A Date with Caslon

by Rita Webb
2004, all rights reserved.

I said, "How do you like my triple carburetor?"

It's Friday night. Caslon picks up Bunny in his latest prize, a Seafoam Green 1953 Ford Tudor Customline with a flathead V8 engine and 12:1 compression ratio. The intended destination for the evening is the Rodeo Drive-In, to see Joy Ride with Regis Toomey, Hot Rod Gang with Gene Vincent, and Girls Town starring Mamie Van Doren. A few blocks from Bunny's house, he notices that the engine isn't responding right. So they go to his house instead of the movie, park the Ford in the driveway, and Caslon goes to work.

"Hey, Bunny, please hand me that vacuum gauge," he says as he grabs a wrench. "I gotta adjust the idle mixture here." He fiddles with the carburetor for a few minutes, and then, remembering Bunny, smiles brightly and says, "You can go ask my mom for a Coke, if you're thirsty."

Bunny smiles. I shoulda known. The other girls said this happens sometimes. Petey keeps a deck of cards in her purse, so she can play Solitaire when she goes out with him. "Do you have a transistor radio we could listen to?"

"Sure!" He grabs a portable radio from the corner of the garage. She sets the grease-covered dial to the Wild Child on KPHO.

Got an eight-cylinder motor and jet-propelled overdrive

Laughing to herself, Maybe if I watch him, I can learn something about auto repair. She stands on the side of the car opposite from him, thinking, He's cute! He looks like Buddy Holly.

Caslon sees Bunny's big smile as he hands her some tools. She's the nicest girl I ever went out with. Petey doesn't complain, but she just plays cards and doesn't watch me work. And Suzi always looks bored. Bunny's so beautiful, standing there holding my socket wrenches. "Hey, Bunny, would you start the car, and keep your foot on the gas, lightly, till I tell you to let up?"

You got Hydra-Matic kisses, lips like fluid drive

Bunny's thinking, Next time I go out with him, I'll wear black. This pink outfit is gonna have tell-tale fingerprints all over it, if he tries to kiss me.

"OK, let up!" He makes another adjustment.

"Now turn the engine off." He puts the carburetor back together, slams the hood down and says, "That's it! We got it! C'mon in, while I wash up, and then we'll go to the drive-in."

Cruisin Central © 2003, by Charlotte Webb. All rights reserved.

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