Thursday, January 14, 2010


The cars that go BOOM! No matter where you live, you've heard (and felt) them. Cars with the music on so loud, bass blaring, you'd swear you were caught in a grade B flick. "Quick, Martha, hide in the attic. There's a giant chicken heart ('ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom') coming down the street."

What kind of car has a bass so deafening? Certainly, my Honda is not that well equipped. I got my answer when I stopped for a light one day. I looked over to see a throbbing Pontiac besides me. I smiled at the guys in the front seat, and pushed the power window button up so fast the glass almost cracked. I noticed then that the car's back seats had been ripped out and what appeared to be passengers, were actually two massive, four-foot high stereo speakers.

As they sped away, I couldn't help thinking: How do these guys talk to each other? Do they know sign language? Or do they pass notes back and forth? And what if a fire engine were clanging to a four-alarmer? Or an ambulance, siren screeching, wanted right of way? Could they hear it?
And what about insurance? Do owners of cars that go boom have to pay higher premiums? Do agencies put them in the risk pool because they're a other people's ears?

Hey, I turn up the dial, myself, when a great song gets me jumping. But not to the point where I cause the earth to tremble. Maybe it's me. Maybe my feminine ears are too delicate. Loud sounds do seem to affect me...especially at the movies, which is why I always wear earmuffs. And when I go to the gym, I tie my head up with gauze and wear a hat. Funny, my husband doesn't seem to mind. When I tell him the TV's blasting, he says he can't hear it.

Surely, for guys in cars that go boom, it's not a matter of not hearing the music. You'd have to have your ears sewn up not to.So why do these drivers turn up their tunes to pitches that puncture?

"It's for you women," my husband's friend said. "It's a bravado thing. Men want to impress you."

Say what?

"Yeah, guys want women to notice them."

I must be getting old. Somehow earsplitting music isn't my idea of a mating call. "Come on baby, let me break your eardrums," wouldn't win me over. Maybe those guys could take a lesson from the peacock. When he wants to attract a female, he just stands there, like a gentleman, and opens up his fan of feathers, quietly, civilly. His dates go wild, I'm told.

Maybe these guys ought to consider an alternative. Perhaps they could honk their horn once, smile, and throw a rose with their phone number on it. That would impress most women I know. In fact, they probably couldn’t dial their cells phones fast enough.

An acquaintance recently told me some states have ordinances on cars that go BOOM. I think that's a sterling idea. People who noise pollute should get a fine. Or at least have their car radio knobs taken away for a month so they can't turn the darn things on.

I know one thing for sure. I've asked my broker to buy stock in companies that sell hearing aids. I have this funny feeling I can make a million.

Huh? What'd you say? Could you speak a little louder?

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