That cars explode
whilst suspended mid-air
is an absolute given fact.
Drive one through a barrier
and over a cliff and
you just know it is going to be
enveloped in flames
before it hits the ground there below.
How do I know this?
Well hell… I’ve
seen it in the movies.
All I know is that if I launch my car
off a 500 foot drop, I’m
gonna open that door
and step out into the sky
sure don’t want to get burned. No.
Best wait ‘til everything reaches the ground
before I climb back in for
a nice clean painless mortality.
You know, I find myself trying to think
of all the cars I’ve ever been in that
spontaneously burst into a ball of flames,
and I can’t even think of one.
Don’t remember a non-spontaneous combustion either.
It may come down to my always having managed
to buy a good quality blast-free car.
Either that or I’ve lucked out and
the industrial mechanic for
every purchase I’ve made
forgot to install the airborne detonator.
(and this is important)
I don’t know that I’ve ever managed to get
all four wheels off the ground at once.
I suppose it’s extra motivation
to slow down around speed bumps.
Might explain why my wife always screams
when I approach one at high speed.
I may be using a strained logic here
but I figure that all those exploding cars
that you see in the movies
were obviously sitting in
close proximity to a speed bump.
Those CGI guys just use some special affect to
mask out that bump at a later date.
I’m thinking that in an effort to save money on
pyrotechnics in all those Schwarzenegger films,
they probably shot them in
ever so anal residential areas.
ka-‘Burbs. ka-Bumps. ka-Bounce. ka-Boom.
I was once in my car
traveling down the A1-M motorway in England
towards the sprawling city of Milton Keynes.
My destination was a cinema multiplex
where they were showing a
new action flick with Arnold in it.
It was just at dusk and
I was heading into a sunset.
What was curious was that I was driving South.
So adding up sunsets—
the one in front of me and
the one off my shoulder to the right—
I came to the eerie equation of one sunset too many.
A mile further on and I noticed that
my Southern-most sunset was producing
a vast plume of inky black smoke.
This was either a new solar phenomenon
or confirmation that my rumored lack
of deductive reasoning was indeed sadly true.
At this point on the motorway,
the Southbound lanes were three across
and there just ahead of me,
a multitude of glowing brake-lights
competed with the glow of my polar solar fate.
A half-mile further on and
the chaos of competing red
split into two separate columns
as all the cars diverged
into the far left or right lanes.
There in the center lane
and facing us, stood a man.
A man silhouetted by a blazing sun
which threatened to engulf us all.
This man had driven his car
into the Sun.
That’s not necessarily true.
His car was the sun.
No. Again, I’m misleading you.
This man’s car had burst into flames
there in the absolute center of the motorway,
and he, having escaped the inferno,
had wandered a hundred yards
up the middle of the
three lane expanse of road
to face the oncoming traffic
as it veered left and right in a
frantic effort to avoid him.
And there as I drove by
in what appeared to be
a certain cinematic slow motion,
I noticed the look in his eyes.
He was not looking at us. No.
He was in the midst of trauma;
of horror; of visual overload;
of that proverbial thousand yard stare.
Zero to sixty. Sixty to zero.
Step out before you hit the ground…
The cerebral shred
of a fuel injected head.
And cars continue to swerve.
And tires continue to screech.
And this is all the action you could ever hope for.
But we have not a second to spare.
No time to pause in mutual PTSD consolation.
‘Cause we’ve got a date with Swarzenegger.
Oh, the brutal excitement!
The anticipation of all that pending violence!
The destruction. The decimation.
We get to see Arnold kick some doors down.
Snap some bones. Fracture some teeth.
We get to see him pump high-caliber lead
into the chest of a wide-eyed man who
really really really needs to die.
Hell. If we’re lucky,
we might even get to see some
cars blow up.
©2010 Jack Hubbell