sincerely needs a ride. Guess who is told to walk? Well, you. There is not a girl anywhere going to slide in the back seat, so you, being the seasoned right hand car passenger that you are, volunteer to get out and before you go, you introduce the girl to the car driver. What a nice guy you are. Not really. You are doing this because next Saturday night, if you are in town and your buddy who owns the car and by himself, he will remember that it was YOU who volunteered to leave allowing the car's owner to get to know the hot redhead.
If you are the right hand side passenger, you'll always have a place to ride.
© 2018 Kenneth Avery