Car Talk Steele - Part VII
Date: Saturday, June 23, 2001
Lauryn Poynor <>

Car Talk Steele - Part VII

by Lauryn Poynor

MURPHY: Hello. Car Talk? This is Murphy calling from Denver.

TOM: Denver. The Mile High City. A place where they know their ales, porters, stouts, and lagers. Beer brewing capital of the US.

RAY: Pikes Peak, the great outdoors, a city that's a sportsman's paradise, but to my brother just a great place for a brewski.

TOM: I'm not talkin' your everyday suds factory. Denver has some of the country's best brew pubs and microbreweries.

MURPHY: I'm not much into that trendy microbrew scene, I drink most of my beer from a can.

TOM: Brew pubs are a great place to meet women.

MURPHY: You have a point there. Why are women are so impressed by that stuff? Hanging all over guys who munch croissants and drink Perrier and think beer has to come in fruit flavors. When I was in college things were simple. There was beer - and there was lite beer.

RAY: Hear, hear. The great American beer industry has been
invaded by cork sniffing wine snobs who wear Italian suits and French cuffs - galloping gourmets who think Budweiser is a town in West Germany.

MURPHY: I'm familiar with the type.

TOM: I'll bet you didn't know that the original Bud comes from Czechoslovakia - Budweiser Budvar. Established in 1895.

RAY: No kidding. 1895? What did they do before pop tops? And
six packs?

TOM: Six packs? Oh, brother. Morons. I've got morons on my

MURPHY: Wait a minute, that line..that's from -

RAY: A movie.

MURPHY: I was afraid of that.

RAY: 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,' Paul Newman, Robert Redford -

MURPHY: Whoa! Be gentle with the movie references, guys. They remind me of someone.

TOM: Like Robert Redford?

MURPHY: Ha! He wishes. Not even close. Like you said, the
galloping gourmet.

TOM: I'm afraid you've lost me.

MURPHY: French cuffs, Italian suits, smarmy charm, English
accent. Women fawning all over him, eating him up with a spoon, while he concocts some half baked scheme -

RAY: I never knew Graham Kerr incited such strong feelings. He always seemed like a nice gent.


RAY: That chef on TV, the 'Galloping Gourmet.' What English guy were you talking about?

MURPHY: Never mind. I'd rather not discuss it on a full
stomach. I'm going camping and I'm loading up on carbs. Got a hot date with this chick who's into mountain biking. She's also into veggies and alfalfa sprouts. Got to fortify myself with beer and pizza before we hit the road. That's why I called.

TOM: You came to the right place. What kind of pizza? There's a beer for every variety.

MURPHY: Already got that covered. Pepperoni and cheese, and
Coors. I've got a problem with my Jeep. She's a Cherokee XJ, 2.8 litre V-6. Great little off roader, Dana 30 front axle, 35 rear, coil springs, Panhard bar, leaf spring rear suspension -

TOM: Slow down, kemo sabe. We're the guys that are supposed to know all that stuff. You sure you don't want to work the rest of my shift?

MURPHY: To be honest guys, I'm a little embarrassed I haven't figured out what the problem is. She's stalling out, losing power. I've replaced the crank sensor and the idle air control but that didn't do the trick. Unless I can get it revved up to full speed my hot date is history.

RAY: Sounds like you need your performance analyzed.

MURPHY: My performance analyzed? My engine performance?

TOM: If you were thinking of something else we really don't want to know. That's a bit too Freudian, even for us.

MURPHY: I don't know much about Freud, but I know most women
like a lot of horses under the hood. I had this Boss 302 Mustang once that I bought my freshman year of college. Total chick magnet and it would smoke just about anything on the road. Acapulco Blue with racing stripes, 290 horsepower, Holley carb, 4-speed manual, synchronized in forward gears, racing suspension, staggered rear shocks. She was a knockout. Great chassis, classic lines -

RAY: All you need is a blonde draped over the hood and you could do a layout for 'Muscle Car Magazine.'

MURPHY: With that Mustang all I had to do was whistle. There
was one blonde I'll never forget. Swimsuit model. A real
knockout. Great chassis. Classic lines.

TOM: Just like the car.

MURPHY: You said it. Stylish. Classy. Every guy on the
basketball team was in love with her.

TOM: The model?

