This here is why I do business with a car repair shop owned and operated by two Greek brothers (who look exactly alike, and are both named Nick. True story.).
Take me to the creative team behind this masterworks, which is posted in the brothers’ waiting area. Share with me the vision. Are the flames emanating from a secret bunson burner somewhere — or did they spontaneously ignite after the oxygen came in contact with the awesomeness of the GTO? Did the car break the sound barrier upon takeoff, creating a sonic boom and a road of flames in its wake? I want to know.
There’s something about this piece that warms my cockles. It reminds me of when I was a kid, and I’d sneak into untitledbrother’s room while he was at football practice. I’d hopscotch around his Dungeons and Dragons game pieces, dirty tube socks and fossilized Totino’s Party Pizza remnants. A crusty bottle of Oxy would be tipped over on his desk, alongside a copy of “National Geographic,” opened to a photograph of an African woman with pointy boobies and neck rings. I’d walk past his album collection — which included John Lennon, Bob Seger, The Charlie Daniels Band, The Beatles and Pink Floyd. Sometimes I’d listen to his records, making sure to steer clear of “The Wall” and “The White Album” (the artwork gave me nightmares, like any good rock album should).
On the paneled walls of his room were all these pictures of muscle cars — Chargers, Super Bees, Mustangs, Furys — all suspended with yellowing Scotch tape. The photos would be accompanied by headlines like “Out to Launch” and “Pony Up.” I can’t make this shit up, people.
It wasn’t long before he graduated from the pictures to having a motor hanging from the ceiling in our garage and a carburetor on his bedside table. I was careful to get the hell out before he returned, lest he pin me to the floor and fart on my head. My reconnaissance gave me a narrow glimpse into what was cool and important in this world, be it right, wrong or indifferent.
So when I see a poster like this at my mechanic’s, I can’t help but think that when I drop my keys off, he and his brother are scurrying to the back room to eat Doritos and glue together model hot rods until their mother says it’s time for dinner. Tell me — knowing this, how could I take my business anywhere else?