Rhett & Link are a couple of filmmakers who travel the country making local commercials for businesses, the kind once rife on TV stations with any self-respecting auto dealer or dry cleaning operator, or in this case Hollywood's Presidential Car Wash. It's a creative outpouring similar to RyGuy's reflection on how a be-scooped and wing'd Alfa came to be that way, a close winner in a day filled with COTD-worthy posts:

I know this guy. Johnny was his name. He's a genuinely borderline-retarded kid, thanks to whatever drugs his mother was on (his "mom and dad" were actually his grandparents). I went to grade school with him. Several interesting incidents with him during high school stand out (we'll leave out running naked around 4-H camp in the middle of the night because that was in 5th grade, but there's your primer on him).

Johnny loved Fords — was obsessed with them — knew the 2.3L I4 and the 2.8L V6 better than anyone I've since encountered. He was ASE-certified in several areas by the time he was 16. Maybe he was an automotive savant.

Johnny went through at least 4 Fords during the time I was in high school with him (he was there before AND after me). A couple of Rangers, a Bronco, and a fox Mustang. The Rangers and Mustang had the 2.3, the Bronco the 2.8. The entire time, he also had a Subaru, which I'll get to in a minute.

So, the automotive incidents? Attempting to drive the Bronco up a very steep, grass-covered hill adjacent to the marching band's practice field. The Bronco had enough torque in 4L, but not enough traction because Johnny had fitted it with passenger car tires. He got about half way up, then the truck stopped. Johnny pushed the gas harder. The truck started slipping back. Johnny gave up, and instead of trying to ease the truck back down the hill with the brakes, he just let it roll. And roll it did. Right onto it's side in the ditch at the bottom of the hill. It came to rest at a 45-degree angle in the ditch. No real damage, but after the low brass section pushed the Bronco back onto its wheels, Johnny got out and started kicking it, doing more damage than had falling onto it's side. That was Johnny. Whenever he got pissed, he attacked inanimate objects. Sometimes they were the object of his frustration, sometimes they were just whatever was convenient.

Another time, this in his brushed-on primer grey Ranger. The choir had just gotten new risers, and Johnny, ever-helpful, had piled the flattened cardboard riser-shipping boxes in the tailgate-less bed and volunteered to drive them to the recycling center. Someone pointed out that they'd likely start flying out at speeds above walking pace, so a planetoid trombonist named Catfish jumped in the bed to hold them in place. Now, this Ranger was the first truck he'd managed to get his hands on that had a manual transmission, and he enrolled in the I'll-smoke-'em-before-I-let-it-stall school of learning how to perform a smooth take off. With a sense of "this cannot end well" foreboding, we were all gathered to watch as Johnny did his now-characteristic dogleg squeal, which had the effect of instantly depositing the high-momentum Catfish onto the road. He never even moved. The truck drove out from beneath him as though he had been tethered to a light pole. Luckily, most of the stack of boxes came out with him and broke his fall, and he got up and dusted himself off laughing so hard he nearly puked.

To shorten this up a bit, I'll glaze over the next two...

The shifter of his Mustang came off in my hand while I was doing donuts in the school parking lot. Not the knob. The whole lever. I was just trying to grab second quickly. I was only 15 and didn't know shift levers were so fragile.

Johnny decided he wanted to do donuts in his 2WD Ranger in the mud pit next to the band/choir room before a Friday football game. He drove in and stopped dead when his tires sank to the axles in the clay-heavy muck. It took my girlfriend's father's '79 460-powered, 4-speed+granny gear-equipped, F350 dually to pull him out. It was an awesome sight watching that F350 spin all four rear tires on pavement tugging that little Ranger out.

So, the Subaru. What Johnny did to the Subaru is what makes him the likely owner of this Alfa. The Subie was an early 4WD Justy that Johnny swore had rally pedigree. I think it had a 3-cylinder that was only slightly larger than a contemporary Metro 3-cylinder, but the 4WD just made it kind of cool. Mind, this was central Georgia, where AWD cars are essentially useless, and therefore rarely seen. To prove to us how incredible it was, Johnny pulled all sorts of dumb stunts. He successfully drove it in circles (couldn't really call them donuts) through the pit where his Ranger had gotten stuck, which was substantially less impressive as it hadn't rained in a month and the muck had hardened to something approximating kiln-fired clay. He successfully drove it up the hill his Bronco had failed to tackle. There was no re-creation of the Catfish-cardboard incident, and the shifter stayed in place the few times I drove it.

So how's this related to the Alfa ?- I'm getting there. Now, Johnny eventually realized that there were no hop-up parts available for the Justy. So he started going crazy with all the best that Autozone, NAPA, and JCWhitney had to offer. He had a stereo with so much power it stalled the engine. He had the chrome accents all over. Vinyl decals from companies that never made so much as a spark plug to fit the Justy. Purple window tint. Yosemite Sam mudflaps (I shit you not). A roof-mounted wing. What really set it off, though, was when he started taking the brown interior plastic bits and painting them purple, but not thickly enough to cover the brown. So, his interior wound up looking like a unicorn jizzed all over everything.

That's all. I'm too exhausted from a night of too little sleep to bother figuring out some sort of closer to this whole story. Johnny tried to facebook friend me a few weeks ago. I couldn't bring myself to ignore, but I didn't approve, either. The request just sits.

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