‘Hummer Style…’ (pdf)
by B. Tyler Burton
They say guys never worry about their hair, but tonight is special. Tonight, I’m going out in a Hummer Limo.
It was all Rube’s idea, if you wanna know the truth. But from the moment he told me, I knew I’d be there, riding high, hooting through the sunroof at all those girls that would be so desperately wanting to know just who are those guys in there–they must have style!
Wow! It’s almost seven; and that means just a half-hour till the Hummer Limo pulls around the corner, all stretched and awesome. It’ll be the first time this street has felt important since it was built–whenever that was. Man, this is gonna be great.
Well, it looks like I’m going to have to walk up a few blocks to the big intersection. What a bummer; but the driver says he’s worried that he won’t be able to get enough clearance to turn around in our little cul de sac. It’s too bad my mom and dad won’t get to see me; but they’ll see the pictures. At least, the ones I choose to show them. Just thinking about all the things that haven’t happened yet that I won’t want them to see gets me nervous.
Yes I’m being honest here, this is my first time riding so high in the City…
Okay, so it’s been an hour, and they’re not here. They probably got stuck in some mighty traffic pile-up at the Hooter’s, and they’re just trying to sort out the really hella hot babes from the ones that are just half-to-hella; but it’s getting tougher to feel as excited as I was before. Maybe I should never have said yes. I’m not good enough to ride in a Hummer limo. That’s it, I’m not good enough. They just should have told me. They didn’t have to lie and say they were coming when they weren’t.
I take it all back. My friends are the greatest. They even had a wine cooler left over that they let me have, for free.
Now we’re on our way. No hooting and hollering as we cross the bridge, fellas. The driver must have nerves of steel. He must not be distracted. How would it look to the rest of traffic if he was busy telling us to keep it down as we passed them.
Oh yeah: we all forgot there were tinted windows on this limo. Break out the little wet bar sized bottles of vodka, tequiza, and Thunderbird. Wait! No wet bar? Well, I came prepared. I was a hero, all thanks to this little flask. A little hero, at least, since the flask ran out quick. My friend asked the driver, once we were safely parked and waiting to make our exit, “I thought all limo’s had a bar in back.”
The driver didn’t have to be so unsympathetic. He could have said, ‘Kid, I understand this is your first ride in a Hummer limo, and so there’s a few things about this kind of life you should know,’ but instead he just laughed and asked us if we thought we were “NSynch” or something, which made about as much sense as not having a wet bar, but I thought it was funny, still. I was too excited to really listen. I just laughed at everything. There’d be time to think, tomorrow.
So. We were going to get some drinks, and then Rube reminds us all that we came to the City to ‘ride around in this Hummer limo.’ I was half-way to my hands down some drunk girl’s pants, but I knew he was right. It was so easy to forget the good life, and go back to your old routines; but not tonight. The girl didn’t really say good-bye, she just slumped over in her chair. I think her friend was yelling “Go to Hell,” but I told her I was too busy. “Maybe tomorrow,” I said, “I’ve got to finish up my ride in a Hummer limo first.” And wouldn’t you know it, suddenly she got real friendly, and told me to put my hand back where it was, but on her this time. She tried to come along, but in all the confusion we must have left her passed out on the curb. And Rube says, “I slipped her my last Mick.” “Maybe we can go pick her up off the curb if she’s still there on our way back,” I suggest. But no dice. The driver said forty-two minutes before the clock strikes 12 and the limo has to turn eastward to the bridge.
Before we could really pimp out the rest of our shit, however, the thing just stopped. And then the strangest thing happened. The driver says to hold it one minute, as he waits for this car ahead of us to back up. Closer. It gets closer and closer, and then…with a noise that jarred the fillings in my teeth loose, the front of the limo opens up and swallows the little car ahead of us real quick like. All that’s left are a few Ralph Nader stickers the Hummer limo spits out the tailpipe. If I wouldn’t have been watching I’d have missed it, too. The Hummer limo jumped and shook a second, and I never noticed if the guy in the car got out; but Rube says he was just a hipster anyways. And we all know that’s short for gay.
Mike said something profound, with too many syllables. He’s the smart one, next to Dave, who is too smart for his own good or he wouldn’t be off watching the stupid stars. Dave is so stupid. He called up just this morning to tell us he wasn’t coming. He said there was some stupid meteor shower, or an alignment of the planets, or something that doesn’t ever happen and that he didn’t want to miss. But I told him, how many times in your life do you get to ride in a Hummer Limo. He was not that impressed, he said. Imagine that!
Quick now we’re back on the road. The driver tells us we got more than enough nutriment for the beast to get us back home now, which is good, I guess; Rube wants to stop for some more vodka, and Mike says he’s getting hungry, just like the limo. I tell him I hope he’s not as hungry as the Hummer, and he assures me he’d never eat his friends so long as he had a fat chick and a burger in each hand. “Two fat chicks?” I ask, “Gosh you’re selfish.”
Then I remember the one thing I forgot to do. I need air, bad. I go to open the sunroof; but what’s this? It’s not there? It never was? How are you supposed to have a limo without a sunroof, I said. A little too loud, it turns out. Because suddenly there I am kneeling in front of that big menacing grill, and Rube is holding one arm, and the driver the other, and they’re trying to push me into the mouth. Mike’s already gone, for saying something with too many syllables. It burps up a strip of fabric, and I think I hear what sounds like “No Exit. It’s Sartre.” The voice trails off. Jesus Christ. It’s the sickest smell you could ever imagine coming out of that grill. It’s too horrible I tell them, I thought it was all going to be pretty. And then suddenly the mouth closes and the driver tells us that I’m not substantial enough to eat. The Hummer doesn’t want me.
Oh God. Laying awake now, back in my little insignificant suburb, I wish I never would have said what I did. I wish I would have been good enough, and strong enough, and tasty enough to matter. Reporters snapped pictures of us early in the night, so at least they got our good sides. (But I forget again that the windows were tinted, and so they “got” nothing but the exterior of our glorious flagship.) I think, instead, that I must’ve looked terrible even then, that you could see how less than worthy I was.
Rube says next time we’ll get one with a wet bar; but I don’t know. Maybe next time I’ll just stay home.