Houston is once again proudly claiming its mantle for all things classy. For it is here -- not in Paris, not in Monaco or Palm Springs -- where Burt Reynold's legendary Bandit will be auctioned off next month.
What is the Bandit, you ask, obviously putting down your dog-eared copy of Recherche du Temps Perdu to do so?
It is the Trans-Am immortalized -- and one does not use that word lightly -- in the Reynolds epic Smokey and the Bandit.
The car will be sold at the Houston Classic Auction May 2, at the Lakewood Yacht Club.
In the glovebox you will find the remains of Renolds' career, we're told, although we might be misinformed on that matter.
But here are some other items that -- if they are not included with the car -- damn well should be:
1. The alternative lyrics to Jerry Reed's song from the film, "Eastbound and Down," best known for its "We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there" line. The line in the song that now says "The boys are thirsty in Atlanta and there's beer in Texarkana, and we'll bring it back no matter what it takes" was originally "Your faith was strong but you needed proof; you saw her bathing on the roof. Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you." He later gave the lyrics to Leonard Cohen, who used them in "Hallelujah."
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2. A well-thumbed copy of Stanislavksi's My Life in Art, in which the creator of the Method school of acting discusses his philosophy. The sections Jackie Gleason used to develop his Buford T. Justice character are heavily notated.
3. A case of Aqua-Net, somehow still left over from Sally Field's hair-prep sessions.
4. Pictures of Norm Macdonald doing his killer Burt Reynolds impression, with bullet holes in them.
5. Outtakes. Lots of outtakes. Because we've got this movie to thank for years and years of shots of actors breaking up as they're trying to deliver their lines. The "Special Edition DVD" industry would be nowhere without Burt.