MURPHY: The Mustang. That takes me back. Cruising the canyons, testing the limits, bets with the guys to see just how much she would really take off.

RAY: The Mustang?

MURPHY: The model.

TOM: I think we need to take our phone off the hook pronto to avoid the hordes of angry female listeners who are going to call in. I'm taking this opportunity to state categorically, for the record, that most members of the female sex are not shallow as a puddle, interested only in a man's um, hood to cab length ratio.

RAY: The women of America, God bless 'em, are only interested in the inner man whether he drives a Ford or a Ferrari, a Plymouth or a Porsche, a Daimler or a Dodge Dart. Oh my God, what am I saying?

TOM: Aha! I have it on tape. You just compared a Dodge Dart to a Daimler.

RAY: But not favorably. Sorry gals. We'll strike that from the record. It's for your own protection. Mentioning those two cars in the same sentence is against FCC regulations, or the Geneva Convention, or the Shriner's Convention. One of those.

MURPHY: You guys are on to something, though. Cars don't
impress some women. And usually it's those women you want to
impress. I knew this woman back in LA. We hooked up at this
funky bar. She was a P.H.D. Psychology. I thought she was a

TOM: Yeah. We often get those confused. Coffee, tea, or

MURPHY: Long story. Anyway, she was a great gal. Taught me a
lot about myself. When she was with me she said she could always 'be herself' and any woman who was worth it would want me just the way I was. That wasn't what I wanted to hear because I still had my sights set on someone else, a girl I worked with. This girl was brainy, beautiful, and we'd been partners from the beginning. I'd always hoped we could take things further, but I couldn't compete with that stiff-assed Brit with no wheels. Can I say stiff-assed Brit?

RAY: You just did. Twice. Is this Brit with no wheels the guy you mentioned earlier? The one with the French cuffs, Italian suits, smarmy charm, accent. Women fawning all over him, eating him up?


RAY: Lemme get this straight. You lost your girl to a guy with no wheels? Isn't that unconstitutional?

MURPHY: He had a limo at his beck and call. That's why no

TOM: Impressive. A regular Rockefeller.

MURPHY: There's nothing regular about that guy. But he had an eye for rocks. When we met him, he was collecting 'em.

TOM: Quartz?

MURPHY: Royal Lavulite.

TOM: Wow. This guy's got it all: limo, accent, clothes, women, jewels. No wonder you couldn't compete. He sounds like James Bond.

MURPHY: Believe me, he's as far from James Bond as it's possible to get. Bond's got a cool car for starters.

TOM: No argument here. The coolest. The gadget-packed Aston
Martin DB5 first seen in -

RAY: 'Goldfinger.' Sean Connery, Gert Frobe, Honor Blackman - oh, sorry. I forgot. Movie reference.

MURPHY: Don't mind me. A couple of Alka-Seltzer's, a couple of beer chasers and I'll be feeling no pain.

TOM: I think that's a thumbs down, bro. Now where was I? What a dream car! The Aston Martin DB5. Hydraulic overriders front and rear which could be used as rams, weapons control panel concealed in the center arm rest, onboard radar display, dual Browning machine guns mounted behind the headlights -

MURPHY: As I was saying, things weren't perfect in LA. I
finally realized Sherry was right.

RAY: That's the P.H.D.'s name? Sherry?


RAY: [starts to sing] She - e - e-e-e-e-ry ba-by! She- e - rry, can you come out tonight? Boy, that brings back memories. A classic by -

MURPHY: I know, I know, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. We got that every time people found out her name. We tried using her middle name but that was even worse.

RAY: What was her middle name?

MURPHY: Roxanne.

RAY: No kidding. [warming up] Ro - o - o-ox - anne -

MURPHY: Don't do it. I'm begging you.

TOM: It's a huge step down from Frankie Valli, anyway.

RAY: You'll have to forgive my 'Sherry' rendition. Just call it an ethnic weakness. Our last name is Magliozzi. Italians and doo-wop go together like -

MURPHY: Beer and pizza?

RAY: I'll buy that. So, let's back up a little. Things weren't perfect in LA. You realized Sherry was right. What then?

MURPHY: I moved out to Denver, got a fresh start.

RAY: You and Sherry?

