by Motherly Philly…
When Donald R. “Dobie” Dobiemeyer won the grand prize—the first ever so-called “Mother of All Cars” from Universal Motors—he knew he was in for the ride of his life. What he didn’t know was exactly what kind of ride that would be.
The world was amazed when in 1940 Oldsmobile introduced the first “Hydra-Matic,” or automatic transmission. What seems as standard as breathing today, the automatic transmission was a huge leap forward and quite a luxury back in 1940.
Then, in 1952, there was the Autronic Eye. Also an invention of now defunct Oldsmobile, the Autronic Eye was a headlight dimming system operated by a phototube. Quite simply, it would automatically switch an automobile’s headlights to low beam whenever another car was approaching.
Then, in the 1960s, came the automatic headlight. No longer did drivers have to worry about leaving their headlights on and running the battery down. Now, the car itself (through sensors) would make the decision when to turn on and off the headlights. Automatic features were a wonderful invention, or so everyone thought.
Today, we have automatic brakes, navigational systems, even automobiles that drive themselves.
So when Donald R. “Dobie” Dobiemeyer won the lottery—a brand new Universal Motors Electrolla 5000—he fastened himself in and got ready for the ride of his life. Actually, the seat belt fastened itself for him, but that was not a new invention either.
Dobie was about to fire up the automobile when it did it for him. “Sweet,” he said. He had heard about cars without keys, but he did not know they could start themselves. He pulled out of the showroom and onto city streets.
Dobie had never had a new car in all his life. He was a fifty-year-old man-child drawn to drink and depression who still lived with his mother. Donald R. “Dobie” Dobiemeyer was the not the type of man used to having anything new. Not new clothes, not new shoes, especially not a new car.
The Electrolla 5000 drove like a dream. It was like driving on glass, whatever that means. To Dobie, it just meant that the drive was smooth, like he had never experienced before. No knocking and pinging, no shaking and rattling. “So this is what it must feel like to be a millionaire,” he said.
Yes sir, Mr. Dobiemeyer, answered a voice from inside the car. It startled Dobie, but he quickly realized it was the car speaking to him. He had heard of this, too.
“Let’s see,” said Dobiemeyer, “where shall we go first?”
May I suggest, answered the Electrolla 5000, we take a quick trip through the car wash? I’ve gathered quite a bit of dust just sitting there on the showroom floor.
“Don’t think so,” said Dobiemeyer. “Not feeling it.”
Then, said the Electrolla 5000, how about a nice full tank of gas?
“Nope,” said Dobiemeyer, “not feeling that either. Think we’ll take a swing through the Golden Arches and grab a Big Mac and fries. A chocolate shake, too.”
But as Dobie prepared to pull into the drive, the steering wheel would not turn. Interesting, thought Dobie. A malfunction already? But that was only the beginning.
“Hmm,” said Dobie, “if not that, then how about a quick trip to the Shop ‘N Sack? I could use a cold beer about now.”
But that didn’t work either. Suddenly, the brakes malfunctioned and the car would not slow down. He passed up the Shop ‘N Sack just like he passed up his latest notion. What was with this car?
Then, Dobie decided to head on out to the Lazy Lay, the local strip club on the outskirts of town. He was a regular there, and Candy and Jasmine and Starlet were going to be amazed seeing him drive up in a brand new car. Little did Dobie know, he wouldn’t make it there either.
Instead of turning south on Hwy. 68, the Electrolla 5000 instead turned north. “Electrolla,” said Dobie, “turn around.”
No response. The car sped up.
“Electrolla,” said Dobie, “slow down.”
No response. The doors locked.
“Electrolla,” said Dobie, “pull over.”
No response. The car kept driving.
Dobie then began throwing a temper tantrum, releasing a tirade of swear words, as was his way.
But the Electrolla 5000 did not respond at all. Instead, it kept on going, heading miles out of town, eventually slowing down and pulling into the parking lot of a church. The Electrolla 5000 parked itself, then turned off the engine. The doors unlocked.
“Church?” said Dobie.
The door opened by itself and then the seat began moving to the side. It was a new feature, called the “Gentleman Function.” Dobie took the hint.
The church, the First Christian Church of Your Mother Knows Best, was his mother’s church. Dobie hadn’t been to church since she died, nearly three months ago.
From that day forward, Dobie would find the Electrolla 5000 drove like a dream, as long as he lived right, and treated her right, of course.
About the Author
Philip Loyd loves fat chicks and cheap beer, though not necessarily in that order. His first novel, You Lucky Bastard, is represented by New York Literary Agent Jan Kardys. Loyd lives in Dumbass, Texas. Find out more about Loyd at http://PhilipLoyd.com
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