Sunday, September 6, 2009

What are the rich folks doing today?

I saw an El Dorado the other day that looked as long as a city block. I swear. It seemed waaaaay longer than any Cadillac I'd ever seen before.

It was a red convertible with chrome all over the place and it just went on forever. I'd like to see somebody try to parallel park that baby.

And, of course, it reminded me of a song. It wasn't "Cadillac Red'' by the Judds, or even "Cadillac Ranch'' by Bruce Springsteen. There have been plenty of tunes written about Caddies, but none capture the unparalleled bliss that Roger Miller sings about in his chorus to "Do Wacka Do'':

I see you’re goin’ down the street in your big Cadillac
You got girls in the front, you got girls in the back
Yeah, way in back, you got money in a sack
Both hands on the wheel and your shoulders rared back
Root-doot-doot-doot-doot do-wah

I've never owned a Cadillac, and probably never will. Luxury cars were never a big priority in my blue-collar family. We'd be more likely to kick the tires of a reconditioned VW bus -- there were at least two of those in the family -- than consider a status symbol like a Caddy, which was really unattainable anyway. Why dream about them?

But sing about them? You bet. It doesn't cost a dime, and you don't have to try put a coat of wax on 'em.

I remember, years ago, sitting on a sandbar on the upper Mississippi River with my cousin Bob. Uncle Gabe had just secured the lines to his houseboat and we were hanging out on one those rare picture-perfect summer days in Wisconsin. The beer was cold, we had caught a few fish and the warm rays of the sun felt as good as they can feel on your face. And my cousin turned to me and said: "I wonder what the rich folks are doing today.''

I wonder, indeed.

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