MURPHY: No. She's still in So Cal. Teaching at UCLA. We had
fun for a while, nothing serious. She was full of surprises.
Most of the women I've dated, well you knew what you were getting from day one. With Sherry it was always an adventure. She could do anything, pick up a skill just like that. She used to work summers at her dad's construction company. There's something special about a woman who can drive a Bobcat Excavator.

RAY: So the earth moved for you. Some guys have all the luck.

MURPHY: She was game for anything; sailplaning, rock climbing, rafting. But not macho about it, you know, she still looked feminine. Damn, she knew how to bait a hook.

TOM: In more ways than one, methinks.

MURPHY: Sherry learned a lot of skills from the movies.
Everything from fencing like Errol Flynn to how to hot wire a car. She minored in film in college. Did her thesis on some foreign flick. You know, with subtitles. Usually with people like that, you think they're just showing off, but Sherry was different. Sometimes I'll be channel surfing late at night and a movie will come on that reminds me of her.

TOM: I just saw one, too that could have starred your girl. Last week on Cinemax about a hero who climbs up a sheer rock face to the enemy stronghold, has a fencing duel with the villain, then escapes in a sailplane that crashes into some rapids.

MURPHY: Really?

TOM: Well, maybe I exaggerate. But they were fighting with
swords. And it had subtitles.

MURPHY: When I first moved to Denver, it was rough. Didn't watch much except news and weather. Even some of the sports channels would get me in a funk. Didn't go to the movies for a while.

RAY: So that's why you were so touchy about 'Butch Cassidy.'

MURPHY: Well, you're half right. Let's just say when I hear
someone rattling off a movie reference it touches a nerve.

TOM: We can relate. It doesn't take much to set our nerves
twitching. Usually the words 'Peugeot' and 'Fiat' do the trick.

MURPHY: I gotta say, I'm happy with my Jeep. Another thing I
owe to Sherry. She said I should buy some wheels I could be
comfortable with. So when I bought the Jeep it was just for me. It may not be flashy but it's a road warrior and a helluva lot of fun. The mountains, skiing, fishing, you name it, this baby will get me there. I miss LA sometimes, but in Denver, the great outdoors is just a short hop.

RAY: Why didn't it work out between you? Not you and the Jeep, that's a match made in heaven. I mean you and Sherry?

MURPHY: She was into her teaching career, loved LA, loved the movies. She was always dragging me to film festivals. Sometimes we would run into people from the office - that girl, the one I still cared about and that stiff-ass -

RAY: Don't say it! We've broken enough FCC regulations for one day.

MURPHY: That stiff Brit. He'd sort of shown up from nowhere, a real smooth character, and swept her off her feet. I just didn't belong in the picture. Not anymore. And seeing them together, well it was hard to take. It was time to strike out on my own, jump start my career, do something on my own terms. I don't regret it. Business is great. Clients are happy. Everything's running like a well oiled machine.

TOM: Speaking of which, I think I have the answer to your
performance problem.

MURPHY: What problem? Oh, right. I almost forgot. The stalling problem. What's the verdict?

TOM: You need a new hose. Ninety degree vacuum hose, to be

RAY: You sound pretty sure of yourself.

TOM: Saw it in on TV last night. 'MacGyver' was escaping some bad guys and his army jeep stalled out. He popped open the hood, calmly surveyed the situation, and plugged the hole in his ninety degree vacuum hose with a rare tree sap found only in the Peruvian rain forest.

RAY: Tommy, I think you need to go lie down for a while until your fever goes down.

TOM: Well you could just use duct tape, but you might as well replace that hose.

MURPHY: You know, you could be right. Vacuum hose. Why didn't I think of that?

RAY: You're a motorhead. A car geek. We're professionals. We
always go with the simplest option first. Why work up a sweat if you don't have to?

MURPHY: Good advice, partner. I think I'll pop open a cold one and see if I can find a movie. Maybe one about a girl and a Jeep and a guy, who, with any luck, gets his performance analyzed.

TOM: I think that's enough analysis for one day. Maybe we
should start charging a hundred bucks an hour. You know what
Freud always said, 'if you don't pay, you don't get better.'

RAY: Hello? Murphy? Well that got rid of him. Time for a
brewski. Domestic, that is. In a can. Here's something Freud
really said. 'Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.' And a beer is just a beer.

TOM: Morons. I've got morons on my team.

[{Song Selection} Motorhead Baby by Johnny 'Guitar' Watson 3:43]

To Part VIII