Speed bumps and slow raccoons
When Viet Huong opened in Huntsville, we celebrated: at last, Eastern food that wasn't a) Thai or b) buffet Chinese (which, we might add, has the approximate China Content of a porcelain teacup made in Mexico). Therefore, we visited, and we ate.
We weren't the only ones. The ricers showed up too, as they are wont to do, driving around and doing their business and unwittingly provoking howls of laughter among the rest of us who have far better things to spend our money on.
It boggles my mind, really. Haven't something like three-point-five million economic forecasters decided that we're in a recession? Someone (strongly resembling me) might be fooled into thinking that silly things like economic recessions might make people spend less money on tricking out their lame cars, but it seems that I am either grossly mistaken or have no sense of the true priorities in life.When we pulled up at Viet Huong for a nice lunch, I was squeaking and pointing at this tricked-out blue Civic. It, better than any other car I have ever seen, epitomizes the lofty ideal: you can never have too many body kits. Kits on the front ... kits on the side ... kits on the back:
The wing, you see, is really necessary. In addition to making the car go faster than the speed of sound, these body kits have the unfortunate side effect of causing the car to float slightly above ground. In order to maintain contact with the road, the owner needs to do everything he can to force the car to actually roll along the ground.
The front is actually a bit dull; nothing but replacement headlights (oh, for a photo of the Civic with hood of blue flames that I saw today!). Performance gain: six horsepower.
But...wait. Let's look at the back of the car again. Yeah, at the tailpipes. Hey. Wait a second. Is that....
Yes, ladies and gentlegerms, behind the front and back body kits we have the 100% ricer classic that is spray-painted chicken wire. Look at it and weep for your poor stock cars that know not the beauty and speed that could be yours if you only had spray-painted chicken wire on your car. (performance gain 25 horsepower)
In addition, we have special tires:
While I'm shocked and appalled that he didn't use the extra spray paint (left over from painting the chicken wire) to spray-paint the wheels, I suppose white will just have to do. These aren't just any wheels, though—they're the extra-special rated R wheels:
I wonder what the 'R' stands for? Speculation from the peanut gallery? Bueller? Bueller?
Now, now, don't get snarky. I have to point out that this guy is truly devoted to speed; he has realized that to have a truly performance-oriented car, a car owner must go further than just the standard taillights, wing, body kits, and chicken wire. Few things provide more of a performance boost than replacing the slow, pokey dashboard with a faster, sleeker model (performance gain: 3 horsepower) and all-cow interior dyed to match the paintjob (performance gain: 16 horsepower).
After staring at this car, stifling giggles, and madly snapping photos, I have only one question. Go back to the driver side photo of the car and ask yourself the question that Stephen's father asked me:
"What does this guy do about roadkill?"
Think about it. We're looking at a ground clearance of what, about 0.08 microns? The only two things that could kill this car (aside from a Ford Expedition, marauding plastic-eating bacteria, and a spiked baseball bat, but that's another entry) are speed bumps and slow raccoons. The only way this car is going to make it over a speed bump between now and eternity is if that wing has a Temporary Eject button.
(Release the wing, and—remember—the car will magically float a few inches off the ground. Bad for traction, great for ground clearance.)
Otherwise, what you've got is a really expensive and really useless teeter-totter.
As for those slow raccoons, can you imagine this guy calling up his insurance agent and explaining that he needs an insurance check to repair his car because the raccoon he hit last night screwed up fourteen body kits?
Oh, well. It's the price you must pay to be cool.