Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"Greasy Rider" hors d'oeuvre

This will probably be the last post this week. I'm off to subject myself to a food coma for Thanksgiving. But here's an hors d'oeuvre of Greasy Rider, for those of you who haven't read the book already.


There's yet another quirk to the Mercedes that I've failed to mention: when it's traveling faster than fifty miles per hour, the heat stops working. I don't know why. It's not an issue around home, because I usually don't take it onto the highway in wintry weather. But it was an issue when we reached I-80 and started to ascend the foothills of the Rockies. Iggy discovered through various experiments that if we turned off the fan altogether and cranked up the thermostat on the dashboard, a trickle of warm air would seep through the vents. Whether this made any real difference in cabin temperature, I'm not sure, but it didn't hurt. The best we could do was slip on as many layers of warm clothes as possible--which meant three or four T-shirts and a sweatshirt--and hope to avoid freezing to our seats.

Snowflakes began to fall somewhere around Laramie, a nearly treeless town lying exposed at seventy-one hundred feet in elevation, but vanished upon hitting the warm ground. To our left, a giant, fully tricked-out Toyota Sequoia, all fift-one hundred pounds and fifteen miles per gallon of it, weaved back and forth in its lane from the sixty-mile-per-hour wind gusts and roared past us like we were riding a tandem bike.

Iggy gazed at the vehicle, which quickly vanished into the snowy haze. "I bet the people in that Sequoia aren't happy people."

"They're rich, unfulfilled, miserable people," I said, nodding.

"But they're warm," Iggy said.

"Yes, they're warm."

"And they don't have to blinkerbate," he said.

"That's true."

"And if they hit bad snow, they shift into four-wheel drive," he said.

"And they've got antilock disc brakes...But they're miserable," I said.

"I wouldn't mind being miserable if I were warm. And had four-wheel drive. And blinkers that worked," he said.

"Now you're sounding like me."