Art Car Macho

Mike Scranton's creations are the evilest looking things in the parade. And he'll wrassle anyone who says otherwise.

Around 2:30, Scranton calls a lunch break. The guys sit on the flatbed of Duncan's truck and eat sandwiches while one of them rolls a joint. They complain about going to the steelyards to buy metal on Saturdays, when all the amateurs who order pipe in inches instead of feet are there. They complain about Corporate Average Fuel Economy requirements, which are going to ruin American trucks by making them more sleek and aerodynamic. They talk about lesbian chic: Lesbians, Duncan says, are all over those '50s Land Cruisers.

The guys worry a little that other people will come by and spy on them, try to figure out what they're doing. Then they worry more that people will come by and distract them into being social. They do not want to be social. They want to build art cars.

One week before the parade, the guys finally wheel the Saddam Sedan out into the street. It has nearly doubled in length, with a slingshot the size of a goal post spring-mounted above the rear wheels, and something that looks like an iron cupola -- a sort of showcase where they'll hang "Saddam's bomb" -- dangling behind. Scranton warns that the car is not yet "chick-ready." But it does run: Duncan and Holt hop on and start the motor, and the whole thing starts to move gracefully down the street, rounding the corner and disappearing from view.

The small crowd of onlookers applauds appreciatively as the guys reappear at the other end of the block. "Whoo-hoo!" Scranton yells. "Whoo-hoo!" the guys yell back, as they jump off the car and give each other high-fives. Immediately, they whip out a tape measure and stretch it alongside the car to see how long it is -- 37 feet of hard steel. Scranton just stands apart, staring at his creation. "That's evil, man," he says proudly. "That's evil." Amid the commotion, Scranton breaks into a vaudeville rendition of a heavy-metal song. "Am I evil? Yes, I am." Then he slows into a low-pitched, hymnlike finale: "Eeeee-vil fuck-ing men!

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