Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Wrong Machine

Sixteen valves standing at attention, dry with with red rust spots covering their exterior, I thought they were spider mites...sixteen valves in the wind, out in the air on top of the wrong machine.

Silver pistons, left and right like a recent amputee with black rings burnt into position and warped just enough to see so without straining the eye. 
Extending my scope, my camera, and a crow bar past the large fly wheel and the exposed forward facing gears I get to the heart of the machine

Black leather seats, tuck and roll with a Lincoln symbol stitched with brown thread. Surgical steel in hand we make our first incision. 

And there it is, alive and hissing.
The radio. 

Right away I can see that it's tuned to K.N.X . (a meaningless  observation) Clamping the leather upholstery out of the way, my assistant says she has located the antennae, it's broken. 

As carefully as possible I navigate past the pop country station, trouble... It's oompah music and the signal is strong. The speakers are no where to be seen, they might be ingrown.

Rapido! Insists the muffled mans commercial platitudes.
NEXT! shouts an onlooker. 

Pushing past the Christian network I realize that a combination of oil and fuel are starting to puddle up around the cup holders. It's bad. 

With a bash and squeak, the Snap-on truck arrives, "thank God" they have the replacement antennae. 
Soaking up the excess fuel with a blue shop rag we insert and twist the antennae into position. With time running out I make a judgement call and leave the original rubber gasket in place. For a long moment there is no sound at all. The radio knobs are now completely soaked with oil, fuel and coffee.

 I know that collage radio still exists in some places. ((Just three weeks ago I clearly heard Funkadelic's "Red Hot Mama" pumping from the depths of an overturned Toyota Corona station wagon.)) I turned the dial left three solid turns ignoring the awful auto-tuned top-forty and the pseudo-rap, hesitating at the unique sound of an electric 12 string Rickenbacker guitar plucking staccato over a jungle beat, No! Its a sell out. My Lord it's a commercial for erectile dysfunction. Moving on.... down the dial....  with beads of sweat dripping into my eyes..Not much room left..... half a turn at the most, leaning in and listening hard for any signs of good music. How can it be this difficult to find a real drummer on this thing? The diagnostic equipment is silent, a loud gasp is belched from the aging air compressor, the garage is filled with despair. Ironically, the red faced right wingers are on the far left of the radio dial, Baldie, Fatso, Dopy and Whiny, the gangs all here.......Then its the Triangle-heads, reading the Zodiac for fun and profit, the wonders never cease. We are now in that space on the far left where there ain't no paint on the glass, no map, no hope...... I let go of the knob and there it was, clear as day. The Beastie Boys,  "Johnny Ryall" on the hook. 
We did it! I proclaim out loud, "I really thought we were going to have buy a subscription to SeriusXM!"  My assistants eyes dart away causing a somber moment of reflection. It's time to pay for what we used to get for free. I suppose I'll be heading to "Best Buy" eventually,  eyes squinted, head hanging low in the defeat posture.

Music needs a "Monster Island" but for now we stare at the unfinished bridge between the music and the speakers with contempt. 
                   "Something Else" needs to happen. 

No time to rest, somewhere out there, in a parking lot, is an inverted Nissan Sentra with a whale fin hot glued to beige primer.