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A spiraling cluster of news & events from distant decades

The Roadhead Chronicles

By Mike Marino

Sample Chapter: Where Cool Was Born

Page 6 of 8


There were werewolves, and then there were teenage werewolves. Lovable leather jacketed fuzz balls who always did some sort of canine destruction at the prom. Eventually, these gassed up mutant greasers gave way to the era of hot rod flix and hot rod chicks. Collision course youth in an asphalt race to destruction. Chicky runs...drag strips..spawning a whole new generation of future horsepower kings who were mesmerized by the big screen portrayal of these modern day mechanized Sir Lancelots of the torque wrench.

The food was worse than the movies, and, yeah, the speakers sucked, but in our minds, we had it all in the palm of our hands!! Eventually, the flick ended..the screen went dark, the engines turning over and the headlights popping on like a hundred oval eyes waking from a slumber. The movie's over, and you missed the ending and most of the middle. Hell, it was hard enough to make out with the sounds of Tokyo being crushed beyond recognition in the background, but it didn't matter, you just had the time of your life, fueled by the promiscuous passion pit promise of paradise by the dashboard light. The movie ended, the screen went blank, and eventually, Dean was dead, and still, no one had heard of Vietnam as they drove from the parking lot, not realizing that hot summer drive in night that one day soon many of them would end up in a hotter place called Da Nang a few years later, and the real life monster movie of war's reality would haunt them for the rest of their lives, in a movie in the mind that would never end.

The movie may have ended, but after engaging in the battle of the backseat, it was time to refresh the horses, and the Battle of the Bulging Belly Busters got underway. Heading out to White Castle, (yeah, they're an acquired taste) for those famous gut bomb sliders that dive bombed the frail human digestive system, a seek and destroy colonic mission causing more havoc than the fire bombing of Dresden in WWII. Little square patties, onioned and flattened on the grill, little steamed buns and $.15 cents, and you had it made. There was always Big Boy's for the more refined taste, as though we had any taste at all. It was a cruisin' parade ground through that parking lot with that crazy statue of Big Boy that had that Wayne Newtonesque hairdo sweep going for it. He stood proudly, rotating and holding a giant burger aloft, his torch, his beacon for the masses, at times a Statue of Caloric Liberty, at others merely a deranged, high priest of grease in those corny checkered pants. There were chili dogs, footlongs, french fries, mama burgers, papa burgers, baby burgers, and big, giant, chilled frosted mugs of root beer.

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