I need to get back to Philly as there's a damned important sociological conference entitled "Crime and it's implications on the societal structure" but Greyhound Airlines aren't flying the freeways today due to a driver's strike.
I decide to put in some serious study about the effects of crime by stealing myself a car.
Only I'm not good at stealing cars bacause I haven't had to do it much as a lecturer in domestic relations, so my technique is a little rusty.
The first two cars have alarms that tell me to step back before I've even found a suitable entrance-granting brick, which means I should be exercising more choice with regards to recommended vehicle.
I find an unattended Pinto with it's door hanging open and a long arrow etched in the mud along the side with the inscription "HIT ME HERE". The arrow points to the rear of the vechicle. My mind tries to tell me something as I get in but fails dismally.
The keys are still in the vehicle, which I believe is a fairly stupid thing to do considering the current car theft statistics. It's almost as if the vehicle is asking to be stolen. The vehicle starts first time (to my surprise) and my mind is now SCREAMING something at me, but the car stereo obliterates all thought with a blisteringly loud rendition of 'Achy Break Heart'. As the car starts to move I reach over to eject the tape...
...and find the eject button is missing, which scares me.
The knobs are also missing from the stereo, which scares me more.
I try to turn the volume down, then realise that the controls have been spot welded in place. [Terrified]
The fast-forward and rewind buttons are gone too. [Petrified]
I pull over and duck down to see if I can pull some of the wiring from under
the dash, then realise that the owner has welded a section of metal across
the base of the dash, denying any access.
The Bastard! [Shitting Twinkies]
I thrash about the cassette mechanism a bit, then realise that the tape has been superglued into the drive, AND it looks suspiciously like a cassette single, which means it'll play over and over and over until I go insane. [Lead Twinkies, with 50 grit sandpaper wrappers!]
I've got to get out of there, and quick. I reach to the door to find... ..the door handles are missing. Window handles gone as well. This is no random act of terrorism. [Now Resigned to a slow & painful aural death]
Thinking quickly, I turn on the headlights, hazard lights and courtesy lights in a attempt to save my sanity by running the battery down. Fate smiles upon me as I realise starting the car in gear with my foot on the brake is probably an improvement on plan one. Funnily enough, whilst the courtesy and dash lights dim when I start the vehicle, the tape player doesn't even slow.
SEPERATE POWER SUPPLY!!!! [BASTARD!]
Billy Ray's "singing" has got louder now, as if perhaps a starter activated relay is winding up a boosting amp somewhere behind the dash.
My mind breaks through with the scream "IT'S A PINTO!!!"
I know what I have to do.
I start the car, slip it into reverse and plant the accelerator, aiming roughly at a big old ford that looks like it's made of real metal.
I die in the resulting explosion of course.
Saint Peter greets me with a sad shake of the head. I take the down escaltor. Over the humming of the escalator I hear a familiar noise becoming ever louder "..tell my heart, my achy breaky heart.."
It's true then, it IS hell...