Featured: Johnny O. Finally Got that Baby Blue Superbird

Johnny O. Finally Got that Baby Blue Superbird
Samuel Vargo

super bird 1

Johnny O has that muscle car he’s always wanted
And even though it didn’t arrive
Until Johnny was in late middle-age (either 64 or 65),
With a triple bypass, early disability retirement
From Generous Motors and five grown kids
From three failed marriages (all grown up,
On their own), and best of all, Johnny O.’s no longer
Paying child support; he’s thundering around –
Hot rodding the streets he owned
Way back when he had a pack of smokes
Rolled up in his white tee-shirt, an oily, blonde, ducktailed mullet,
And a hot gold GTO that he wrapped around a tree
Four days after he graduated from Austintown Fitch High
(He still remembers the song blaring
From his Quadrophonic Super Star speakers: “Mellow Yellow” by Donovan).

***

Johnny O. waxes the Super Bird 440 with Turtle Wax paste.
It’s a mutherfucker to rub off, but it’s
Like a regal coat of armor when it’s buffed out
And shines like Lapis Lazuli.
Two big cans these days at Wal-Mart for under ten bucks.
How times have changed – now, the stuff’s dinosaur shit.
Yup, the blue bird looks more copacetic than a master gem-cutter’s art piece.
He’d never use liquid wax, no-sir-ree. That’s for kids and old ladies.
But it’s easy to apply, like rubbing water or window cleaner,
And liquid wax has put Turtle Wax
In the bargain bin,
On a bottom shelf in the auto section.

***

Johnny O’s not satisfied until he can look into the sea-like
Finish and witness his sweaty smiling face
Peering back through the lusty blue paint job
(All factory, of course; as was every replacement part carefully selected and hand picked
From the finest of aftermarket suppliers).
Yup, his 1970 Plymouth Blue Fire Superbird doesn’t have a hemi, but it’s got a 440
Super Commando engine. And it can race
On the NASCAR circuit. A real muther! God damn!
Nope, Johnny O. only enters it in car shows.
He’d never beat up his love for some tawdry trophy and $300 cash prize
On Lucifer’s drag strip. Oh, his buddies would
Kill for it; but most are already dead. So tonight he’s
Taking his beautiful beast to a show at Quaker Steak and Lube; and oh, it’s going
To be prettier than any knockout waitress there.

***

Johnny O.’s picking up his new leading lady (who knows him
From long ago). They hooked up just a few months past.
On facebook. Maybe he’ll get some,
Who knows? But Sally Slim thinks the Super Bird’s cool
And Johnny O.’s even cooler.
She just retired from a dentist office (an office manager 35 years and a jack
Of all trades – like her new man, of course). Divorced, too, but
Only twice and with four grown kids (her oldest grandson: a sergeant
Over there in Afghanistan). Anyhow,
It’s almost time to get a shower, get ready, and slick that silver-speckled hair back
(No part, though, since he’s got a pallid Frisbee
In the middle of his scalp which reflects the sun).

 

photoSamuel Vargo worked for more than 20 years full time as a newspaper reporter and these days, writes for progressive, liberal, online magazines. He holds a BA in Political Science and an MA in English. When he’s not writing articles, he’s either fishing, trying to work off extra weight at the gym, or arguing with others on comment threads.