Sweet, Sweet Music

I went for a run yesterday afternoon, the weather was warm, but just about perfect. I met few people on the trail, mostly nature held sway, evidenced by the bullfrogs and snapping turtle that I veered around. Run complete, I started my drive home, taking note of the trace of early fall that was in the air, the scent of goldenrods and drying leaves. Yielding to traffic before a merge onto one of the main roads in town, my ears were assaulted by a souped-up 4x4 truck with what sounded like twin glasspacked mufflers. The roar definitely turns heads, sometimes makes you roll up your windows and crank your music or, if you are like me, induces a rolling of the eyes and the urge to chuck a cabbage or two at the offender. The guy in the rusty Chrysler next to me got a chubby from those pipes I think, true penis...er...muffler envy. An hour later, freshly showered and again in the 'Ru, I headed off for java before meeting friends. I went to one of the coffee shops that sets out tables on the sidewalk, intent on enjoying the rest of a sunny afternoon, hoping to check my email and enjoy the post-run high. Ass planted in chair, Mac powered on, I logged in and thought I'd play catch up. Glancing up, I noted that the same souped-up 4x4 was pausing at the traffic light in front of me, its idle producing a muted roar. A Wrangler on what must have been 40" rims coasted to a stop just behind the truck, its music drowning out the exhaust ahead--temporarily. Loud music must have been an affront to the driver of said truck, who revved the engine, producing a sudden whining roar from his mufflers. The Wrangler, not to be outdone, revved his engine as well, adding an annoying off-key whining layer to the Jay-Z coming from his speakers. People stared. A guy smoking a cigarette and driving a beater pumped his stereo system, the bass dropping out, the back window rattling. Bravado? I wonder what makes people decide that they need to over-accessorize their rides? Is there some sort of unspoken rule that a decent stereo system can negate the shitty appearance of a rusted-out sedan? Is a purposely-installed loud muffler system considered a must-have item on a tricked-out 4x4? What is the gas bill like on a recreational vehicle with a super-giant lift kit? All these questions and no hope of answers; I was half tempted to stroll over and pose them to the idlers.

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