Do You Like Convertibles?
By Mahna Mahna
It was big.
It was ugly.
It was run-down.
'And it's all mine,' thought Tom, grinning with pride.
He had finally gotten himself a car, and had actually managed to do it without his parents' help. Granted, it wasn't the best car in the world---He had bought the body cheap from a junk yard with the money he made in his summer job--- but it was definitely looking better than before, thanks to the good ol' boys down at Shop. For once, Tom felt he truly understood the song Greased Lightning, having the joy that comes with restoring your own car.
'Of course, it's not really Greased Lightning yet,' he thought as he rubbed the hood. 'More like Greased Light bulb... but it's getting there.' He just hoped that Denise would like it.
His girlfriend of six months had been bugging him about getting a car ever since his sixteenth birthday. "I know fourteen year olds with cars, Tom," she had said. "Fourteen year olds, for Pete's sake!" He had to admit, sometimes it was hard to take her to where she wanted to go without a car, but now......
He frowned at one of the rust spots on the passenger side door. 'Would she like this?' Denise was a girl of fine tastes, but she also admired ambition. Perhaps she would appreciate the hard work that went into the car. At least, Tom hoped she would.
Eager to see what she would say, Tom got into the car, turned it on, stopping to first listen to the purr of the engine with satisfaction, then headed over to Denise's.
".....I'm speechless" was the first thing she said as soon as she saw it.
"Yeah-huh. Words cannot describe..."
"Perhaps I'm not being clear." She turned to Tom. "Words cannot describe the absolute horror I feel."
"Oh, please." Tom rolled his eyes. 'Well, there goes my "appreciate the labor" theory.'
"I mean it, Tom." She circled the car like a vulture. "This is what you've been restoring these past five months? It looks like it could explode at any minute!"
"Now that's not going to happen. I fixed this thing myself; it's perfectly safe."
"And you didn't even let professionals do the restoring. Perfect." She kicked a tire, then jumped back as if the car would collapse on her if she didn't. "Tom, I thought you were going to have someone restore that cute red convertible we saw. What happened to that convertible, Tom? Didn't you like that one?"
"It was OK, I guess, but I really like this one! It's got...I dunno...character."
Denise sighed. "Tom...I can't ride in this."
"I told you, it’s perfectly safe, and if you're worried about how it looks, you don't have to be. I'll still work on restoring it."
"And how long will that all take? Another five months? What if we're not together by then?"
"Togethe-- what?" Tom stared in shock. ‘Where did this come from?’
Denise quickly backtracked, "I'm not saying we won't be, I'm just saying..." she trailed off. "You know, maybe we should take a break."
"A break?!" Tom stared, dumbfounded. 'When did cars get this important to her?!' "Listen, I can fix this..."
“Well….it's not just the car. Anyway, it'll just be for a little while; maybe until your car is restored. I mean, there's no sense in being together if we can't go anywhere."
"Listen, I've got some friends that are commin---" She looked off into the distance. A car was rapidly approaching, "--that are here now. I've got to go; I told them I'd go with them before you called." She gave him a peck on the cheek. "Call me when the car is finished. I'd love to see it. Or, you can call me when you get another car. Whichever."
A white convertible pulled into Denise's driveway, and she walked out to meet it.
"Seriously, though....consider that convertible we saw," she said just before she climbed into the car. "It'd be better for you; it suits people like us."
"Who shot the hippies? Who locked them in a zoo? Who gagged the beatniks? Who filled their mouths with glue? Who crushed the bohos? Who turned their work to poo? Hey, Mr. Normal, it was you!"
The band was mediocre at best, but luckily Tom was too distracted to notice. At the moment, his attention was held by a cool, cool girl in red with black hair, red lips, and the biggest blue eyes he had ever seen. He spent what seemed like forever staring into those eyes, until her friend left and he finally got up the nerve to come over to her.
“Hey,” he said.
“Yo,” the girl said smiling.
“Good band,” Tom said, eager to start a conversation.
“Yeah. The singer's my brother.”
“Really?” he asked, intrigued. “Are you a singer too?”
“Oh yeah, listen to this…” She then let out the worst rendition of “Old MacDonald” that he had ever heard, but he had to admit, she had guts.
“That’s really awful.”
“You’re an honest one, eh?” Jane said, pleased. Inwardly, Tom breathed a sigh of relief. Apparently, that was the right thing to say. “Actually, I’m an artist.”
She just kept getting more and more interesting. “Wow. That’s cool!”
She grinned. “But I do like to sing in my spare time.” She began to sing again until finally Tom stopped her.
The girl was almost too good to be true. She was pretty, interesting, and had a great sense of humor, especially about herself. She seemed pretty down-to-earth, too, unlike a lot of girls he had met, but just to be sure….
“Do you like convertibles?”
Wallace: "The question is, what is a Mahna Mahna?"
Statler: "The question is, who cares?
-The Muppet Show (The Mahna Mahna Song)