Thursday, February 15, 2007

Shave and a Hair Cut

The little 4-cylinder engine whirred under the strain of the wide-open accelerator. The soft warm August air, full of fresh-cut grass and ripened blackberries, poured past my face. The top was down, the sun was on the horizon, and my 6'4" Teutonic roommate was driving.

Downtown Salem, what there was of it, sped by. We headed south toward the Main Event. It was a bar with rough edges, friendly staff, naked dancers and cold beer.

They knew us by name. They knew what we drank. I was looking forward to the best $2.00 New York steak in the state.

The light ahead turned red. Lars shifted down and brought the little red Miata to a stop. From a side street, another Miata pulled out and made a left turn around us. The middle-aged driver honked a quick toot-toot. Lars smiled and answered with his own horn.

"Know him?" I asked.

"No," said Lars.

The light turned green and we sped south on toward our prurient destination. The transmission bucked into 2nd, then again into 3rd. We swooped down into, then up out of the Gut. Up ahead, the next traffic light phased from amber to red, and again we coasted to a long slow stop.


The weathered woman with dark glasses in the black Miata beside us nodded at Lars.

"Beep-beep!" He nodded back.

"What, do you go to the same mechanic?" I asked.

"No," was all he said. He smirked. He was enjoying this.

On we went, toward the southern sector of Salem. The dimly lit sign for the bar was in sight. we were close. Soon I'd be drinking cold beer and tipping strippers to show me their naughty bits.

We slowed to allow opposing traffic to pass before making a left turn into the parking lot. A Doppler affected "beep-beep" was all I heard from a passing blue Miata. Lars casually tooted back, probably too late to be heard.

"What the fuck, man??" I raised my eyebrow and waited for an answer.

"It's a thing, you know? It's like an unwritten rule for Miata owners."

"I see," I said, though I really didn't. We had finally arrived. I had more important things to think about.

In recent years, however, I think I've started to understand. I drive one of those bulbous fish-eyed mini SUVs, and while other owners of my make and model don't give the Miata toot-toot salute, we do definitely recognize each other. Most often a nod or smile, sometimes a wave. It's like an informal team or tribe.

I'm sure others do it too. Perhaps, Passat owners have a high sign. Certainly, Saab drivers smile, and Beetle operators bat their eyelashes. Tonight, however, I observed the strangest car club call-and-response I've ever heard.

Mama was waylaid in Salem after work, and the Monkey and I were left to fend for food. Having loaded a steaming sack of tacos, we made for home. As we sat, stopped, waiting for our green arrow, my eye caught a rather large Fed Ex cargo truck making a sweeping left turn through the intersection.

Suddenly, with those teeth-trembling bone-jarring turbo-harmonics that only a large-truck's horn can make, the semi driver tapped out the familiar refrain of Shave and a Haircut.

"Toot ta ta toot toot..." It kept rolling through its turn.

Two beats later, the call was returned by another giant Fed Ex truck making a right turn in the opposite direction: "Toot-toot!"

Two bits.


  1. Anonymous9:26 AM

    Still no smut? Are you on the wagon or something?

  2. Targa9:56 AM

    Porsche's flash their lights

  3. Lars...strippers... fast food... the miata... I feel like I'm back.

    I thought for sure that Tony Miller was going to appear somewhere in that story. I never understood why the two tallest people in the class had the two smallest cars... convertibles yet... in a state that it rains half the year...


  4. no smut?? you've had a week of strippers, beer, cleavage, murder, Anna...

    Smut is as Smut does...

  5. sThe two tallest people in the class believed law was more about image than substance. And, perhaps they were right.

    What did Thornicroft drive? He's made quite a good living on image, including easy access to impressionable and underage co-eds, his favorite demographic.

  6. Thorny drove "Air Force One" - a black pontiac firebird, if I remember right. I think Firebird owners just continue to beat-off as they pass eachother. no other hand gestures are necessary.

  7. There are way too many lawyers here.

  8. You make "easy access to impressionable and underage co-eds" sound like a BAD thing?!

    What's wrong with that?

  9. Wheres Leah?
    Her uterus is more interesting than cars and Williamette reminising

    or Amanda, we can hijack the comments and talk about sex again

  10. The problem might not be too many lawyers, it might be too little substance. Again, maybe Lars had it right.

    And, I didn't mean to make "easy access to impressionable and underage co-eds" sound like a bad thing at all. Having been one, I can tell you how important it is that quality people have access to them. Who am I to dispute Thornicroft's particular talents with those young women?

