Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Fast times with Johnny K

Johnny K was a welder I worked with back when Kearney National was a going concern out on Elizabeth Street in Guelph. That was back in the mid seventies. You could work in a place like Kearny National and have a life, which in those days meant you owned a house and a car or two; definitely two if the old lady was working too.

It was a transitional era you could say. In our working class milieu the old ladies were more or less expected to do something, but we weren't quite yet at that place where wives working outside the home were an absolute economic necessity like they are today.

No, if you were so inclined, you could own a home and drive a car and support a partner who was at home with the kids on the strength of one factory paycheque.

That's way over, baby!

Now you can have both partners working full time jobs and not afford any house or any car.

That's progress!

It's good for the environment though. I mean, what the fuck was up with all those working class goof-balls thinking they should own their own house and their own car?

Now they're renting shit-hole apartments and taking the bus; way better for the environment!

But back in the glory days, we kinda took it all for granted.

Oddly enough, Johnny K was one of those working class dudes who landed on his feet after the great de-industrialization of Guelph, and that was entirely due to the fact that his wife found herself doing PR for a Toronto real estate developer, and every time Johnny's career took another kick in the teeth, she'd get a promotion!

But back when he still wore the pants at his house, we'd go out for tours in his Trans Am from time to time. His was of a later vintage than my '73 Super Duty, but it too had a 455 and hauled ass.

So late one night we're cruising along the QE in the general direction of Toronto, with no particular destination in mind. I'm driving, cause Johnny is a bit into his cups, as they say. A silver Benz 6.9 glides by in the passing lane. Hmm... lets have some fun!

I give a little touch on the go pedal, and that black and gold Trans Am squirts by the Benz at 90 mph.

Ha, take that!

Our triumph lasted about 30 seconds before that Benz sailed by at a good 110 or so.

Oh really? Watch this...

I put the pedal to the metal. You could get about 125 out of those big block Pontiacs. They ran out of breath at around 5Gs. We got the TA wound out and that Benz is disappearing in the rear view.

Me and Johnny share a smug moment of appreciation for American iron. I'm holding it at 125 because I want that poser to learn his lesson...  suddenly there's lights bearing down fast in the rear-view and a toot-toot as a streak of silver flashes by us at a goodly 20 or 30 mph faster than what we had going on.

We never saw that silver Benz again.

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