While riding in my Cadillac
What to my surprise
A little Nash Rambler was following me
About one third my size
The guy musta wanted to pass me up
As he kept on tooting his horn
I’m sure some of you will remember this song by the Playmates about the little car trying to pass the big one. However, what is not widely known nor much discussed is that my wife and I were the inspiration for the song. Yup. It was us. I’m sure of it. See if you don’t agree.
It happened one summer when I had just been selected by my company to transfer from Columbia Maryland to Houston Texas. At the time, we drove a little Nissan wagon (known as a Datsun back then). Kind of cramped for space with an engine like a lawnmower. In preparation for the move, it quickly became apparent that it was going to be too small to carry two adults, a dog, two cats, a bowl of fish, assorted plants, pet food, kitty litter, beds, etc. So we decided to rent a large car and drive tandem. The plan was to spend one night on the road in Atlanta and try to make it in to Houston the following day. Back then, it was difficult to find lodging that would allow pets.
Now, before we pull out of the driveway, there is one thing I want to make sure you understand. I have noted it in my journal titled ‘How To Avoid Physical Dismemberment During Marriage’. Lesson 472. A road trip to a woman bears no resemblance to a road trip to a man. To a woman, it is a long drive during which you make frequent stops and enjoy the ride. To a man, it equals the Baha endurance race where the object is to get from point A to point B in the shortest amount of time. That being said, we can now leave.
We had rented a big Chrysler which I was driving with the two cats. My wife was following in the Datsun with the dog and the goldfish. We headed on down through D.C. and Virginia and into North Carolina. I was pleased with how well we were doing and envisioned making it to Atlanta by nightfall. As I remember, it was somewhere between Raleigh and Charlotte that I heard it for the first time. A car horn. I glanced in the rear-view and saw my wife dutifully following behind, so I settled back and kept on driving. When I heard it again, I thought there must be a car in my blind spot, but looking over my shoulder, I didn’t see any traffic save the Datsun. So I kept driving. Big mistake.
It wasn’t long before I had a feeling I was being watched and, glancing to my left, I saw a Datsun, our Datsun, keeping pace with me, driven by a woman who could have deflated my tires with her look. As our eyes met, she made some threatening gestures with her right arm signifying that I was either to exit the freeway or that I had just been cursed. Turns out it was all of the above. Immediately thereafter, the little Datsun pulled past and in front of me and stayed there until the next exit.
At this point, let me digress for a minute. Do any of you ever remember doing something as a kid that you knew was wrong and thinking “my folks are going to kill me”. Yes? Good! Because that is exactly the feeling I had at that moment.
As I followed her into the parking lot of a restaurant and parked, I hesitantly got out of my car and walked to hers, with a grin on my face indicating that I was really a friendly person. I knew it wasn’t working when she refused to roll down the window. She just sat there glaring at me. And that was the good part. It went downhill after she got out of the car.
Just another of life’s lessons I suppose. As a young husband, I was learning something new every day. In my journal I made another hasty notation. Lesson 473. Hell hath no fury like a woman that has to pee. Beep Beep.
From The Archives 2014