I borrowed my wife's Geo Metro last night. One liter of raw power, 3 cylinders of asphalt-tearing terror on thirteen-inch rims. It's stock, alright, nothing done to it, but it pushes the barely 2000 pounds of Metro around with AUTHORITY. I'm always catching mopeds and 18-wheelers by surprise...I was headed back from Baskin Robbins with my manly triple-latte cappuccino blast ("No Cinnamon, ma'am, I take it BLACK"), when I stopped at a streetlight. As the Metro throbbed its throaty idle around me, I sipped my bold beverage and wiped the white froth my stiff upper lip. I was minding my own business, but then I heard a rev from the next lane. I turned, made eye contact, then let my eyes trace over the competition.
Ford Festiva -- a late model, could be trouble. Low profile tires, curb feelers, and schoolbus-yellow paint. Yep, a hot rod, for sure. The howl of his motor snapped my reverie, and I looked back into the driver's eyes, nodded, then blipped my own throttle. As I tugged on my driving gloves and slipped on my sunglasses (gotta look cool to be fast, and I am *damn* cool, hence...), the night was split with the sound of seven screaming cylinders...Then the light turned... I almost had him out of the hole, my three pounding cylinders thrusting me at least a millimeter back into my seat, as smoke pouring from my front right tire... my unlimited slip differential was letting me down! I saw in the corner of my eyes, a yellow snout gaining, and I heard the roar of* his four cylinders. He slung by me, right front wheel juddering against the pavement, and he flashed me a smile as his .7 extra liters of motor stretched its legs. I kept my foot gamely in it, though, waiting for the CHECK ENGINE light to blink on in the one-gauge (no tachometer here!) instrument panel. I saw a glimpse of chrome under his bumper, and knew the ugly truth...He was running a custom exhaust --probably a 2-into-1 dual exhaust... maybe even cutouts! Damn his hot-rod soul! The old lady passing us on the crosswalk cast a dirty look in our boy-racer direction...Yet still I persisted, with my three pumping pistons singing a heady high-pitched song, wound fully out. Though only a few handfuls of seconds had passed, we were nearing the crosswalk at the other side of the intersection, and I heard the note of his engine change as he made his shift to second, and I saw his grin in his rearview mirror fade as he missed the shift! I rocketed by, shifting, and nursed the clutch gently in to keep from bogging, keeping my motor spinning hot and pulling me ahead, now trailing a cloud of stinking clutch smoke. Not ready to give up so easily, he left his foot in it, revving, and I heard one wheel *almost* chirp as he finally found second and dropped the clutch. We careened over the crosswalk, now going at least 15 miles per hour. A bicyclist passed us, but intent on the race as we were, neither of us batted an eye. He pulled slowly abreast of me, and neck and neck, we made the shift to third, the scream of motors deafening all pedestrians within a five foot circle. He nosed ahead as we passed 30 miles an hour, then eased in front of me, taunting, as we shifted into fourth. I was staring up the dual 6" chrome tips of his exhaust, snarling, my cappuccino forgotten, as he lifted a little to take the next corner. I saw my opportunity, and counting on the innate agility of* my trusty steed, I pulled wide into the number two lane and kept my foot buried in carpet. Slowly, I inched around him, feeling my Metro roll slowly to the left as I came abreast in the midst of this gradual sweeping turn. I felt the Geo ease onto its suspension stops, and felt the right rear wheel slowly leave the ground - no matter, though, because my drive wheels, up front, were pulling me through the corner, and around the Festiva ...The Ford driver beat his wheel in rage as my wife's car eased past him on the outside, my P165/54R13's screaming in protest, as we raced to the next light. We coasted down, neck-and neck, to the red light. I tightened my driving gloves, ready for another round, when this WIMP in the next car meekly flipped his turn signal and made a right. Chevy(Suzuki) superiority reigns!!!I drove off sipping my masculine drink, awash in my sheer virility, looking for other unwitting targets.... Perhaps a Yugo, or maybe even a Volkswagon Van!