local_library Hot Rods From Hell

by Mike Drazen

Published in Issue No. 186 ~ November, 2012

When this hot chick in the ’65 Mustang

peels out at the light, leaving us in the dust

of a misty South Jersey morning,

my dad turns to me and says,

“What’s she trying to prove.”

And I’ve got to admit he’s got a point.

I mean out-gunning a forty-something

tax attorney In a dead-ass Buick sedan—

what kind of fun is that? Who knows,

maybe she saw something in his sober,

bespectacled face I was too young to see,

because suddenly I’m being whipped back

in the goddamn bench seat, my dad

blasting past her like he’s a wheelman

in Hot Rods From Hell or something, and

next thing I know Mustang Sally’s flashing

this come and get me smile I defy any man

to resist, as dad roars past her, testing the limits

of the Buick’s torque in ways that would have had

the engineers back in Dearborn scratching

their heads if they were with us that day,

but if they were, it would have made my dad

uptight and self-conscious and none of this

ever would have happened, though for the rest

of his days, he pretended it never did.

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After a 40+ year career as an award-winning Mad. Ave. writer and creative director, Mike spends his time in Boulder, Colorado, writing poems, hiking trails and muting TV ads every chance he gets.