  11. Perhaps we need to make impressionable co-eds the subject of the next blog (with photos, of course...)

  12. I miss being impressionable and underage. Or rather pretending to be. Men are so easy to fool

    Free drinks were always aplenty

  13. a concerned reader9:32 AM

    At the risk of taking a contrary view, I suggest that this is one of the better posts of late. Sure, it is adjective and adverb heavy (Brian got a thesaurus for Christmas once) with questionable accuracy (blackberry season ends in Oregon at the latest in the first couple days of August), but the classic rope-a-dope semi-meandering style with comic relief at the end is the true nugget of this post - and where the Lounge shines. It doesn't matter that the facts are wrong or that "steaming sack" is generally not the image you want to convey when next mentioning the food you will feed to your daughter. Those transgressions are forgiven for the classic one-two punch that is the Lounge.

    Brian, perhaps you should form a separate smut blog. I'm not sure why the smut deprived come here for smut, as what the Lounge offers is fairly family friendly as far as smut goes. It seems those in the comments like to talk about smut in your presence. A handy skill at a strip club when the dancer sits down to chat, but here, it is just a little sad.

    Brian. Take back the Lounge. I've long advocating you writing more, having some posts in the bull-pen and avoiding filler all together. I know, long posts take a lot out of you. I say put down the Thesarus, cut back on the superfluous imagery (I thought you were allergic to cut grass) and just tell the story. Pretend it is a brief for a tired old cranky judge that probably won't read much more than 2 paragraphs. Remember the admonition's of Norman Maclean's father, "half as long..."

    Don't let the gallery get to you. The comments have affected your vision. In your original post you declared the Lounge a vanity experiment. As you cater to the comments, whose vanity gets stroked? I come to the G&T Lounge for Brian's vision of Brian's vanity. I avoid the Uterus Lounge and the Talking About Myself and My Trips All Over the World Lounge for a reason.

    You are selling out and I think you know it. You are selling out and I think you don't like it either.

    Save the Gin & Tonic Lounge, Save the World.

  14. Hmmm... I'm concerned in so many ways -
    I'm not sure if its Inog or myself that has the My Trips All Over The World Blog (maybe both of us)... but of course, those are vanity blogs.
    I would argue that all blogs are vanity blogs - Though, some do provide the useful service of disseminating smut as well.

    I do agree that we could do with less of the Uterus lounge - but now that Princess Leah is done breeding for the moment, we are spared that...

    While I personally have disdain for the filler blogs, they strangely work, like fine art - compelling the viewer to create and fill in their own meaning. Often those blogs bring in the most comments of any.

    Simply - Use the G&T Lounge to disseminate smut with co-eds, save the world.

  15. Britney Spears10:42 AM

    Oh yeah, well last night I went on a freak binge and shaved my head and got tattoed! Now there are no curtains and no rugs and nobody is home.

  16. Save the blog. Save the world.

  17. Goodness gracious, soo much concern.

    Generally, I agree. I prefer to write these types of posts rather than what has been called "filler."

    Filler, however, has not been posted to necessarily appease the masses. Rather, Filler is posted as a stop-gap beacuse I am either too drunk, too tired, or too blank to string interesting words together.

    I trully appreciate the fact that folks take time out of their day, every day, to read what I have written. In the absence of anything of value to post, I post the filler so there is at least something interesting to look at.

    Also, these things go in cycles. There are weeks when there are many ideas, and the posts write themselves. Then there are weeks when it's a struggle just to find a decent picture of Dita.

    As for the comments, I am proud that I have such a varied and erudite readership. Sometimes the comments are far more interesting than the posts,and that's OK.

    Everyone is welcome to comment as they wish.

    I will continue to post what I want to post without concern for the gallery's comments. Hopefully, some of it will be good, but we all know some of it will be bad. There will smut, but there willalso be over-focussed discourse on the nature of condiments.

    (Regarding black berry season: To be sure, it starts at the beginning of August, however, by the end of the month, and into September, the season is over and the overripe berries have fallen to the ground. It is to that time of year that I refer. The berries are fermenting and the smell fills the air making the world smell like cobler.)

  18. a concerned reader7:51 PM

    I agree with amanda.

    Save the Blog. Save the World.

  19. Anonymous7:53 PM

    motorcycle riders wave to one another.

  20. Anonymous7:08 AM

    I think he's brilliant and should write the next Great American Novel.

  21. No toadying to the blogger.

  22. Mitch,

    Don't worry. I am sure the "My Trips All Over The World Blog" is me and not you. It may not actualy be about me, but I am self centered enough to BELIEVE that it is about me (like most things) and not you.

    As for "Shave and a Hair Cut" not having smut, it had Lars.

    Once you go there, you need not say anything else.

  23. Not many people knowing this, but I am a huge fan of the TV series Knight Rider. Even as a small child watching knight rider I always wondered when Michael Knight was driving his Pontiac Firebird Trans Am into the back of the trailer while it was moving, at what speed was KITT moving in relation to the ground when the back wheels rolled onto the ramp of the trailer? Suppose the truck is traveling 40mph and KITT is traveling 41mph, once the car was on the ramp, wouldn't KITT be traveling 81mph?


Be compelling.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.