So picture this. Crossing the bridge in this nearly-new Buick I got from Bobby’s chop shop special order? Windows down, Halloween wind, I’ve got a finger on the button that puts up the windows. You saw the car. Wife used to drive it? Power everything? Fenders like cheerleader thighs? Nobody’s letting me in. I spot an opening up ahead. I floor it. Now I’m in the Sticker Sales lane. Here’s the thing: I’ve got no keys. A screwdriver he gave me, to start it with. I grab a rag and hang it from the wiper handle to hide the ignition. He’s just what you’d expect: stinky black Metallica tee shirt, Mister T starter set jangling around his neck, never calls me anything but Boss. Pulling down two three hundred grand a year tax free, most of it going to I don’t know what, speedballs and paying off the cops. We took two photos for the DMV, one with the fenders and doors removed to document how we “salvaged” it, another with a reset camera date and the parts put back on. But for now I had a Pennsy plate on the back, Jersey on the front until the paperwork would clear. Then last November a sting operation shut that bad boy down for good. They’d been videotaping him. Made the local news. I see the back of my own head on TV one night, taking the door off a Buick. Beautiful car. Wife wouldn’t drive it ‘til I made her something out of a key blank to start it with. But this day when I roll up the windows I see backwards yellow writing on the glass: DNUOPMI. Bobby’s little joke. I floor it back across four lanes to the exact change basket to avoid the toll collector. Funny story.

Copyright © December 15, 2006 David Hodges

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