Cruising down the highway, a noise which sounded like mischievous squirrels nesting under the car caught my ear. I kept driving. Some minutes later, passing motorists began gawking, waving, honking, and pointing at my car. "Do you see anything?" I asked my brother who was riding shotgun. Looking over his shoulder, he casually replied, "yeah there's sparks" and went back to his cell phone conversation. I knew exactly what had happened. Some part of the 25-year-old exhaust system had decided it was time to give up the ghost.
Now, you'd think that a keen ear would have heard a significant increase in the exhaust note's volume before noticing the faint scrapping sound of rusty German metal on American pavement, but the piping was apparently so rusty that it had been significantly loud for as long as I'd known it. So, after pulling over onto the shoulder, I figured it wouldn't be very difficult to just complete the job right then and there. Though only the tailpipe was resting on the ground, the entire muffler felt pretty loose. Rather than hassle with attempting to unbolt this or that, I simply got down in the dirt and started kicking the dang thing. That loosened it up nicely, but it still wasn't off completely. So, lacking any gloves, I grabbed a pair of socks from my bag and slid 'em over my hands so I wouldn't burn myself. Twisting the muffler back and forth, it soon broke off like a tab from a Coke can. Victory. I hoisted it into the air then slammed it on the pavement. That thing ain't gonna muffle any sweet inline-six gurgle-tones no more.