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The Ballad of the Bum Trip - Part Seven
Bruno Gets Ready to Rumble
Most of the rest of that day went fine. It was still lots of fun watching kids in passing cars react to Albert! I don't remember what state we were in, but it had just gotten dark when all hell broke loose. Or should I say all of our exhaust system broke loose. The whole thing was dragging on the ground. Sparks were flying and there was an awful scraping noise, along with a basso profundo that made kids come out on the lawn and start dancing. (I'll give it an 8. I don't get the words but I like the beat.)
We were in some little town so we pulled into Wally's Gas Station. In those days, places that sold gas actually fixed cars. Well, there were two young guys in the back of the station having a grease gun fight, and a girl in a tank top violating a vending machine with a coat hanger. They all stopped what they were doing when they heard us arrive. We figured that we should be close to I-80, so we asked the greasy guys if they had a hacksaw and if they would cut everything off at the manifold.
"Cut it OFF?" they said in disbelief.
"Wow," said Miss Tanktop, her mouth full of ill-gotten Chuckles (she had just discovered Albert.)
"Sure," said Larry. "If we can get to the Interstate, they can't stop us for a noise, and 80 goes all the way to Moline."
Ten dollars' worth of sawing later, we were ready to run for the highway - about two miles straight up the road. Now with no muffler or tailpipes, Bruno the Buick sounded like a DC-3 in a headwind. We thought that if we went real fast, all the noise would be behind us and maybe people would think somebody else did it. So off we went in a cloud of rust, laughing like a couple of hillbillies in a moonshiner movie. Just before we got to the entrance to I-80, we passed a state trooper post. Why they didn't chase us, I'll never know.
- Adam Jones