by Steven Craig

I doubt if you ever heard the story of Alfred Roach (seeing how I just wrote it), one of the most widely heralded "STREETRATS" of our time. Actually, Alfred wasn't a rat at all, but a two inch long cockroach, identified by his eight hairy legs, four eyes, two transceivers, who smiled alot, and did impressions of Jack Benny. If you still can't recognize him, you may have seen a marsh green, modified Hemi Simca (vintage 1953). ThatÂ’s his.

And he races it down at " ... THE WALL."

" ... THE WALL" is a certain quarter mile stretch of "THE AVENUE" down where Alfred lives and all the "STREETRATS" have their "RUNS" there. This section of "THE AVENUE" is typified by an enormous wall erected at one end (the dead end) of the quarter mile, kept in constant repair by a battalion of 195 sadistic State Troopers ("THE FUZZ").

Because " ... THE WALL" was big, strong, and ugly, not too many "RUNS" were running very often, and word got around that "THE FUZZ" had closed down "THE AVENUE". Well, old Alfred had heard about " ... THE WALL" being big, strong, and ugly, but then his modified Hemi Simca couldn't have been in better "RUN" shape. One could say that "IT RAN!".

The big, dig-it, "hemi under burlap", big, strong, and fearsome, had 8 overhead cams, 3 spares, 95 questionable carburetors, Chrome, Chrome, Chrome, and Chrome, Pipes, big Pipes, 8 Pipes per cylinder type Pipes, wall to firewall Pipes, yea, there were Pipes all over the place, dragging on the ground Pipes (Alfred knew that you had to have Pipes to "RUN"), big airplane tires on the rear pushed the Simca along, and the roller skate wheels up front gave the impression of a funny car. Alfred had a roll bar, a 4-speed, mags, decals, and more Chrome, Chrome, Chrome, and Chrome.

That afternoon, Alfred challenged the feared "CHURCHMOUSE" and his equally fearsome "SUPER BEE" (a hemi powered "BEE", with Chrome, Chrome, Chrome, and Pipes all over the place) to a "DRAG" down at " ... THE WALL".

Word got around town by courier hound that a "RUN" was to be held at " ... THE WALL", and soon there were over four million cheering drag race fans clamoring for a place down at " ... THE WALL", because they too (and now you) had heard that Alfred and "CHURCHMOUSE" were going to have a "RUN".

Midnight came ... the roaring crowd hushed, looked expectantly to the east up "THE AVENUE". Sadistic State Troopers eagerly scrambled about " ... THE WALL". The full moon cast its foggy glow upon the arena. The world awaited "THE RUN".

A rumble, a roar, a rolling thunder, rolling from around the curve to the east, side by side, burning the night from the east, rolling, vibrating up to the "THE LINE" was the Hemi Simca and the "SUPER BEE".

The time was near. A glow was in each and every eye of the hideous crowd. Alfred and "CHURCHMOUSE" eyed each other, carburetors backfired in the night, and "THE FUZZ", drooling like a pack of wolves, roared their weird approval. "THE RUN" was about to begin.

Muscles flexed, engines whined, Pipes, Pipes, Pipes all over the place glowed red in the night, as the starter inched forward to "THE LINE", held his breath, held Carries old panties at arms length ... .... ..... and dropped them to the ground!

Engines screamed, clutches dumped, the very earth trembled, radars clicked on, ticket books flopped open, 195 sadistic State Troopers fought, fought and fought to be first in line at " ... THE WALL".

Burning tires, blue smoke filled the air, and the environment was shattered from the roar as the "SUPER BEE" leaped 90 feet into the air, and shot forward through the night towards " ... THE WALL".

On it roared, 80, 90, 120, 270, 800 miles per hour, the "BEE" was still "GETTING UP", gears banged, tires melted towards the rims, cheers from the crowd, encouragement from "THE FUZZ" was finally, fatally overpowered by the blinding, astounding flash and crashing concussion as the "SUPER BEE" detonated against " ... THE WALL".

Pipes, Pipes, Pipes were all over the place. Chrome, Chrome, and Chrome, along with airplane tires, vaporized into the ionized night. The "SUPER BEE" had won. Roaring their approval, "THE FUZZ" rushed forward with touchup paint to repair their prized wall.

And Alfred?

Well, as you probably know, cockroaches have survived for some hundreds of millions of years and have gotten survival down pat. After "CHURCHMOUSE" shot off, Alfred cut his engine, got out and watched. He never races anybody, he just scares the hell out of them.


Author's Note: For those of us for whom racing fast cars started out our lives.

Posted on 06/24/2006
Copyright © 2020 Steven Craig

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